Today’s start-up culture isn’t just about bringing a great idea to market in hopes of a massive payday. Even if it’s not your brilliant idea but you’re looking to get your foot in the door early with any start-up, there are a few things you need to prepare yourself for.
You will probably get paid, perhaps even an average amount, but you’re going to earn every dime of it. You’re going to earn it by putting in hours while at the office. You’re going to earn it by putting in extra hours at home after your family has gone to bed. You’re going to spend a lot of time staring at a screen, literally eight hours a day going through a plethora of emails, spreadsheets, websites that may or may not be meaningful , and you’ll spend hours on the phone listening to strangers tell you why you need them or the other way around. If you’re a Partner or a Founder you might be asked to skip getting paid for a cycle or two if your business is in a financial crunch or still awaiting an injection of additional capital, I’ve seen it happen more than once.
Your thoughts will become your obsession. To quote a good friend, Steve Southin, developer of the super innovative automotive product Bumper by Dashboard…”Finding success today is more difficult to achieve than it once was, only because in today’s world you need to discover how to be truly original while not being original at all. Wiring your brain to understand this takes practice”. You will learn to work through the impossible or the “can’t be done”. After you have overcome the impossible, future impossibilities become a meaningless non factor.
You’ll Work Weekends even when you’re not. Whether you decide to work the weekend or not, you will still work. Your work may come in the form of a quick stop at Staples to pick up some office supplies that you know you’re going to need on Monday morning. You might be heading to an airport on your Sunday “off” to catch a flight that will get you to your Monday meeting on the other side of the country. Your iPhone may ring incessantly to notify you every time a new customer registers for your services via your website. Your boss may call you to discuss an upcoming initiative. The list is endless…so is the work.
The glamour of travel quickly disappears. Travel will pretty much consist of the typical herding at the airport security line. A long and uneventful flight followed by a taxi ride to your middle of the road hotel with just enough time for a bite to eat and a shower. You then walk across the street to your meetings or conference where you will remain until your mission is complete and you then return to the same airport to get the hell out of Dodge. If you’re lucky you will get the bulkhead seat that you requested when you booked your flight online.
You will think twice before expensing it. When you have skin in the game, you will think of money differently than you did as an employee. I’ve enjoyed the luxury of working for large corporate entities armed with a generous expense account requiring very little accountability on my part, while it’s nice to live high on the hog, it’s with a very different perspective that you view such a thing when you’re counting on every incoming dime to preserve your longevity in hopes of getting your business to the finish line. The supplies you bought, or that mileage you didn’t claim, the costs of keep your home office running or the meal you bought for a coworker are all things that you may choose to just keep to yourself in hopes that it will get you to your objective faster or with less investment money.
Having made it through this list of items that downplay the appeal of a career with a start-up, it is most important to mention that with every single point mentioned there are numerous benefits and upside to every one of them. If you want to have a measurable impact on your career and your business’s bottom line, a start-up is a great place to do it. If you have an entrepreneurial drive that you’re itching to scratch a start-up is for you. If you thrive on taking complete ownership for your positive and negative decisions, a start-up is definitely for you.
Here at Lead Assign we are faced with the challenges and the wins that keep any start-up going. I love being in the position of seeing revenue grow. I love working with a team that is lean and mean with the ability to produce more than what such a small team should be capable of creating so quickly. For me the opportunity is really what stokes and keeps the fire burning. It’s easy to believe in something that you are so heavily invested in, be it, financially, work ethic or emotional buy in. I am fully confident that Lead Assign is making a best in class product while being driven by exceptional talent. The competition has no chanceagainst us. With what we believe in, along with some hard work, and a bit of well placed luck, I expect Lead Assign to be at the top of the heap in no time with all of the spoils that go along with it. In the meantime we shall continue to compete.
Director of Sales and Marketing, www.leadassign.com