A Guide for Transitioning from Employment to Self-Employment
Over 9 years ago, I got bitten by the entrepreneurship bug, the skies opened wide and high, the choirs sang, double rainbow colours shone and hooray the eureka moment dawned on me that it was time I did something different in my life. Touch this, touch that and there I was; the first venture failed terribly amidst some scattered successes. It didn’t take long before I decided to give it a second shot. Hit this, hit that and again it all failed, again with a few fragmented success. It’s amazing the number of CIOs who think about going solo but have no idea on where to start and how to commence the entire process. Almost a decade later, I decided to reflect on what it takes to transition from being employed to being self-employed and a few points came to mind:
- There’s never a perfect moment. Many a times, people talk of waiting for the perfect moment before they can venture out. There’s never been a perfect moment, and it’s up to you to make the moment perfect
- Conceive it, Believe it and you will achieve it. Conceiving the idea is just one thing, but believing in the Idea is a another ball game all together. If you don’t really believe in the idea, time will tell and soon you will either be looking for a full time job and moaning on how the environment is difficult. You have to believe and live the idea daily without being swayed
- Entrepreneurship is never for the faint hearted. A good friend of mine who runs quite a successful Tech enterprise reminds me almost daily that entrepreneurship has never been for the faint hearted. If you are the type to pant and panic half way, then forget it!
- Surround yourself with the right partners. It’s critical you surround yourself with the right partners, especially at the founders level. This is usually the first point of failure and if not tackled well, often than not, the boat starts capsizing
- Build networks early enough. Start building your networks early enough, rather than starting to build them when you in the field
- Indecision is the thief of opportunity. Being decisive and precise on what you want and how you want it done is critical, or else you will forever be in the path of indecisiveness without a clear path of what you really want
- Build a strong network of trusted friends and colleagues that you can frequently consult; especially people who’ve walked the path, being wounded, done it all and finally emerged successful. Often than not, you might find yourself having not more than two of these caliber of friends
- Have the end in mind and don’t be over obsessed with the means. An agile school of thought teaches one on the need to keep focused on the end price without being overly domineered by a set pack of means. That ability to flexibility adjust without losing focus is critical
- Believe in yourself. If you don’t believe in yourself, who will?
- Finally set your compass and direction right by documenting your story, by formulating a robust and solid business plan. A boring and daunting task, but has to be done.