Ah, great exercise. What I learned today is that as much as I want to do everything, and do it as quickly as possible, I can’t. Things take time. Sounds like I’m pointing out the obvious (and I am in a way), but my drive pushes me to be the best junior executive at work, best student, best idea developer, and best coder/hacker all at the same time. I want to do all those things, but I need to adjust my time lines and prioritize more effectively.
It’s a long overdue update. For those of you that have dropped me a note, thank you for staying tuned in, even if it appeared like the channel was broadcasting the “ant race” screen.
So, as most of you know, the objective of this site was to document my adventure as I leave my successful career and pursue my passion of entrepreneurship. The objective of this site has not changed. What has changed is my time constraints.
Entrepreneurship does not lend itself to a vast amount of free time. When you add in a career that still demands (and until I decide to formally give notice, deserves) a great deal of attention, and graduate level studies, I simply haven’t had the time I wish I did to update everyone. For tonight, I’m taking a break - no reading, no work, no email. Just some relaxing television and a quick update here at The First Adventure.
Work: Work is good. This is a very demanding time and I still invest a great deal of thought into thinking about how to improve the business. I have the flexibility to run the office I am in as if I owned it, so I have a responsibility to act as if I do. So, achieving annual objectives, improving the team dynamics and culture, and maintaining a strong relationship with both employees and superiors is the primary focus while I am there. Everything is still on track on this front though: giving notice early next year and preparing finances for the new venture.
School: School is tough. If I had it to do over again, I’d probably take just one course and most certainly not do it online. Graduate studies have a lot of group work. This is not conducive to an online environment in my opinion. People do not know each other and thus, don’t fully apply themselves; the entire group is never fully on the same page; and communication limited to typing lend themselves to miscommunications and the necessity to spend a lot of time explaining. I also find it nearly impossible to network when doing classes online. It is all well and good when the teachers are venture capitalists and entrepreneurs, but when you never talk to them personally this seems rather irrelevant. School, unfortunately at this point, is consuming the lion’s share of my time. Wish I hadn’t set it up in the way I did, but already halfway through a semester and will have the opportunity to correct the course. On the upside, the content for the degree I am pursuing (Master’s in Innovation and Entrepreneurship) is entirely relevant to the mission, so time is not entirely lost here.
Entrepreneurship: Full speed ahead here! A wise friend told me that once my antenna was up, opportunities would start to present themselves. So, where I was unsure as to what direction I wanted to go a couple months ago, I have two very clear business opportunities I am currently pursuing. Both are very different. Right now I am developing a concept plan for both businesses - not quite a full blow business plan, but a ten-pager that gives an overview of what the business is. Much more to come here.
Bottom line: The plan is in action and moving forward. As you can see though, my time is very limited to post up here. I’m adding an app to my new phone that I hope will give me the opportunity to post up from that, but forewarning, the posts are likely to get shorter, but let’s hope a little more routine.
I have to admit that I was a little skeptical about what benefit formal education of entrepreneurship could offer. From my experience, entrepreneurship has been a “eureka!” moment followed by intense research, late hours working, very little sleep, and using the strength of intuition to take that idea to a given market. I’ve applied that same “gut instinct” to business development on my own as well as within a corporation. With so much of it coming from within - intuition, gut feelings, persistence, determination - how much could I really learn in a classroom?
A lot it seems.
I’ve posted plenty about my plan to embark on a journey of leaving my six figure job and pursue entrepreneurship full-time. As you may have already read on the “Who I Am" and "What This Is" pages, I have a fairly detailed disengagement plan from my current job and am simultaneously embarking on a journey to prepare myself for entrepreneurship. This website is part of that journey and a way to ensure I stay focused while sharing as much as possible for other entrepreneurs (or potential entrepreneurs).
There are a number of great resources that aspiring entrepreneurs can use to consistently find valuable information. Here are some that I’ve found, and please comment with others you use as “go to” sources for thought provoking information.
The most recent chapter of Founders at Work was very especially interesting. The chapter was the interview with Arthur van Hoff, cofounder of Marimba as well as Strangeberry. Some of the quotes from van Hoff I wanted to share with you.
Have you ever had a book that just seemed to take far longer to finish than you expected? I’ve experienced this with the book that I’ve promised to have finished by now, Founders at Work. It’s not finished yet. While it sounds critical, it really isn’t. In fact, it’s a compliment. This is a book that I’m reading thoroughly and taking notes on. It really is fascinating to get inside the minds of entrepreneurs that have lived the dream (more than once in some cases). So, thank you for your patience on a full review on that as it may take another week or two to get through.
In the interim, and as a person that needs to feel like I’m meeting short-term benchmarks, I was able to pretty quickly read through E-Myth Revisited. This was a good read. The primary points I pulled from this are:
Everyone knows that one reason you go to work and do what you do is the hope that ultimately you’ll be compensated. But you don’t have to say it, and it doesn’t have to come through. It should be about the mission. It should be about changing the world. It should be about how you can impact the lives of users, partners, and the employees themselves. It’s not just about this big payday. The more you focus on the things that matter when you are talking to people who want to believe in you, the more they will believe in you and the more it will be a sustainable entity.
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