So, Let’s Talk Business…
From both perspectives….
Corporate America and Entrepreneur America.
There is a certain connotation attached to ‘Corporate America’ which for some signals fantasized wealth gained from big business; Corporate America is an informal term used to describe the economy (and corporate influence on government) in America – the world of corporations and big businesses within the U.S.A.
Working as a young entrepreneur in New York City I have had the chance to see first-hand the rising amount of individuals journeying from Corporate America to ‘Entrepreneur America.’
While working for major corporations seems rigorous, a fellow who quit his major financial institution to become an entrepreneur said, “A day job is a walk in the park compared to entrepreneurship.” There are no set hours, you work 24/7 with numerous different hats on as an entrepreneur so making that transition should be a life-long calculated and thought out decision.
I know a lot of corporate professionals that hate working for Corporate America, and ditching the corporate cubicle to pursue your own dreams is enticing, however extremely, extremely challenging.
An extremely challenging feat that would offer implications for the rest of America; America was built on Corporations yet does not need big Corporations to survive, however America needs innovation and entrepreneurship practices to grow. In fact, it is the exploited innovation and entrepreneurship that makes big Corporations succeed.
In 2012, President and CEO of Heritage Link Brands, Selena Cuffe wrote:
- “Corporate America Creates a False Sense of Security. With the surety of money and benefits, it’s possible to become comfortable working in a role that may not use all of your talents. It’s also viable that as you develop functional mastery, your impetus to excel in other areas wanes or you loose sight altogether of a scenario where your impact spans beyond the company environment. Coupled with ongoing tenure and the perks that come along with, the incentive to do anything but status quo quickly diminishes. God help any downturn or clash with a manager that, like at any corporate job, could cause the illusion to swiftly fade.
- The corporate climb is slow and at each rung you’re reminded that there is so much still to do before reaching the next level. At most established corporations, formal decisions require several layers of approval before anything gets done. As one waits in line to get their project’s time to shine, corporate training can actually program the employee to believe they must still “check more boxes” to demonstrate they’ve got the skills to do what it takes or be promoted to the next level. In turn, the employee begins to believe that they’re not ready to rise to the next level, let alone forge into a new venture where the outcome is completely opaque.
The good news is there are plenty of people who despite the aforementioned obstacles, take the leap of faith and pursue ventures, even some while simultaneously working for Corporate America. Yet to do this effectively, it’s important to remember:
- Knowledge is power. The most important component is knowledge of “self.” If you know there’s more that drives you than taking a paycheck or living life comfortably, be honest with yourself and seek your passion, even if that means trying to figure things out after hours!
Mitigating risk is key. While you’ve got a guaranteed salary, stack your chips! The money will come in handy one day—trust me. Get all of the cross-functional training you can in preparation for the day when you may have to do it all, when starting a business.
You only live once. Our time on this earth is limited and way too short to doubt your ability to do great things, even if you don’t know it all. There are several living entrepreneurs, from Andrew Mason to Mark Zuckerburg, that remind us what’s possible, even with limited experience. So seize the moment and live each of your days to the fullest!”
Could not have said it any better, Thank you Selena!
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