Thursday, September 18, 2008

Wall Street to Small Business

This week's news has reminded me of one area of Corporate America in particular that doesn't necessarily get a lot of sympathy or consideration when it comes to small business or entreprenuership--Wall Street.  Not known as a bastion of entrepreneurship, there are doubtless some inhabitants considering the transition to small business for any number of reasons.  Certainly, this week may have presented some with a new list of additional reasons to look for options beyond their current employment.  

The same principles outlined in other posts still apply, however.  For many coming from the world of finance, they already possess a skill set that has value and is often lacking in small business.  With an appropriate mindset, they can be extraordinarily successful in the small business space.  I offer a few points to consider while trying to avoid the stereotypes (because they're just toooo easy!).
  • Adjust your income expectations.  Small businesses aren't in the businesses of big salaries or big bonuses.
  • Learn how to make coffee, copies, and travel reservations.
  • Look for teams that offset your weaknesses.  If you are good at finance but a newcomer to operations and sales, make sure that you "hire/partner for your weakness."
  • Expand your network.  Ensure that you have "nodes" in your network that can get you into this realm that is often very far from Wall Street and downtown high rises.
  • Be honest with yourself.  A confidant is often essential here to give you feedback on potential blind spots.
  • Communicate with your family.  This transition will not go well, if you do all this in your head and don't communicate at home.
Hopefully these posts and others on the right can help bring some structure to people thrust into a journey that had maybe been in the back of their mind.  My own paradigm is within a more corporate setting than that of a bank, but there is a path into small business from there.  You just have to get onto the path.

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