Preparing for Entrepreneurship
Key Takeaways from SourceCode co-founder Becky Honeyman's Interview with Marlow
Last week, I participated in a Facebook Live interview with Marlow, a career design platform, about launching SourceCode Communications earlier this year with Greg. Entrepreneurism can be a scary undertaking but we’ve been surrounded with endless support. During this process we’ve discovered what an amazing community of entrepreneurs and supporters we have in our network. Because of this experience, I want to give back by sharing the lessons I’ve learned in my career, how I knew it was time to launch a business, and how I prepared for the entrepreneurial leap of faith.
Here are some key takeaways I highlighted in the interview for professionals thinking about taking the leap:
Do your homework. Make sure you really know what you’re getting into, and make sure you have the support - emotional and financial - to be able to do it. There are some many other things to worry about - whether you can pay your rent is not one that should be clouding your judgement. When we decided to start the company, we began by looking at the commercial data - worked out our vision, our commercial goals and really what we wanted to do differently to every other agency. We spent a lot of time working through the financials,the operational stuff, the resourcing as well as the more exciting, creative things like working with designers on logos and websites. And then, we worked out our own financials. Everything we knew about starting your own business told us the fairly decent salaries we had been used to were unlikely in the near term at least so we had to make sure we had enough saved, squirreled away to help us through the early days.
Consider a partner. With my partner, we have a ying/yang thing going on which serves us incredibly well. We’re both enormously ambitious and driven but our skill sets are different and complementary. Where i tend to overthink and overly analytical - always wanting to consider a challenge from every perspective, my partner is much more keen to take a leap. Between us we have a good combination of considered and confident. Even when we drive each other mad, and as opposites we do, it’s so much better to have someone to share your concerns.
Outsource what you can so you can focus on what’s important. When you’re starting a business, you’re not going to want to spend time looking at spreadsheets to determine taxes, experiences, benefits, etc. One of the things I’m most thankful for is finding platforms to help us with accounting and HR functions. Taking those things off our plate has allowed us to concentrate on the business while not having to worry that the business isn’t being taxes correctly or that our first employee isn’t being paid this week.
When Greg and I were first thinking about doing this we spoke with a guy who had set up his own business a year or so ago and I remember asking him at what point you stop worrying. He deadpanned me and said, “You know, it’s a bit like breaking your leg. You heal, but the pain never really goes away.”
At the time I laughed but it’s true. When we talk to industry peers about where we are just a few months in, we are regularly told that we are doing brilliantly but for us it will never be quite good enough. We can always do better.
Starting SourceCode always feels like a good decision especially with our quick growth and early industry recognition.. Even on the crappiest days, I am glad it’s our crappy day.
To see the whole interview, visit Marlow’s video here.