Do you know what “pre-entrepreneurship” means?
Very simply, it’s that period of time before you start your own business, according to Rob May, the BusinessPundit. He says use that time wisely.
He advocates something quite practical that millions of aspiring entrepreneurs are doing today. He suggests you should work a few years in a large company — all the while using that time wisely to learn and develop a foundation to be a successful business owner. BusinessPundit writes:
“What do you do pre-entrepreneurship? Most of you probably work a full-time job. I am a big fan of working a few years at a large company because you get the chance to learn some valuable things about process, procedures, and other ideas that you may need someday when your company grows. But be careful, don’t stay so long that you get twisted and think the corporate way to do things is the only way.
You probably have some free time while working a regular job, so use it wisely. Turn off the tv and spend your evenings to prepare for your entrepreneurial future and you will significantly increase your chances of success. Here are the top ten things I either did, or wish I had done, before I started my first business.”
Among his top ten are such practical pointers as “save money” (you will need it during the lean times of your startup), “network, but do it wisely” (don’t get caught up in someone’s dumb idea), and “study financial statements” (yes, it’s a bore but you need to know that stuff to run a business).
This is eminently practical advice. Entrepreneurship is about doing. Sometimes doing means laying the foundation first.
One of the biggest problems I have seen with startup entrepreneurs is underestimating how much time it takes to get a business off the ground. Too many entrepreneurs run out of cash and have to abandon their entrepreneurial dream and get a job instead. They will never know if their business could have been a success, because their dream gets cut short.
That’s why I also encourage entrepreneurs to start side businesses while still employed full-time (assuming it does not violate a no-moonlighting policy of their employer). It’s hard to make yourself stick with a startup when you are getting a regular paycheck and are flush with cash. Oh, how easy it is to say “I don’t need this hassle in my life, let me just sit down and read a book.” But that’s exactly when you have the most luxury to start a business — when you have a steady paycheck coming in and don’t need the money from the business to live on. If you can find the enthusiasm to stick with a startup business even when you are employed, you will likely stick with the business through thick and thin.