Not everyone is suited for corporate life...some require the adrenaline, the risk and the empowerment.
For those of you who happened to read my earlier multi-part series “The Accidental Entrepreneur”, I left you with two decades of wisdom and in the embrace of a global corporation. Well, to quote a line used in many movies, I’m baaack.
Working for a large company
Working for a large company was, in many ways, a thrill. I met a lot of new and interesting people.
It was fun to play on a bigger stage, to have more tools, a bigger profile, an easier entree. But ultimately it became clearer and clearer that I was not cut out for being a part of a global company.
When you work for yourself for most of your adult life, you get used to a certain amount of flexibility, to not having to answer for every minute of every day, to being literally your own boss. You keep your opportunities and goals in your head, you keep your hopes and dreams in your heart.
If the company heads off in a direction that doesn’t fit your skills, you can either re-invent yourself or pack your bags. This old dog has his tricks neatly packaged and isn’t going to re-design or abandon them, particularly because they are related to the Hispanic community to which I am devoted.
Being out on your own isn’t easy
But, as any entrepreneur already knows and any aspiring entrepreneur will find out, being out on your own isn’t easy.
And now I am getting to enjoy all over again the insecurities, uncertainties, the cash flow issues, and having to wear fifty hats on any given day.
I find that being back in the entrepreneurial saddle has me having to rely on some very specific Jedi mind tricks including my favorite -- the proverbial “I don’t know how, but things will work out.” And they mostly do.
This mind-game is obviously naïve but it can actually work. Otherwise you’d be in the fetal position on the floor sucking your thumb and crushed by anxiety every day.
Finding a happy balance between calm and fear
But you have to find a happy balance between calm and fear – you don’t want this Jedi mind trick to work so well that you casually relax on your deck chair of the Titanic.
Realistically, you need the fear as it serves to keep you focused and active.
Without any corporate impetus, without the constant meetings, reminders, the PR department, the nagging from HR, the incessant needling from your bosses, it’s all on you. For those with an internal nagging machine, you’ll be good.
For those who don’t have this handy tool, there is always guilt, there is always fear, but whatever is working, it is has to come from you and your team, not from external forces.
The market doesn’t care
The market doesn’t care if you are there or not.
It’s up to you to make the market care, to make yourself relevant, to make yourself matter. But it’s particularly difficult when the market thinks you merged into another company, and they take you out of their active vendor lists.
Getting back in isn’t easy. It takes time.
Next- Time, Money and Takeaways
About the author
Carlos E. Garcia, born to Mexican immigrant parents, grew up in East Los Angeles and attended Pomona College, UC Berkeley and National University (BA, MA and MBA respectively). He has over thirty years of experience in the field of US Hispanic consumer research, twenty one years at the helm of his own company, Garcia Research. Most recently SVP at GfK: Knowledge Networks, where he headed up their Hispanic research efforts. He's gone full circle and now back at the helm of Garcia Research, a Hispanic market and Multicultural-focused research firm.Website