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The Race to the Bottom [Startup Comics]

The Race to the Bottom [Startup Comics]

Climbing the good ol’ corporate ladder is a tried, true, relatively predictable, yet slow way to reach the top. Heeding the speed limit and traversing the dotted lines can get frustrating, as there is no magical formula for ascension. And cracking the office politics and favoritism codes can be a mystery.

Right up there on the list, along with “I want to be rich”, is “I want to be my own boss”. This is the list the wantrepreneurs make when thinking about launching their own business. Dreamy-eyed and clueless, they are convinced they can leave the corporate rat race, the tyranny of a boss and an elusive promotion for the career-equivalent of paradise. Unfortunately this is a far cry from reality, and what we call an entrepreneurfail.

This is a reason you may have pursued your own venture: so you could declare yourself the boss. Sure, the org chart will be leaner than in a corporation, but you are never actually your own boss. You are reporting to your customers, vendors, suppliers, and investors. They drive and dictate your promotions, pay raises, perks, annual leave, and responsibility. Welcome to your organization. It’s the flip version of the corporate org chart. You are barely hanging on as it grows larger above you. Be ready to adapt and draw the org chart as you go and the transition will be much smoother, as I realized much later into the game.

How can you ease this transition even further? Some simple steps you can take include:

1. Limit the number of investors you get early on and bootstrap your venture.

2. Decrease the dependence on one large customer

3. Create a back-up plan when it comes to vendors.

These little steps will ensure that, while you may never “be your own boss”, you have moved forward in your career as you create a sustainable, successful business.

Can you relate? Share your experience in the comments!

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