Frugal Dad recently had a guest post by MD on Why Young Entrepreneurs Should Hold Down a Job After College. This is the route that I took and so today I’m here to warn you of the dangers of this approach.
I have known that I wanted to be an Entrepreneur since my Freshman year of college, but I always saw myself getting a “real job” for a while first (because that’s what people expected, I suppose). And so after graduating I took a job with a Fortune 1,000 company in my home town.
Little by little, my Entrepreneurial spirit was worn down while working in Corporate America. When I visualized my future, I could see myself climbing the corporate latter to success. I no longer visualized myself starting my own company. After three years of this, I remembered what I had once known, and my passion for Entrepreneurship was re-ignited. What caused this change in me? Was it boredom? Frustration?
I am not sure exactly why I came back around to my small business dreams. I think it was the realization that I wanted more out of life. Whatever it was, it hit me hard. Within three months, I launched a blog, bought an e-commerce site, and helped my wife launch a business.
Whether you take a “real job” after college is a personal decision, but if you do decide to go that route, there are certain dangers that you should guard against.
Five Dangers Young Entrepreneurs with a Job should Avoid:
1. Believing that your performance on the job has any effect on your ability as an Entrepreneur.
Whether you thrive or fail, how you perform at your job is mostly irrelevant to your ability to run a business. I personally thrived, which made me think I may be better suited for the Corporate World. Others fail, which can either destroy confidence or “force the hand”. Some believe that if they can’t excel in the corporate world, they can’t cut it as Entrepreneurs, and others to believe that because they didn’t succeed that they should be Entrepreneurs.
Ultimately, whether you succeed or fail are based on a host of factors unique to the job. Consider the specifics: Did you hold yourself accountable? How did you do with managing others? Were you able to handle the administrative issues? These are the skills that will affect your ability to succeed as an Entrepreneur.
2. Forgetting what is most important (i.e. saving for starting a business).
One of the primary reasons that you took a J-O-B in the first place was to make money, right? So that you could afford to start that business you always wanted to, right? So then why did you move into a nice apartment and get a nice new car? Having a decent paying job can allow you to save up substantial cash for buying or starting a business, but only if you save it. Always keep your eye on the prize!
3. Letting your job drain all of your energy.
If you come home every evening miserable and exhausted, you won’t spend time working on that side project – whether it be a blog, freelancing, whatever. If you spend all of your free time trying to get ahead in the Corporate World, then you aren’t getting ahead with starting a business.
“The work isn’t that hard; the hours are reasonable; the pay is decent; Oh and don’t forget about the benefits! It is great to have affordable health insurance!” These are all things that I’ve said to defend my contentment with a 9-5 job. There’s a difference between being content and being satisfied. Being content is a justification for not achieving more.
5. Social Influence by your new Co-Workers.
Most people will never start a business – especially not ones deeply ingrained into the Corporate World. These new co-workers of yours will probably not understand why you save so much of your money or why you are busy working on side businesses in the evenings and weekends. They will want you to come out for drinks with them after work. They will want you to buy dump trucks full of whatever stuff their kids’ school is making them sell. It won’t be intentional, but they will try and derail your goals.