Start From a Solid Base
They say that a downturn in the economy is one of the best times to start a business. Tough times force smart entrepreneurs to be lean, to make creative decisions to make due with what they have. Tough times prevent companies from being overfed with capital, and spending that money on people they don’t need and $1000 office chairs to sit them in. – see Bubble, DotCom.
Another symptom of the downturn is that big companies start pinching pennies, and employees start reading articles like this one and think “Oh boy, I can leave my job where they only gave us a 1% raise and make millions on a startup.” Doesn’t work that way. If you’re running away from your old job, just stop. The grass isn’t always greener, and the bills don’t go away just because you think you came up with the next social networking phenomenon (“But it’s like Facebook, for dogs…or backcountry skiers!”).
Make sure when you jump into the new business, that you’re doing it for the right reasons, and not out of emotional desperation*. Don’t rush into it with the thought that starting a company will fix all of your problems. If your work-life balance sucks now, believe me, it’ll suck worse. If you’re out of shape and can’t seem to find time to get to the gym, well, it doesn’t get easier. That doesn’t even begin to take into account things like personal relationships or mental health.
*Desperation in itself isn’t bad, in fact it’s downright motivating, but when you’re desperate and overly emotional, you start making decisions from the wrong places, and when every decision counts, that’s not the place to be.
In reference to the manic-depressive, entrepreneurship roller coaster that Tim Ferriss describes in this eerily accurate post, it’s a scary, gut-wrenching ride.
Do yourself a favor. Before you get on, give that roller-coaster the strongest (mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual) base you can. You’re going to need it.