All this talk of teams and companies and managers has made me realize we’re not mentioning or focusing on those who shun all of that jazz and create their own. Going out on your own surfaces lots of different kinds of surprises than you’d expect in the regular workplace. So as you’re saying bye to corporate life, here are some recommendations from the pros on solo-life. (Note, I’m sure I’ll be writing more on this topic in the future, but let’s get to the high-level, birds-eye, drive-by kind of approach, first.)
- Start now. You’re working full-time, you’re sleeping very little, and you can’t even function. Keep going. Starting a company is even harder than the corporate life because there are no decisions “above your pay grade”, so start getting comfortable with moving everything, all the time. That sounds scary, but it’s also good to hit the ground running before you even quit your day job. A tip from Dave Ramsey on side projects is if you’re making 50% in your nights and weekends of what you need to live off, go ahead and make the leap. Just think about how quickly you should meet your previous salary by using your days, too!
- Learn everything you can. The internet is a beautiful place filled with topics that you can educate yourself in. Leverage it, but also, leverage your network. You don’t have to share your idea, but you can start reaching out to people who understand things better than you do. Buy them a cup of coffee and talk about how they function in their day-to-day life, ask specific questions, get nerdy with it.
- Go see a doctor. No, seriously. Your health insurance is probably great right now. Way better than whatever you’re about to be paying for. So, go get all those check-ups in. Seriously.
- Build your council. You’re going to be working alone, or with a team, and being at the top can be a lonely place. Consider building a network of people who have similar experiences, and you can ask them about how they handle situations that are new to you. You just may find yourself incorporating some old corporate policies into your day-to-day to keep things moving.
- Find your flow. Figure out how you work best, and create a conducive environment. No one is stopping you. Maybe you just love working in PJs at 1am. Perfect. You may need to spend some daylight hours meeting with future investors, but, you can finagle that.