You often hear people dreaming about "being their own boss." One of the big advantages of starting your own company is you get to be the primary decision-maker. But is it that simple? In Episode #3 of the For Starters podcast, we talk about the realities of running a company and the advantages and downsides of being in charge.
My first guest is Adam Smith, who I worked with for a number of years Automated Insights and is now running his own company, Wrangle. Adam and I always have fun when we get together, but we also talk seriously about his transition from being the consummate team player to being the one that has to make the hard decisions.
Then I talk to Kelly Pfrommer of Cloud Giants. Kelly made the transition from working at Red Hat to building her own consulting company. I really enjoyed Kelly's perspective and now consider myself in the Kelly Pfrommer Fan Club.
Both Adam and Kelly spoke about the responsibility you feel as a CEO or founder of a growing company. Being the boss is unlike being a manager in a big company because you feel even more responsibility to do right by your employees. But it was interesting that both pointed out that they feel pride after looking at all the employees that chose their company over the plethora of other options that are out there today.
One thing that is universally true for first-time founders is that none are a hundred percent qualified, or even ready for that matter, for the job of leading a company. It's not like you can just take a course or read a book. I should know as I got a graduate degree from MIT focused on new business creation, but I still felt largely unprepared for the trials and tribulations of running a new company.
The good news is that prior experience or even book knowledge isn't required to be a successful business owner. Because there are so many facets to running a company, everyone has to learn on the job. Not to mention that every company is different: the culture, the market, the business opportunity, so even if you start multiple businesses, as I have, you have to learn new things each time.
The key is having curiosity and a willingness to learn. If you have that, I'd argue you have all the makings to be a good entrepreneur. It's by no means an easy job to run a company, but no worthwhile occupation is easy unless you have to make hard decisions from time-to-time
The struggle is where you learn and improve and ultimately where the opportunity lies. Not everyone keeps going. It's those entrepreneurs that are willing to stick with it through thick and thin that ultimately become successful. Give it a shot. More so than many types of career paths, you can find lots of people that are willing to help you on your journey.
Startomatic is just one example. We make the process of getting a company started and off the ground as easy as possible. Give us a try.
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