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Lead Your Team Leadership

Lessons from the Corporate World


You’re leaving the nest to do it on your own.  BusinessNewsDaily’s Chris Prickett shares five golden eggs of wisdom to take with you.

Most entrepreneurs get their start working for a larger company. Many strike out on their own hoping to put a new spin on those corporate lessons with fresh ideas and renewed enthusiasm. That is the essence of the entrepreneurial spirit, but don’t forget: The big boys get to wear the long pants for a reason. Here are a few lessons from the corporate world to take with you when you strike out on your own.

Work Like an Employee. Well, let me clarify; work like an employee who wants to get ahead. In the land of the small business start up, clock watchers need not apply. Expect a lot of work for very little reward, especially in the beginning. The good news is that you’ll always be first in line for “employee of the month”.

Hire a Consultant. A small business owner must wear many hats, but if the hat doesn’t fit, you just look like another bumpkin with a stupid hat. Maybe your budget can’t handle a CPA, but how about a bookkeeper? Another option might be a mentor. They’re free through SCORE, a national group of retired business people willing to help you out with business planning and problem-solving. If you have trouble finding the right end of a keyboard, don’t waste your time trying to design your web site , farm it out. Do what you do best, and delegate the rest… whenever financially practical.

Got mission? There’s nothing like a bloviated, insincere corporate mission statement to remind me why I struck out on my own in the first place. Ok, so a perfumed pile of puffy platitudes may not serve your new venture, but a clear focus is mandatory. A succinct vision of what you want to be will help keep you on the road to success. That’s called a mission statement or a business plan . Keep it simple, keep it real, and don’t get too full of yourself.

Training day. If you’ve spent any time in the white collar world, you’ve no doubt sat, squirmed and slept through more training meetings than you care to count. While you might be free of stale Danish and weak coffee, the training must go on. If you’re not learning, you’re losing, so look for every opportunity to sharpen your start-up sword. Quality trade publications and online seminars are worth their weight in fresh doughnuts. Your local Small Business Development Center offers ongoing classes and seminars.

Don’t be a softy. Corporate America can be a cut-throat, bottom-line world. If you’ve left that world in an effort to save your soul and sanity, good for you, but tough decisions still need to be made. The word “decide” means to cut-off, or kill-off. (De-cide, homi-cide, sui-cide, get it?) You’re the boss, and that means that sometimes you’re the executioner. Be fair, be honorable, but be decisive , or you just might be back looking for a j-o-b, and guess where?

Chris Prickett is a successful entrepreneur who specializes in defying conventional thinking. He’s built and sold two companies and made many mistakes along the way. He started a Phoenix, AZ real estate business in 2007, during the worst market in modern history, and business is booming.