Career Dilemmas

When it comes to deciding becoming an entrepreneur, the time in one's career matters significantly. Power, money, influence, autonomy, and altruism are some of the core motivations common amongst founders.


Three assets that one has to work with are:


1. "Social Capital": The degree of resources available to an entrepreneur in terms of business relationships and personal reputation.

2. "Human Capital": One's network and experiences. Early founders should identify their weaknesses and aim to fill in those gaps by taking on partners (employees, cofounders, advisors, etc.).

3. "Financial Capital": The amount of cash the founding team has invested, or how much they can find from outside sources.


Three liabilities holding one back are:


1. "Golden Handcuffs": The allure of a stable job. which can be considered “a heroin drip of a salary which must be disconnected.

2. “Legal Handcuffs": Clauses such as non-competes with former employers.

3. “Family Handcuffs": Emotional attachment to a state, or a spouse demanding a stable salary


There are three pieces which should be aligned:


1. "Career Circumstances": Is one's career at a stage in life when entering the entrepreneurial roller coaster is a wise decision?

2. "Personal Circumstances": one's spouse supportive? Does the founder have children? Is there a financial safety cushion?

3. "Market Circumstances": Is there a rush to be first to market? Are customers willing to pay for your idea? is the founder able to adapt to customers' needs or is she too attached to the original idea?


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