Actually YES! I’ve done it myself…twice! While being an entrepreneur is the scariest nerve-wrecking thing you will ever do, it’s also the most liberating experience you will ever have.
As I was watching the premiere of Oxygen’s new series, “Quit Your Day Job” I couldn’t help but to reflect on my own entrepreneurial journey (catch up by reading this post). It’s been almost four years since I traded my boring sucky, yet stable and well-paying, government job for my wildly fabulous and at most times unpredictable life in New York. From my mother’s unexpected death, to bouncing from Manhattan couch to Brooklyn couch for 8 months, I’ve got a ton of not-so glamorous stories to tell you. But…I have no regrets and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
Even though I haven’t invented a product to sell (yet) I can really relate with the participants on the show. “Quit Your Day Job” pairs angel investors with up and coming entrepreneurs to develop the next big thing (think “Shark Tank” but more romanticized). The investment club will use their business expertise, industry knowledge and creative vision to determine which up-and-coming products have the potential to be the next big thing.
Each participant gets on-site, hands-on mentoring and leadership from four of the best to do it when it comes to business. Tech mogul Randi Zuckerberg (yes, Mark’s sister), consumer products tycoon Ido Leffler (who doesn’t love Yes To Carrots), start-up advocate Sarah Prevette, and master marketer Lauren Maillian.
Imagine if I had an investor! Anyways.
I got a sneak peek at the first episode and I realized I have to stop sitting on my ideas. I swear I thought of inventing a weave scratcher (watch the show and you’ll understand). Except it was called something else in my mind. But none of that matters at all because I didn’t even get the idea out of my head. Le sigh. Now it could be a viable business thanks to the investors on “Quit Your Day Job”.
I also got a chance to attend a panel moderated by SheKnows featuring three of the investors from the show. Gosh, there were a lot of gems.
Randi talked about surrounding yourself with honest people. All I could think about was celebrities. You can’t have a bunch of “yes men” in your corner. You need someone who is really going to tell your truth. Even if the truth is, “your product sucks you need to start over!” (Insert Kanye Shrug)
Ido talked about the hustle of entrepreneurship and how it’s about your willingness to make something work. He said, “you can always fix the product, you can never fix the entrepreneur!” I had all type of praise hands ready for that quote. All too often people ask me how do you get started. What are the steps? You just gotta have that fight in you. I believe some people are born to be entrepreneurs. I consider myself one of them. *touts horn*
Lauren talked about setting a clear vision for your non-negotiables. It took me a long time to figure out what mine where. When you don’t set those boundaries in business you almost always compromise your integrity by doing things you don’t want to do. In the beginning of my blogging career I would take every and any coin that came my way. I’d write about pink toilet paper dresses if there was a check involved. No one is wearing pink toilet paper dresses so I quickly realized that I wasn’t making the money I could be making. I was also ruining my reputation with my readers.
Being an entrepreneur teaches you so much about yourself. You might lose friends along the way (one participant seemed to risk everything for her fitness line) but I think it’s totally worth in the end.
This post is sponsored by Oxygen & SheKnows Media.