JOIN A STARTUP! – I’ve recently updated our jobs page

Updated job openings!

Please do find our updated list of job openings in our startup network!

You can click on the link at the menu above or just click here. 

You can contact either me (at peter@juangreatleap.com) or Angeli (angeli@stormrewards.ph) for queries or to send your resume.

The Software Guru tells the Real Story: On Startups, Bankruptcy, and Attitude (Part 1 of the Joey Gurango Series)

I remember texting Peter right after my interview with Joey Gurango, which was just days before Startups Unplugged. In my text, I asked Peter about what he thought about posting an uncut version of Joey’s interview on JGL. The reason for my suggestion was that after my interview with Joey, I was completely taken aback by the incredible knowledge that he was sharing with me; even though I wasn’t a techie, Joey’s stories resonated with me and schooled the heck out of me. Everything Joey shared with me just seemed so important, so I wanted to post everything that he said. While I must admit, I’ve omitted some parts of the conversation to be practical, this is still a very raw version of what Joey shared with me. I hope this piece will allow Joey’s stories and insights to speak for itself. The other portions of his story will be coming soon! In the meantime, sit tight and allow the sublime to take its course.

Joey Gurango of Gurango Software
Joey Gurango of Gurango Software

When did you start and why? 

Joey: My first business was in 1981. I was at the University of Washington and I did a pizza delivery business. Out of necessity, I figured that most college kids living in dorms were too lazy to go down to the pizza place to get their own pizza, so I just setup a phone and gave out fliers. Then, I waited for people to call me and ask for an order. I had Dominos, Godfather’s, and Pizza Hut menus and they [the customers] would call and tell me what they wanted. I’d put a 15% surcharge on whatever they ordered, but I would get their money first (Joey chuckles). The pizza delivery business was actually my first real business. My first real tech business was in 1984. I had worked for apple computer for a little over 2 years. The Macintosh just launched, and I got this idea to make something called desktop furniture for the Macintosh. So with that I started a company with some money because back then it was really expensive to build injection mold products by the mold. Everything was going great…and then in 18 months we went bankrupt, so that was my first experience.

Why’d you guys go bankrupt?

Joey: ‘Cos we spent more than we made. Real simple. We were making a lot of money. I think the first 6 months, we had over $1 million in revenue. But then the next 6 months, it didn’t quite reach a million dollars. Then after that, I decided that I didn’t want to be in hardware anymore. I started my first software company… that was 1987…Match Data Systems. I started that doing excel custom programming. In 1991, I decided to move the company back here [Philippines]. By then Windows had come out, so we moved from Macintosh to Windows. We were one of the first, as far as I know in Asia, that were doing Windows development work. One thing led to another. In 1999, by then we kind of branched out into ERP software, a company called Great Plains software acquired us, so we become Great Plains Philippines. Two years later, Microsoft acquired Great Plains, so I become a Microsoft employee. Then, I stayed with Microsoft for two years in 2001. I’ve basically had three jobs in my life. My first job was with Apple computer. My second job was with a training company for less than year. My third job was with Microsoft. Then I started my first software company and haven’t really worked for anybody else, until my company was acquired, so technically I was working for a multinational company, but it never really felt that way, which is why I left.

Why did you move back to the Philippines?

Joey: My first company did custom software development. First for the Macintosh. We did a lot of excel work…a lot of data base programming for the mac. The problem was, since we were doing a lot of excel work, I would train these fresh grads on developing for the graphic leisure interface, and then because Microsoft was really heavy into doing Windows development back then, they kept hiring them away from me. Microsoft would give them double the pay. I was getting frustrated because we were losing programmers in the US. Our office was literally a 5 minute drive away from Microsoft headquarters. At the time, my brother was visiting the States from the Philippines. He says, “You know we have programmers in the Philippines?” “Really? Do you even have PCs there [in the Philippines]?” I said. He replied, “Oh yeah! We have dBase programmers.” So that’s when the idea struck me that I could have the company in the Philippines and continue servicing my US customers. And it would be cheaper, and I wouldn’t have to worry about losing these guys because nobody else would hire them because we were doing stuff that nobody else was doing. That’s why I came back. We were doing offshore outsourcing before it was even a term.

What experiences or skills from abroad did you find most valuable for starting up in the Philippines? 

Joey: The one thing I’d say it’s not really a skill or experience, but more of an attitude. Through the years I’ve realized that the only difference, in general, between people in the countries like the US and here, when it comes to things like business and startups, is not knowledge, skills, IQ or EQ, but the big different shader is the willingness to risk and face failure. In the US, it’s not a big deal if you’ve started a company or even failed for that matter. My first real company went bankrupt after 18 months. We raised $250,000 in investor funds to start that company and in 18 months it was all gone. We never gave the investors back a single cent. Nobody was coming after to me trying to have me assassinated. There’s no shame in it. There’s no social stigma with that type of failure in the US. If I were to say what was the most helpful thing was to bring that mentality over here. Compared to most of the local technical guys, I was pretty fearless. I was willing to buy stuff that nobody else would consider. However, I’ve come to learn that taking the entrepreneurial path is not that risky. If you do it in the right way –like all the things I’ve learned just in the last five years- if you know how to do business modeling, practice lean startup and customer discovery, test and validate assumptions, it can be quite low-risk. It’s still not as low-risk as getting a job and a consistent paycheck, but it can get pretty close. I think if I knew what I knew today, it [the business] wouldn’t have gone bankrupt, but I would have shut it down a lot sooner. Now I can say that it’s not really that risky to be an entrepreneur, if you know how to do it right.

5 Things I’ve Learned from Startups Unplugged

I’ve been trying to push myself to blog Post Startups Unplugged, and share all the instances of serendipity that truly made this miracle happen. However, I thought that it would be more effective if I were to cut to the chase about what I actually learned from it all. Here it goes! These are the 5 things that I’ve learned from Startups Unplugged:

Ask and you shall receive.

I had no shame in asking sponsors to join Startups Unplugged. This is how I usually got in contact with a sponsor:

A kind individual would give me a business card of XYZ individual from XYZ organization, and I’d literally call that person on the spot, even it if was the direct line of the CEO. It might sound too crazy or too bold, but it was a highly effective approach; about 80% of the sponsors that I talked to agreed to sponsoring the event.

Don’t get me wrong, I know that I had a sweet pitch for sponsors because of the incredibly awesome line-up of entrepreneurs that graced us with their presence for Startups Unplugged. The point I’m trying to convey in sharing this experience is to highlight that the simple act of asking makes all the difference in whatever you do. Making that conscious effort to ask is the catalyst to making deals happen.

Set your mind to work with purpose.

As with all startup journeys that start without any capital, it has been a rough and bumpy road. Moreover, as an inexperienced junior entrepreneur, I felt like there were things that I just didn’t think of or understand. I told myself if all else failed in my move to the Philippines, the one thing that I was determined to do was make this event happen. Because I had this mindset, I was able to do things outside of my usual self.

Facebook Ads Work.

On average we would get about 200 views for posts on our FB page. When Peter paid for promotion on FB, the views shot up to as high as 10,000 views. While it’s a big bummer that non-paid posts spark limited visibility, paying a little extra to promote does make a huge difference.

Evenbrite is an awesome tool for event registration! 

I recall getting into a heated discussion with Peter after his recommendation to use Evenbrite for JGL’s Open Coffee. Using a type of registration, in which participants would print-out tickets to attend a coffee chat, just didn’t make sense to me. Eventually, I realized I was wrong about it (Sorry Peter 🙂 )

Eventbrite makes it really easy for event organizers to keep track of attendees. In addition, it allows them to easily communicate with attendees and send attendees updates about the event and post-event activities. Eventbrite is truly a dynamic tool that makes event registration clean, simple, and easy.

Don’t Do it Alone! 

As tempting as it is to play the role of superman, don’t do it!  When there is a strong purpose or cause to what you are doing, people will gravitate towards you. Be open to people’s help and goodwill, and build together!

 

Justice League by DC Comics
Justice League by DC Comics

The crucial art of finding business partners

I’ve written about this matter extensively in this blog – I can’t over-emphasize how important finding the right partner is. In fact, I think I can say that for my case, this factor has been THE biggest factor determining a startup’s success or failure.

I recently wrote an article for homegrown.ph summarizing what I think are the most important items to consider. Do check it out here. 

Start, UNPLUGGED!

Tech Portal, UP-AyalaLand Technohub, Venue for Startups Unplugged
Tech Portal, UP-AyalaLand Technohub, Venue for Startups Unplugged

One of my favorite things about blogging on Juan Great Leap is that I get to document my entrepreneurial journey without much apprehension. The cathartic experience that comes from sharing, as a crazy individual who is just starting in the Philippines, enables me to embrace the fear monster.

From my first Open Coffee to witnessing the art of sharing at living hope, I’m starting to realize why Peter calls Juan Great Leap his gift; there is great reward in giving and sharing for all.

With Startups Unplugged coming up next week, I’d like to share what this event means to me and what I hope to give back to it.

What does Startups Unplugged mean to me? 

Three months ago, I was blurting out ideas to my office mate, Suzie of Searchlight, like a mad scientist at work. I was throwing so many random ideas at her in hopes of finding the right name for this event that would feature an array of entrepreneurs from different fields, and various stages in their personal startup journey. I had to get the name just right to embody what was being communicated to me for its vision.

The idea for the Juan Great Leap event was described to me as a moment that would be much more personal than the typical conference setting. This big event would create a space for attendees to approach entrepreneurs in a more intimate setting, in which they would be encouraged to ask questions to entrepreneurs, and get up, close, and personal with them.

The simplicity of the idea and the intimate space that was being articulated to me triggered imagery from MTV’s Unplugged Sessions, in which artists would get a little more personal with their fans by sharing their music to smaller groups. While the artists still engaged in a performance, they went unplugged- acoustic. The spectacle of the performance was somewhat removed from the presentation of their work to create a moment more raw.

MTV Unplugged 2.0 Episode on November 18, 2001
MTV Unplugged 2.0 Episode on November 18, 2001,
Courtesy of Wikipedia

Now that you know where the inspiration for Startups Unplugged comes from, I’d like to share my own “unplugged” moment in opening up to you about Startups Unplugged.

The metaphor of unplugged tugs at my inner core. As a would-be entrepreneur trying to start up, I know that there’s a lot of pressure for entrepreneurs to present to their audiences in a superhuman fashion.

One personal fear that I am confronted with when I open up to people is knowing that the vulnerabilities that I expose to them may evoke feelings of disbelief and doubt. In contrast, the most vulnerable moments shared can also be the most moving. The movement of the spirit that captures your heart and moves your soul can lead to action, if you allow it to do so.

These are such romantic ideas, I know, and I’m not saying that every moment shared in Startups Unplugged is going to be this deep personal sharing, but think about the possibility of just starting a simple, yet real conversation with leaders and feeders in the startup community.

It’s precisely what I’m attempting to do with you, the reader, in this blog entry. I seek to share a real moment by opening up to you, as so many strangers that I have met -in my strong attempt to get this event off the ground- have done for me. The interactions I have with them keep me moving, in the midst of all the doubt and stumbling blocks that I continue to face.

I’m trying to move you to see Startups Unplugged for what it is to me and what it is for you.

What can Startups Unplugged do for the community?

With the immense support of gracious partners and sponsors, we’re throwing this event for free, as passionate volunteers. I guess that’s why I’m writing in such an airy tone because doing something for free somewhat forces you to realize why you’re being moved as part of  a larger community with a shared goal.

As you witness Startups Unplugged, open your mind to the possibility of where the conversation can take you and the community.

JGL Open Coffee
JGL Open Coffee

For the leaders, the entrepreneurs, in the startup scene, realize the potential in working together, as a startup community, in which you share your gifts and passions. Collaboration will only strengthen you and your enterprise.

For the feeders, everyone else, understand your role in nurturing entrepreneurship for the Philippines and the significance of it to the larger development of this country, for yourself and for Juan.

If you’re unsure of where you fall in the startup community, do not despair. I invite you to participate. It’s a great network to be exposed to. I encourage you to share and be open to receiving. In the end, I’m sure you’ll end up giving too in your own way and own time.

Startups Unplugged means a lot to me. In a way, I see it as my first real contribution in starting up, as an aspiring entrepreneur.

I choose to go unplugged from the start because whether I succeed or fail in this startup journey, I hope that you will learn from my mistakes and successes for every Juan.

Secrets to Change: Write Down Your Ideas

Actions speak louder than words. We can all agree on that, right? Words can simply be thrown around like this “Hello…how…are you? Good. Great.”

Am I giving you any value with those fillers? No, I don’t believe so.

Let me get straight to the point.

Words lose their value if they don’t spark action. Even if you’re literate and you treat them as signifiers, words are worthless if you don’t act upon what you say.

Perhaps, if you have even read some of my blog entries you may have questioned my authenticity,

“Is this guy for real?”

“What planet did this emo, Am-Boy kid come from?”

I question myself too. Will my dreams, hopes, and aspirations actually turn into anything real? I know I have good intentions, but will the world prove me wrong about everything that I believe in?

It seems as if my views on the world are constantly changing. Sometimes days are disappointing. Sometimes days are full of pleasant surprises. In the end, if I give up again that says a lot about me.

No excuses. Actions will always speak louder than words, but those words still move you.

So what’s my point again?

Secrets to Change: Write Down Your Ideas. That’s right.

Ideas are incredibly important. Ideas are the catalyst to change, but what use is an idea, if it just stays in your head. The process of you thinking about something and physically writing it down is not only a crucial step to action, but it also enables other people to learn from your mistakes and successes.

This is partly why I am not bothered by openly sharing my deepest thoughts and opinions on Juan Great Leap.

In the end, if I’m known for being a crazy dreamer who wished well for his country and couldn’t make anything happen, then hopefully people learn that fervent Fil-Am English majors who move to the Philippines to help the country develop don’t really become change-makers.

My plea is simple: let’s be bold in what we think.

Let’s put it in on paper to hold ourselves accountable as honest folks that are not simply throwing words around.

Come on leaders, doers, and achievers. Write it down! Commit! DO!

Photo Credits: Lisha Angeles
Photo Credits: Lisha Angeles

“The Original Game of Perfection”

Perfection

The Original Game of Perfection is a board game in which you have 60 seconds to fit all 25 shapes into their proper place. If the player does not complete the puzzle within the time allotted, the board pops up in the player’s face and all the pieces scatter.

I played Perfection for the first time last night, after seeing my 5 year-old nephew play the game. The simple concept of fitting shapes into their proper place seemed really easy. My nephew completed 15 pieces the first round. I completed 9 pieces.

I had a harder time than expected.

Me having a little trouble getting started
Me having a little trouble getting started

A concept that seemed so easy wasn’t in reality. The lurking variable?

Time.

Being timed made all the difference. The idea of time ticking…having 60 seconds to complete the puzzle got me flustered. My anxiety threw off my focus. I completed the task with a failing grade, 36%. Yet I strove for “perfection.” I never once questioned whether I could complete the task, but I did question whether I could make it in time.

Time is a key player in my journey of entrepreneurship. I know that I’m running against the clock and that eventually my resources will run out, if something doesn’t happen now.

I learned a lot about time, life, and work by playing the game of Perfection:

1. I learned while being a perfectionist has its benefits, I can’t act like a perfectionist, if I’m trying to urgently and sustainably build a business. If I play the role of perfectionist in this game, time will run out and the pieces will surely blowup in my face, just as it did in The Original Game of Perfection.

2. When you have a clear goal in entrepeneurship, you just have to get it done ASAP because if you don’t someone will beat you to the finish line.

3. As much as passion and inspiration are amazing catalysts for change and real action, the competitive spirit is a crucial ingredient to being an entrepreneur. I need to tap into that competitive side much more.

As The Original Game of Perfection has taught me. The 60-sec timer won’t stop ticking when you’re playing the game. I’ve learned from my mistakes and I’m playing the game much smarter from my first experience. This morning I played the game and I completed  19 pieces. Game on 5 year-old nephew!

Why Slow and Steady WON’T Always Win the Race For You

turtleGrowing up, I was always told that it is through consistent, regular effort that we make great things happen.

Experience has taught me that this isn’t always the case, moreso with a number of “great” things.

For example, the people I know who have undergone uber-dramatic (and lasting) weight loss did it by doing something drastic in the beginning – like a month of little to no carbs coupled with really small portions. For those of us who love eating, you know how difficult this is – a truly supreme effort. In a month, results became obvious and motivated my friends even more to see things through.

For these friends of mine, “slow and steady” efforts over years never yielded the results they wanted.

True progress only started after a relatively short period of intense, concentrated effort. Results are obtained. Maintenance, as everyone reports, is much easier afterwards.

There are examples all around.

I know certain people who have carved out successful careers out of working their tails off in landing ONE humongous account.

Law and medical students studying the lights out for one exam which will dictate the course of the rest of their lives.

Slow and steady doesn’t always apply because life itself isn’t slow and steady, right? Life is composed of seasons -peaks and valleys. Times of abundance. Times of scarcity.

Times of varying degrees of opportunity.

Opportunity doesn’t come from a slow and steady stream, doesn’t it? It just presents itself.

This is where intense bursts of effort trump steady distributed effort nearly every time. When the opportunity comes, you usually have to be able to exert a great, drastic effort to grab it. The great effort will usually allow you to grab a foothold – something that slow and steady effort might not have allowed you to do so. Then, in a lot of ways, it becomes just a bit easier.

This is very very true in startups – especially in the early stages.

Looking back when I was starting, this was so true in so many ways:

Recruiting the right partners – and casting a large enough net to do so – for STORM required me to spend almost all of my weeknights for around a month talking to people.

Landing that first client in as a B2B firm (so crucial to get a first reference) required a great, drastic effort on our part.

Finally leaping from corporate required a great burst of sacrifice, planning, and work. (and prayer)

concentrate

Want to put up a startup? Your slow and steady approach might not cut it (and for some of us, I know it’s been frustrating)

Do something drastic in a short, concentrated burst of great, grand effort. Focus this intense effort on the fulcrum issues which are causing your startup to stall.

Need funding? Reach out to 100 strategic individuals. Give yourself 5 working days to do so.

Need a co-founder? Arrange 8-10 interviews a day for a full week.

Need an idea? Need to validate with the client? Need to build a prototype?

Instead of spreading things out, try bursts.

Oh, you’re doing this part-time? Just take your 5 “vacation” days off and do the exact opposite. Plan these 5 days out carefully – what you’re going to be doing for your startup in every hour.

Try bursts.

For the Young Entrepreneur: Do not Fear the Lingo, Get down with it! (Even more fun with wise friends!)

(Matt Lapid will be regularly posting original articles with me here on JGL, with the perspective of being brand-new entrepreneur. Heres his second article. As usual, please tell us what you think with the content we are pumping out for you. Gracias! – Peter)
256px-Math

“So is it a B2B or B2C…Kasi pwedeng B2C…Pwede rin B2B, but you need to define your niche market and validate…BOOTSTRAP…Looks like you have an MVP!”

This is the lingo that resonates after being with JGL for one week. Initially, I felt like “huh?” all the time.

“What’s a B2B? I never took calculus.”

In spite of my ignorance, I understood that even if I were to attain a tiny bit of knowledge of simple business terms it would give me a deeper understanding of the negotiations being made around me. So I made sure that if I didn’t know a word, I’d jot it down and look it up. That simple act of discovery made all the difference.

As a result, when Peter articulates that tech enterprises can be looked at in terms of both B2B and B2C, I can at least understand that he is saying that their business relationships can be based on a Business to Business or a Business to Consumer interaction. It’s a small feat, but understanding the lingo that’s being used nurtures free-flowing discussion, in which the speaker doesn’t feel confined. In my relatively minimal exposure to entrepreneurship, I’ve observed that the free-flowing, out-of-box thinking is where the best ideas are conceived and the best work is produced. If we do not allow our minds to run free, we will not create our best work.

In addition, if we seek to work efficiently, we must equip ourselves with the right tools to do so. At times, as young and passionate people, we want to do and do out of anxiety, but if we’re doing things on our own without the proper knowledge and guidance, success will be near impossible to attain. There are so many of us who have the passion and allow it to drive us, but that passion will eventually burn out, if we run without an understanding of business.

On a brighter note, there are many seasoned entrepreneurs that would love to teach you. I’m not sure exactly why this is because entrepreneurs are some of the busiest people around, but from what I have inferred it’s a type of pay it forward approach, and perhaps even a little narcissism that goes into play.

Let me explain my hypothesis.

Seasoned entrepreneurs see themselves in us. That entrepreneurial itch that you have is the same type of itch that compels entrepreneurs to move. That passion and tenacity that you possess is the same force that drives entrepreneurs day in and day out. Seasoned entreps can spot that entrepreneurial energy and determination. They see themselves in us young folk, and want to help by sharing their knowledge and experience because it is actually gratifying for them to see us succeed, as so many others have done for them.

For us young and aspiring entrepreneurs let us not fear what we do not know. Let us not act like we have all the answers. Let us be real and learn from one another.

I leave you with this list of common terms I hear on a regular basis, which are simply defined. Taking in consideration that these are the bare bones of rich definitions, let’s spark some discussion and provide some insights! Perhaps, we could even add to the list to gain more knowledge! Anything goes, as we long as we learn together! Do hit the comments!

List of Terms Defined:

1) B2B– Business to Business

2) B2C– Business to Commercial

3) MVP– Minimal Viable Product

4) YTD– Year-to-Date

5) Bootstrap– act of starting your business with the resources you have without any outside funding at all

6) Traction– indicator that tell us if the business has generated revenue

7) Cash Cow-moneymaker but possibly stagnant

8) SRP– Suggested Retail Price

How to Avoid The Marshmallow Career

marshmallow_test

In a landmark study done in 1972 by Stanford psychologist Walter Mischel, hundreds of children were offered a marshmallow. However, each child was told that if they could resist eating the marshmallow for 15 minutes, they would receive a second marshmallow.

Decades after, it was found that the children who delayed gratification (around a third of the 600 students who participated), were described as more competent, had higher SAT scores, and went on to have better careers.

A few days ago an entrepreneurial friend of mine posted a quick “Pera o Passion?” poll on his Facebook page. The last I checked, “pera” was leading.  It was understandable, but I have to admit, I felt a bit disheartened.

Quick money is almost always un-strategic.

Let’s talk about this overused word for a minute. For me, to be “strategic” means that decisions are always made to support a much bigger picture. To be truly strategic almost always means to defer gratification. Think Amazon delaying becoming profitable for so many years (CEO Jeff Bezos was barbecued in the media in those days). They were burning hundreds of millions to acquire customers year after year because they were after the bigger picture (a much larger community). This long-term plan paid off. Amazon is now one of the world’s most admired and successful companies.

I think very few of us  really think about our careers strategically.

Instead, most people eat the marshmallow.

A friend of mine recently reached out to me about career advice. He was explaining that he wanted out of the industry he was in, that he would never go back to it. A few weeks later, a high paying job became available in a company he really admired. I noticed it was in the same industry he was in. In a recent email, he was asking me for tips on how to get into the that firm.

Huh?

He’s eating the marshmallow.

We fall for it early. After years of not earning anything, we finally attend job fairs and get dazzled by the offers we get. Sadly, most people still decide to go to the highest bidder, where the assembly line starts and is built to keep you in.

As we get older, we then feel it:

This money thing isn’t as cool as I thought it would be. 

I’m earning, but I’m not living. 

What field/job can I be truly happy?

or even

Hindi ko natutugunan ang aking pagmemeron.

Quarter life, or even mid-life crisis, at its full hurricane force.

If we ask the people who voted for “pera” in that earlier casual survey 20 years from now, I’m guessing the pendulum would shift to the other side.*

So what am I getting at?

Young people. I’m talking to you. Don’t fall into this trap. Take it from us (slightly) older folks. Think about your careers strategically.

Repeat after me. Big picture. Big picture. Big picture.

Here are some tips on how to avoid the marshmallow career:

1) Take Time to Understand YOUR Big Picture

I think this is where a big chunk of the problem lies. We lack self-awareness. We don’t invest enough time understanding who we are, what we like doing, what our natural gifts are, and what we want to be when we “grow up.”

As some great military people once said “knowing is half the battle.”

Take time to assess. Ask friends about what your strengths and weaknesses are. Take personality tests. Ask people about other careers.

Granted, this won’t be automatic, as “finding out who we are” can take a long process. But I think part of that problem is, we don’t really put enough investment in consciously trying.

Try. Perhaps asking this simple question can help start the process: who am I?

Also, think about YOUR big picture. Not your parent’s. Not anyone else’s.

2) Work Backwards

Once you have a reasonable idea of your Big Picture, do a Covey and try to Begin With The End In Mind.

begin

What career move can you do NOW that will inch you closer to your Big Picture?

Since this is an Startup Blog, here’s my quick tip on what next career steps you can do if you want to own a business someday:

A) Go fulltime and take the leap! Startups are all about learning through doing. Anything else is a bit of a  compromise. Try naming a great startup which was done part-time.

B) Work for a startup. Next best thing.

C) If A & B are too unpalatable, you could: 1) get into sales – it might not be that sexy to some, but selling is an extremely valuable skill to develop in any startup, 2) get into the industry you plan to develop your startup in, the smaller the firm, the better, 3) get into anything which expands your personal network in a hurry.

3) Just Say No

Okay, you’ve got your Big Picture. You’ve got some semblance of a plan on how to get there.

What are you going to do when Company X offers you a big package from out of the blue because your friend gave a good recommendation?

Think Amazon. Think strategic.

If something tempting comes and shows you all the shiny things you can have now if you break your plan, well, just think of all the SHINIER things you could accomplish sticking to the plan.

This is easier said than done, of course. But possible.

4) Pray

By far, my best career advisor has been God. My best career decision-making process has been Discernment. I’ve always maintained that it was He who really pushed me into an entrepreneurial path.

Here’s an interesting thing.

I belong to a Community  which really encourages its constituents to pray, talk to God, and surrender to His will. This group has a disproportionate amount of people who have taken leaps from their long-standing careers into what they truly want to do. A longtime banker who has become a pre-school teacher. An longtime FMCG executive who now works for a foundation. Another longtime marketer who put up her consulting practice. A longtime IT employee who’s put up multiple small businesses. There are more. All of which would tell you they had the courage to take the leap because of prayer.

You should see their faces when they explain how happy they are in their chosen fields. Passion is always evident.

As is the lack of it.

(know anyone who will benefit and resonate from this post? be a blessing and share!)

self-awareness

*The big assumption of course, is that we are earning enough to cover our basic needs. Maslow’s hierarchy in full effect.