When I took “Step Zero” by quitting my cushy corporate job last year to work full time on a tech startup, I was certain about only one thing: with careful planning and support, the rewards of this venture would far outweigh the risks.
But this is easy to say and hard to really believe. The rewards were, and are, long term. The risks are immediate and personal. But it helped enormously that when I told my friends and family about my plans for MentorMob, they responded in a way I hadn’t expected: complete support.
That’s not to say they gave me a free pass. But they knew I would throw my full energy behind a business if and only if I had created and exhaustively refined plans for product development, revenue, marketing, and customer acquisition. And the truth was, I hadn’t yet. But I knew the combined talents of my team would produce exactly these things.
That’s why my first priority has been assembling a team whose skills are complementary to my own. And this investment has already begun to pay off. MentorMob’s dream of easily accessible online education is both idealistic and pragmatic, and our team has the personality to match-each one is enthusiastic, committed, and ready change the world.
Even so, starting up your own venture isn’t easy and it’s not for everyone. But it was something I had to do. It was in my blood. I’m happier working my ass off for myself than I ever was working for somebody else.
So let me leave you with the two bits of advice that have served me the best so far.
First, if you are going to launch a business, assemble a team and plan the daylights out of it before you bet the farm on it. Then bet the farm on it.
And second, if you love somebody who is starting a business, grill them to see whether or not they’ve done their homework and are ready to commit one hundred percent. Then, give them your unconditional support. It will mean more than you’ll know.
Vince Leung is cofounder and COO of MentorMob