The Quintessential Entrepreneur: (Part 7)


This may not be true for everyone, but entrepreneurship jacked up my resume. You know, I have this elaborate sounding company listed on my resume for the last 4+ years with odd jobs and part-time gigs sprinkled around it. I pity the HR people who get my resume via email because I’m sure its hard to get a read on me.

Well, here comes a punch to the gut. I’ve been an entrepreneur for some time now, I made a little money but spent a lot more. I still have no real traction, no investors, and did I mention no real traction. We know what that means. It means we’re broke or barely getting by because our stupid business won’t do anything for us. Let’s be real. Here are some of the thoughts that cross our minds during those tough seasons:

How can people not want my services/product? They’re stupid…

Investors suck. When this thing blows up, I’m going to buy their investment firm and fire them…

I’m an idiot. I should have quit and cut my loses a long time ago…

If one more person asks me to provide my service pro bono, I’m going to snap…

I’ve secretly been comparing myself to all my friends who started businesses and realized we all suck at this…

Yes, I’ve cold called and emailed several huge corporations (Google, Bank of America, etc) and begged them to buy my idea…

Time to get another part-time gig on the side so that I can actually pay my bills. I don’t know why but I think entrepreneurs find the idea of leaving the workforce to “be your own boss” and then returning to the workforce is the ultimate embarrassment. The interviewer asks, “so what made you apply to this job?” You want to say, “I need this check until I feel confident enough in my business to quit another job”. Instead you say, “This organization embodies everything I believe in personally and professionally, blah, blah…”.

Funny thing happened though. I got a temp job and was unexpectedly placed at a start-up. Not just any start-up but a start-up that is actually making bank. I was placed for 2 weeks at a social investment network start-up that allows users to copy the stock trades of their friends. Not exactly what my business is going for but close enough that I could glean some concepts and strategies and figure out if they were applicable to my venture. This was a game-changer. I was working in the US Bank building in downtown L.A. at a start-up that had all the success that I wanted. At one point, I was loving the lifestyle of working there so much that I was ready to abandon my company and just try to work for them full-time.

Yes, I have no shame. I had the opportunity to work directly with the CEO and yes, I essentially pitched him on what I could contribute to the company. Didn’t work out but I think I had a shot.

Lesson in Retrospect: Embrace the part-time entrepreneur lifestyle. Maybe even look into temping. Learn what you can, network and get re-inspired.

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