Perhaps the most important lesson of all is about the need to drop the ego and staying focused on your goals. Eric Zuckerman, president of Pac Team Group, recalls that when he set up a venture right out of school, one of the most challenging aspects was seeing friends begin to advance professionally and monetarily while he struggled to create something from nothing.
“The reality of starting a business often means little to no income and an enormous dedication of your time and energy,” explained Zuckerman. “As your friends begin to land traditional jobs out of school, start getting money in their pockets, building new social circles and going out, it is easy to not only be jealous, but begin doubting the path you’ve chosen.”
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For Zuckerman and many other innovators, survival is all about not comparing themselves to others or getting caught up in what they are missing, but honing the long-term vision they have for this business. Zuckerman said, “This mindset allowed me to persevere through those initial months and years when the temptation of throwing in the towel for a more traditional career path was at its greatest.”
Don’t be afraid to take the leap – Once you’ve done your research, you are ready to jump in. According to entrepreneur Jess Ekstrom, it may seem easier to first get a job right out of college, gain some experience, save a bit of money and then start a business. But walking away from such stability will be harder than you think, and you may end up never taking the leap.
“It’s better to go for it, and then get a job if it doesn’t work out, rather than get a job and never go for it,” said Ekstrom, who launched her business Headbands of Hope while still in college.