What is some good advice for first-time entrepreneurs? originally appeared on Quora: the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.
I speak with a lot of friends and others who are aspirational entrepreneurs, and I tell them all the same thing. If starting and building your own company is truly something you want to do, go do it! You'll only find out if it's something you enjoy doing (and, by consequence, are good at doing) by actually doing it. I toyed with the idea of starting a company for 2 years. I quit my consulting job, and instead of starting a company, I took another job at a consulting firm. Then I quit that job, but, again, I took the more risk-adverse route and went to business school. It was only when I dropped out of business school and actually started working on an idea (totally different from Hawthorne) that I started to get into the startup mindset. Four months into working on this idea, Phil and I started working on Hawthorne, and it was a seamless transition of energy, effort, and attention into Hawthorne. The idea I was working on before Hawthorne was certainly not something I was as passionate about as Hawthorne, but being in the flow of actualizing an idea and building a company from the ground up is what is most valuable at the very precipice of your entrepreneur journey.
Lastly, I'll also add that the challenges that come along with being a first-time entrepreneur typically increase as you get older and have more responsibilities (family, children, mortgages, etc.). Even if you feel like you are not "ready," remember that you have friends and mentors out there who will help you and give you the timely advice you need to keep moving the business forward. Make sure you ask for help and be grateful for those who help you, because they care about your and your company. You want to feel confident in your own hard skills, but most importantly you need to have confidence in yourself that you'll be able to figure challenges out along the way.
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