Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Cast a Net Before Throwing Your Line

While not a fisherman myself, this analogy seemed appropriate for people considering options for their exit from Corporate America. Simply put, don't narrow your options too early. Take the time to investigate options that may not have seemed initially attractive or apparent. Maybe franchising has some potential for you. Maybe networking will reveal a small business seeking an executive as part of a succession plan. I have mentioned before that it is important that you define entrepreneurship for yourself. Part of doing so is doing the leg-work required to create an informed definition that fits you.

Don't be afraid of reaching out to people to investigate. You will never know where these initial meetings may lead, and you can always get someone to talk about themselves! Ask a lot of questions and probe. Make sure you understand the lingo they use by asking for clarifications. You don't want to be six months into a process and have to stop to ask what X means.

Initial efforts to understand the landscape will allow you to better target your search. I'll pass on trying to end with some snappy fish analogy that I'd probably get wrong anyway. I think you get the point!

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