This is the conclusion of my narrative through various types of entrepreneurial roles and environments during fifteen years up until now. I hope you’ll be able to gleam some insights through this plethora of perspectives on life in business! (Here’s Part 1 and Part 2)
While building my “small scalable business” I had to look for other ways to complement my income, and that eventually got me into situations where I was given room to play with my collected business learnings and inspirations and create some cool results…
Putting the pieces together – redefining, refining
Business development consulting
I did a gig in an IT consultant firm that sold off-shore development to domestic customers, and I had the opportunity to build a sales organization ground up. From acquiring customers myself to hiring a small sales team, building a culture and an incentive model, to working with the overall methodology/strategy and even being a proxy between the developers and customers, I picked up some keys to delivering quality as a complex tech solutions provider. Entrepreneurial aspect: No matter the complexity of your product or service, at the ultimate end point it still needs to be about accessibility and ease of use. And however wide the cultural gap is within your team, you can and should always build an overarching culture that create ties between physical distances as well as different functions (like sales/marketing vs devs…).
I eventually took a step back from the operations of my small business after realizing it would need more resources than I could gather for it to deliver the quality I was after. The Bar-deli idea had gained some measure of traction and market validation, but it would (and will) have to wait until I could work out a viable business plan. When I released myself from that, I felt a huge relief and then a rush of unleashed creativity. I sat down to sketch out eighteen business ideas that I had carried in the back of my mind, and I realized how my strengths were all about attacking many problems from many different angles. I had caught myself in a myopic pattern – and those days were over. From that point I found some scattered sources of sustenance – small-time freelance gigs – while I gave myself time to polish my ideas and concepts, bouncing them off friends and networking connections. I felt more free than I had felt in a long time. Entrepreneurial aspects: Kill your darlings. Know your strengths, if you find yourself having banged your head against the “wrong” wall – gather your losses, pick yourself up and move on. If your strength is conceptual/visionary, make sure to give yourself space to return to the source of your inspiration. And then go out there and rock it again.
Startup early employee
There I was, drifting around with all my creative juices flowing and no particular direction to aim them at for the moment. It was a good state to be in, but I knew it – and all the minor initiatives around me – was just a precursor to whatever big project would come next. And then came the chance for me to do a time-limited gig at a newly-launched tech startup that I knew well from the entrepreneurial community here. I started working at Memoto in the end of October just as their Kickstarter campaign had picked up speed, and it just so happened that this consultant gig (doing social media support) would transform into an employee role where I started to look at internal processes, communication systems and getting involved in plans for business development in a very exciting pre-launch phase of a promising company, together with a group of people who have all the talent and passion to change the world that I could dream of. It’s where I expect I’ll work and do awesome things for the foreseeable future, and that journey has just begun… Entrepreneurial aspect: “Patience, my young padawan. You’ll get to the place you need to be, in due time.”
That’s it folks – the journey until now. I’ll most likely revisit and flesh out this 3-part series down the road. Hope you’ve learned something so far, or even gained inspiration or unlocked new ideas of your own! Please share – what experiences turned YOU into the entrepreneur you are today?