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Going from corporate to entrepreneur - what helps and hurts you

Join us for this bonus series from The Ready Yet?! Podcast that’ll give you quick tips and tools to help your business move forward.


Hi! I’m Erin Marcus, founder and CEO of Conquer Your Business. Welcome to the 10 Minutes to Conquer series of the Ready Yet?! podcast. I’m excited to bring you quick tips and tools that will help you know what to do to move your business forward and who you need to be to do it.

Hello and welcome to this special episode of the Ready Yet?! podcast. So, I don’t know if you know this about me, but I come out of corporate. I had a very good corporate career. I had an amazing job. I worked with people that I loved. And when I left that behind to go into the entrepreneurial world, this is what I thought. I’m smart, I’m good at my job. I’ve gotten raises, I’ve gotten promotions, I’ve gotten accolades. Certainly, once I get out there on my own, things will go just as wonderfully well for me as they did during my career. But the truth, the ugly, ugly truth that I discovered and had to overcome was part of being successful in corporate is really about doing a great job on a very narrow path that somebody else actually laid out. And once you’re out into the world of entrepreneurship, the bumpers are out of the gutters. The path doesn’t exist. And truthfully, more often than not, the wheels come off the bus. 

So, I want to take a minute today and talk to you about two things that your corporate experience will just kill you as an entrepreneur and two things you can take out of your corporate experience that you have to remember and go back to because they can actually serve you quite, quite well. 

So, number one, you want to remember that most companies, most large companies are very risk adverse, very risk adverse. The whole theme is keep me off of the front page of the paper for a bad idea, for a bad reason, right? They’re very risk adverse. In the entrepreneurial world, almost everything we do is about taking risks. And sure, there’s things you can do to mitigate those risks, but it’s a very different world and you have to get comfortable with taking risks in your small business that a large company, truthfully would never take.

The second thing that happens in large companies that kill entrepreneurs is how slow they are to go from ideation to market. Most large companies have a research and development team. They might go for a year, two years, three years on coming up with what their next initiative is, and then they have meeting after meeting, after meeting to put it together, make sure it’s perfect or as close as they can get to it, and then go to market. In the entrepreneurial world, we do not have time or resources truthfully to do things that way. In the entrepreneurial world, the marketplace is where you do your research and development. So, getting ready to be ready to get ready to do a thing, all that does is delay any progress you’re going to be able to make. What you want to do is vet your offer, test your offer in the marketplace, and then use the feedback from whether or not people made the purchase, and what they tell you about what your offer is like, and what working with you is like, and what your service is like to make the adjustments and the tweaks.

The good news is the entrepreneurial world is much more nimble than corporate, which is why we can use the marketplace to test our ideas. So, those are two things to look out for as you move from corporate or a job to the entrepreneurial world. But what are two things that can actually help you?

 Number one, hands down is work ethic. You are used to working 5, 6 days a week, 7, 8, 9 hours a day. And I’m not telling you, you have to work 80 hours a week in order to be successful. I promise that you don’t truthfully, but the work ethic that comes out of corporate, meaning that you know how to make a schedule and you know how to stick to it, will help you immensely in the entrepreneurial world because there’s just so many things you can be doing. That ability to make a schedule and use that schedule will come in very, very handy.

And the second thing I see that corporate teaches us that is imperative in the entrepreneur world if you’re going to be successful is delegation. Delegation. Too many entrepreneurs cap their income, cap their growth, stifle their company because they think they have to be the one to do everything. In a large company, in my company, I was in marketing and business development. It would’ve never even occurred to me that I should go to the other side of the building and offer to work on the website. Sounds ridiculous when I say it that way, right? Or that I should go to another floor in the building and say, “Here, let me be the bookkeeper for today.” But that’s what entrepreneurs do over and over and over again. And yeah, in the beginning, there’s a lot of hats you have to wear, but remembering that delegation and that people have different skill sets and don’t spend a long, long, long time to do a very bad job at what somebody else could spend a short time to do a great job as. So, delegation to the experts in the different fields will only help you move forward faster.

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Erin Marcus

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Erin Marcus is an author, speaker and communications specialist helping organizations to “Conquer the Conversation,” and creating improvement in sales, customer service and team dynamics. To bring Erin to your event or business:

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