I took the plunge four months ago and left my stable corporate job to create my own startup. It’s been a wild ride so far and despite the hardships, I’m loving it.  But that’s not to say that I don’t have my regrets.

In hindsight I can clearly see that I could have prepared myself much better.  If I could turn back time, then I would!  But hopefully these tips below will be helpful to those of you who are still in the corporate world, and looking keenly at startups.

  1. PLAN IT OUT: Being frustrated with corporate life won’t happen all of a sudden; you will have felt jaded well in advance.  So sit down and actually write out your exit plan  Once you write something down, then things floating around in your head become much more tangible and it will help you to manage your emotional state.
  2. GO TO MEETUPS: There are heaps of startup events going on which are advertised on and Eventbrite.  Go to these events, learn about startups and meet people.  You’ll learn so much.
  3. READ THE LITERATURE: I never knew, but there are a few startup bibles which you absolutely have to read.  The main one is the Lean Startup.  You might think that I’m exaggerating, but I’m not.  Every person doing startups knows the Lean Startup and you should too.
  4. FIND A COFOUNDER: One of the biggest reasons startups fail is because of it having a single founder. Spend your time at work, socially and at networking events looking for The One.  If you’re going to spend 15 hours a day with someone, he/she needs to be a person who can bring real value to the table and be someone you can get along with well.
  5. CREATE A MVP: If you don’t know what a MVP is, you need to read the Lean Startup.  It’s a Minimum Viable Product and it’s what you create to validate your leap-of-faith assumptions that uphold your business case.  Validation is absolutely key, and doing so via a MVP can possibly just be a matter of hours and you’ll have learned so much.
  6. GET TECHNICAL: Even if you’re not a programmer, you can start playing around with WordPress or learning basic web programming languages like PHP or Ruby On Rails.  You may not even intend on creating your product, but by having some basic technical abilities, you will stand a much better chance of recognising when someone is trying to scam you on a quote.
  7. PREPARE FOR STRESS: Start testing yourself to see if you can put up with mental stress.  There’s a lot of it when you’re doing a startup, especially financial stress.  Have a think about how long you’re able to handle losses for and whether you would be willing to suffer the worst case consequences.  Because it could happen.



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