Making the leap from employee to entrepreneur

Working for a large corporation gives you great insight into the inner workings of business – but the hustle and bustle of the corporate track can become overwhelming. Daniel Cowen, former corporate-lawyer-turned-founder of 3Doodler (a purveyor of portable 3D printing pens), was one such person who sought freedom from the corporate grind. However, transitioning from the corporate world to the entrepreneurial world is not without challenges. Here are three things to think about when considering a change from corporate to entrepreneurial life:

1. Loss of corporate support

As a corporate employee, a number of resources are available to assist you with your work. Those support functions are lost once you leave – meaning you must prepared to handle or delegate all clerical work, finances, logistics, sourcing, marketing and even cleaning/maintenance.

2. Don’t sell yourself short

Cowen points out that many of his colleagues settled for unfulfilling roles after assuming their skillsets would be useless outside of specific circumstances. “Being a corporate lawyer requires intense focus, organisation, multi-tasking, research skills, and simultaneous attention to detail alongside high level, forward-looking thinking — all tools hardly considered obsolete.”

3. Don’t dwell on shortcomings

It’s nigh impossible to be a one-man army and possess every skillset needed to run a business. Trust in your colleagues and complement each other’s shortcomings – when mistakes do inevitably happen, learn from them.

Starting a business can be daunting, but the right resources provide an invaluable foundation. From networking connections and support services to funding and incubation schemes, check out HKTDC’s HK Start-up Society for a head start with your business!

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