Being an entrepreneur is one of the greatest experiences we can have. It is also one of the hardest and most difficult to embrace. The absence of the once secure bi-weekly paycheck and the uncertainty of any decision in the name of the project constantly puts us on the edge.
But venturing out on your own is rewarding. Every project, job, internship I took didn't always pan out. But the lessons I learned from them have helped me grow into a better teammate, leader and person.
So if you are thinking about starting a project or launching a new business, here are some things to think about when you take those first steps:
1. Dress for work everyday
Most of us that are starting out are working in our apartments or living at home with mom and dad. It's easy to fall into comfortable habits of watching countless episodes of Maury and wearing sweats everyday. Put on a collar shirt and jeans when you start typing out emails. It'll help your focus on your work.
2. Production is not about quantity but quality.
I dealt with this a lot when I first started writing. I'd write pages and pages on end thinking how much work I had accomplished. Turns out, the pages were filled with combobulated thoughts filled with endless jargon. I didn't pay attention to the details. Take time to outline and research to support your ideas.
3. Knowing your value is more important that having others value you.
This is the most important one on the list. You must know how valuable you are before you tell others how valuable you are to them. You can't sell your idea if you don't know what you are worth.
4. Become familiar with Murphy's Law.
If it can go wrong, most likely it will.
5. It's a cold world out there so bring your own heat.
A former football teammate of mine use to say this in the locker room after practice. The world is full of people looking to end all your progress. They want to keep you from being successful. Be aware of them and avoid them at all costs.
6. Playing Xbox for hours on end does not count as a "creativity meeting."
For those of you who play video games, you know exactly what I am talking about.
7. The more willing you are to admit you need help, the more likely you will receive it.
Our society still perceives help as a sign of weakness. The most successful people in the world had help from those they asked. They had great mentors who helped build their networks and guide them in their professional career. Ask and you will receive.
8. Days go by slow but life goes by fast.
Don't be the one who wakes up at 40 never seizing the opportunity to do something great. Regardless of the outcome, embrace the chance and enjoy the opportunity to be great.