Moving from worker to entrepreneur

Over at UserScape, Ian Landsman has a post about moving from being a worker to being an entrepreneur. He specifically deals with his experience as a programmer, but some of the lessons are worth hearing, no matter what your background:

  • …the best code in the world is meaningless if nobody knows about your product. Code is meaningless if the IRS comes and throws you in jail because you didn’t do your taxes. Code is meaningless if you get sued because you didn’t bother having a software license created by a lawyer.
  • You really need to think long term. Things like getting your marketing and product positioning in place can take months to years. There’s no instant gratification….
  • I’ve found that I’ve switched lost sales back to me simply by being nice to the customer on their way out the door.
  • Make sure to always take time to show off your latest builds to someone who’s not very involved with the project.

Ian’s got a good grasp of the mental leap you make when you become a consultant or a small business owner. Your world really does change. Suddenly, you need to be able to handle business functions you may never have considered before. Legal contracts, credit policies, invoicing, marketing, customer service — they all become part of your world. However, with practice, it all becomes easier.