Learnings From Six Months in the Sandbox

Sandbox Advisors is almost 6 months old, woot!

My friend Ivan recently asked me about the top 3 lessons I’ve learned about entrepreneurship during our first 6 months. He is starting his own venture and was looking for wisdom from a seasoned pro (ha, kidding!). But the question did make me pause and think. What were my biggest learnings from the past 6 months? After some reflection, this is what I relayed to him.

  1. Everything takes longer than expected: There are plans and then there is reality. No matter how much planning and roadmapping is done, situations will invariably come up. Some of these situations are because of you and some of them are completely independent of you and yet, still cause delays to your plans. But it’s okay. It’s better to learn this early on and be prepared for the unexpected rather than stress out about missed deadlines. Always account for and factor in buffer time and always have a plan B.
  2. Learning something new everyday: For a first-time entrepreneur, everything is new. From creating the company to setting up operations to pitching the business, I am doing tasks for the first time ever every single day. It’s vastly different than working as an employee where you spend the first 1–3 months learning how to do your job and then just doing it. Entrepreneurship requires leaving your comfort zone on a daily basis. A friend compared it to the art of traveling — seeing and experiencing something new that stirs your senses everyday. This journey is similarly exhilarating, inspiring, and exhausting.
  3. The practice of having no excuses: Accountability is everything for a founder. I learned early on that it doesn’t matter if you’re tired or overbooked or in a bad mood, the work still needs to get done. And there are no excuses for not getting it done. Creating a work/life balance is crucial but best believe if I have plans and a fire drill comes up, I’m either cancelling or working late nights and early mornings to make up for it. There is no other option.

Thanks Ivan, for the great question. It’s always nice to look back and see growth, even in the short 6 months. It was also a great way to reflect and check-in on both my personal and Sandbox’s progress and make sure we’re heading towards our vision and goals.

Full disclosure: Sandbox Advisors has been helping Ivan and Joanne out with their project, Locus Labs, a maker lab and coworking space in Newark. Their vision is to provide the necessary space, equipment, and teachings for the Newark community to create, make, and self-express. We are very excited to work with them and see what they learn along the way!

-Sandbox Advisors