Every entrepreneur must pass through at least one from a series of transitional periods; from employee caterpillar into the entrepreneurial butterfly. I have have compiled a list of transitional periods that are key to having a successful business.
The 9-5 Career Transition
This is the most frequent and consistent transitional period because most people spend 10 to 20 years in their respective careers before venturing out on their own. This is because these decade(s) create confidence, credibility, and expertise in their fields. They would also have acquired a network of potential customers and helpful associates that can almost guarantee a successful venture.
The 9-5 Job Transition
Many people start off working the full 8 hour work day for many years in a job that may not offer upward mobility or opportunities for career growth. However, some entrepreneurs work a 9-5 job to just support themselves, and their job doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with their venture, or at least, not at first.
For example, I did a commercial for this ringtone site, and the owner told me his story of how he developed the successful site. He first started off working at Verizon for many years while he studied computer science at college. He then started to develop a small website to share ringtones with friends, and he would recommend his site to customers at Verizon. It took about a year or two, but his site suddenly grew by word-of-mouth. He now owns a home, and lives in a upscale neighborhood where he can just focus on growing his site, and support other business ventures.
Minecraft is a popular sandbox game that is in alpha (not even beta) and is selling at 10,000 copies a day at $13 a pop. The game was developed by one man named Marcus Persson, and the game has been in development since May of 2009. He quit his job so he can devote full time to developing his games, and he built the main backbone of Minecraft in about a month. He started selling the pre-alpha on June 10th, 2009.
It’s this month that I call the Void. You have a short amount of time to accomplish something to see if it’s successful or not, and see how people respond. He quit his job, and for one month concentrated on getting this game out, without really having any backup plans, without any indications that his venture would be successful or not.
Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, and Steve Jobs all started companies in college, and they also later dropped out. The main thing is that they were all geniuses in their own right, so they focused less on school and more on their projects. Being a student is great because you can meet other talented people and the pressure to succeed is not as great because you’re still young, and full of energy. However, as a student, you don’t have as much experience with starting a company, so you’re taking a huge risk if your company isn’t successful.
Sometimes, living with your parents is a necessity and for others, it’s a choice. Living at home is great because you’re not far from your loved ones, and you get free rent and food. You’ll also saving up a lot of money instead of paying rent and bills every month, which can help you speed up your entrepreneurial process by reinvesting all of your money into your business. However, it can also be a burden, because living in a pampered state can make you feel lazy, and there’s plenty of distractions at home to make you think you’re staying “busy.”
The Couch Nomad
Felix Dennis, famous print tycoon and author of How To Get Rich, started off as a couch hopper sleeping on friends’ sofas, but he was not just any couch hopper taking advantage of free rent. He saved up his money and invested in his printing business, and even did some bank trickery with his friend to make it seem as if their business were making consistent money. He’s also never learned to drive in his life, as he always got his friends to do it, but now he just has a full time chauffeur. Talk about having awesome friends.
The Career Shift
Steve Pavlina is a famous self-development guru, who first started off as a game developer. He grew up loving math and computer games, but always felt he could offer the world more. It’s when he started his blog and started helping out other game developers that he realized his true calling, which he calls “Personal Development for Smart People.”
There are other people out there with careers that do not relate to their shifting careers, like a lawyer becoming a bakery shop owner, or a corporate man opening up a bike shop, but usually the career shift happens mid life, when a person realized the true love of their life and what they want to do for the rest of their days. A career shift is usually always positive because they’re leaving behind something stressful and taking on something more meaningful.
I’m sure there are many more transitional periods, but these are the ones I believe are the main ones, so please, let us know what transitional period you’re in.