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What Not to Do When Changing Your Career from Executive to Entrepreneur 

Published on July 16, 2021

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These days, changing your career is almost inevitable. The average person changes their career five to seven times during their working life, with many deciding to venture out on their own and open their own business. Unfortunately many aren’t ready for the internal and external challenges that await them when they make the move to becoming an entrepreneur, including the financial costs, the changes to home and social life, the new cultural norms, how to navigate unclear expectations and learning not only new skills, but how to deal with clients, employees and suppliers. You can make it easier on yourself though, by avoiding some key career-change mistakes when transitioning from an executive to an entrepreneur  

  1. Not Doing Enough Research. It’s one thing to hate your job and want to get out of it as fast as possible, but it’s another thing to blindly make a move. In order become an entrepreneur and do it correctly, you need to put the effort in and do your research. You need to see if the market for industry you are planning to get into is stable, so your expectations are realistic. You even need to find out if there is a market for your product or service in the first place. Find out everything you can about the industry and business before dropping your day job. Due diligence is needed and necessary, and without doing as much research as possible, you might find yourself in over your head. 
  2. Leaving For Money. If you ever talk to a successful entrepreneur, odds are they will tell you that they didn’t open their first business because of the money. Starting out, you will find that not only is every dollar scrutinized, but that very little is available for you. You need to save your money before starting out, for both unexpected business expenses and to sustain you personally for a little while. The potential for money is there, but you need to be passionate about your career change first and be sure you are doing it for the right reasons. 
  3. Leaving From Rather Than Going To. Leaving your executive position simply because you don’t like your job, isn’t reason enough to start your own business. When you are unhappy with your present position you might be so desperate to get out that you will latch onto anything, even a business that you’d probably be just as unhappy running. You’ll skip over the research and fail to compile a viable exit strategy just to close the door behind you. Going to your own business on the other hand indicates an advancement, that you are heading towards something you’ve been aiming at. The odds of success are much higher, because while you don’t necessarily believe the grass is greener, you know you need to go there. 
  4. Overestimating Yourself. You need to always know what you can do, and what your limits are. Take credit where credit is due, and no more. If you become an entrepreneur and think you can do one of the required tasks that pop up because it looks easy, you’ve got another thing coming. What it really comes down to is being able to be self-critical and not having an unrealistic view of your skills. Don’t underestimate how hard being an entrepreneur is, and how much work it is going to take to be successful. You also need to be willing to take some training classes to learn new skills and bring your current ones up to date.  
  5. Thinking Short Term. The biggest mistake you can make is thinking short term. It can even lead you into making the other four mistakes. Leaving your job as an executive because you want to make more money or because you dislike your job means you are thinking about the now, and not five years down the road. If you overestimate yourself, you believe you are owed immediate compensation for what you think you can do. Leaving a company without doing research speaks volumes about where your mind is too. You need to think about the future, the far future, when becoming an entrepreneur, otherwise you might be making a serious career misstep. 
Written by Team

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