5 Lessons to Consider Before Leaving Corporate to Start Your Own Thing

You’ve been thinking about taking that leap of faith for quite some time and you are on the verge of jumping. Congratulations! But here are five lessons that you should consider before leaving corporate for your entrepreneurial journey.

1. Your Direction Is More Important Than Your Speed

Everyone has a different “Level 1.” Some entrepreneurs started their companies in their garage. Conversely, some entrepreneurs started their companies in a luxurious penthouse suite overlooking the Hudson River. You must understand that everyone has a different starting point, and it is imperative to take your time (but do not waste your time).

2. Develop a Track Record of Losses

You may be inclined to get an early start and focus on scaling your business and increasing your company’s profit margin. However, you will certainly get punched in the face. You will have to endure growing pains. This is where you will have to cultivate a track record of losses so that you can learn from your mistakes and be prepared to roll with the punches.

You can create a résumé of your failures. You can create a ledge of personal and professional losses. As you continue to navigate through your entrepreneurial endeavors, you will quickly learn that losses will give birth to your wins. Stay the course.

3. Strengthen Your Helping Hand

Your helping hand should consist of advisers (a team of people who are willing to offer some guidance), mentors (a team of people who will vouch for you when you are in the room), and sponsors (a team of people who will vouch for you when you are not in the room).

Your best self comes from valuing the network you build and knowing these are steadfast and reliable individuals. Let’s be clear: Your helping hand does not consist of handouts. However, your network enables you to be the exception to the status quo in your intended industry.

Your helping hand is here to make sure that don’t feel lonely on your way to the top. As you start your journey, you will learn that your network of advisors, mentors, and sponsors will support you and propel you to the next level.

4. Control Your Pride

Your pride will cloud your judgment and make you a prisoner of your own actions. We tend to fall in love with the phrase “humble beginnings” because it reminds us that our journey started with humility.

Oftentimes, an overabundance of pride can lead you to shut other people out, refuse to apologize even when you should, and not be supportive of others on their path to success

As you leave corporate, you must learn to cast your pride to the side get rid of that false sense of entitlement.

5. Learn to Blame Yourself

When you succeed, who gets the credit? You’re likely to give yourself the credit, along with maybe certain of your partners and colleagues within your company. However, these people will not take the fall with you if things don’t work out. They shouldn’t even be expected to. The blame is only given to one person — you. Sometimes, unfortunate events may occur on your journey. These inevitable events can hurt your business. Although it may not be your fault, you must learn how to take accountability for the outcomes from these events, regardless of the good or the bad.

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.

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