Next Step

As an undergraduate student who is about to graduate, I am full of questions. The majority of these questions directly relate to the next stage of my life. What should I do next, work for someone else or venture out on my own in hopes of hitting a home run early in life? This is a question I have asked myself, professors, and entrepreneurs who have shared success along with failures. In asking this question I have found no one person has the same answer, some advise working for a while to gain knowledge and experience while others say to go for it right out of the gate because I have nothing to lose. Another important and ambiguous question I am constantly myself and others, what are the most important traits for a future entrepreneur to have and how do you sharpen these traits? Knowing there is no one right answer to either one of these questions, through reading and speaking with many helpful individuals I believe I have narrowed down the answers particular to myself and am headed in the right direction.

Although I am not yet a successful entrepreneur, through speaking with other entrepreneurs and studying successful entrepreneurs I have come up with 3 traits that are to me most important to success as an entrepreneur. 1st is the ability to pivot. As an entrepreneur you constantly face change and adversity, and if you do not have the ability to change direction you will fail as an entrepreneur. 2nd is tenacity. Tenacity as defined on othersideofthetable.com is the unwillingness to give up. Just like the ability to pivot tenacity is very important, you will constantly be knocked down and you must have to ability to constantly get up and keep going! 3rd attention to detail. As an entrepreneur knowing your market and focusing on detail is essential to success, if you do not know your market inside and out a competitor will and they will out produce you.

Like most people today I am driven by the possibility of making good money and living a lifestyle I perceive to be fit by my standards. Striving to make money can be a great motivator for some people but it can also potentially blind people as they look for work. After reading many article in a series Start-up Advice and one in particular I have come up with a question to ask myself when looking for jobs or deciding to venture out on my own. Is it time for me to earn or learn? I have always seen future jobs as solely a way to earn money and never really seen them as a genuine learning experience that could have major financial dividends in the future. “Not every job is supposed to be your big break. It’s OK for that to be your job “learn””. This simple idea really made me think and lead me to the realization that not every job I work or take should be based completely on money. With this learning approach I image I would look at work in a completely different as compared to if I was there just to make money. So personally speaking I am planning on focusing on learning at my first couple of jobs with less focus on monetary values. As a result I plan on gaining knowledge in not only the industry I work in but knowledge of myself, my capabilities and what I truly want out of my career. After my learning stage I plan on jumping into the earnings stage fast and fearlessly. “If you really want to earn you will need to be in the top 3–4 of the company.” Outside of sales roles this is statement I recognize and agree with, and in the future will remember. If I get to the point where I believe it is my time to be in the top 3–4 in a company and it does not turn out that way, to me that will be the sign for me to take a risk and be the founder of my own venture.

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