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What Transitional Period Are You In?


Every entrepreneur must pass through at least one from a series of  transitional periods; from employee caterpillar into the entrepreneurial butterfly. I have have compiled a list of transitional periods that are key to having a successful business.

The 9-5 Career Transition

This is the most frequent and consistent transitional period because most  people spend 10 to 20 years in their respective careers before venturing out on their own. This is because these decade(s) create confidence, credibility, and expertise in their fields. They would also have acquired a network of potential customers and helpful associates that can almost guarantee a successful venture.

The 9-5 Job Transition

Many people start off working the full 8 hour work day for many years in a job that may not offer upward mobility or opportunities for career growth. However, some entrepreneurs work a 9-5 job to just support themselves, and their job doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with their venture, or at least, not at first.

For example, I did a commercial for this ringtone site, and the owner told me his story of how he developed the successful site. He first started off working at Verizon for many years while he studied computer science at college. He then started to develop a small website to share ringtones with friends, and he would recommend his site to customers at Verizon. It took about a year or two, but his site suddenly grew by word-of-mouth. He now owns a home, and lives in a upscale neighborhood where he can just focus on growing his site, and support other business ventures.

The Void

Minecraft is a popular sandbox game that is in alpha (not even beta) and is selling at 10,000 copies a day at $13 a pop. The game was developed by one man named Marcus Persson, and the game has been in development since May of 2009. He quit his job so he can devote full time to developing his games, and he built the main backbone of Minecraft in about a month. He started selling the pre-alpha on June 10th, 2009.

It’s this month that I call the Void. You have a short amount of time to accomplish something to see if it’s successful or not, and see how people respond. He quit his job, and for one month concentrated on getting this game out, without really having any backup plans, without any indications that his venture would be successful or not.

The Student

Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, and Steve Jobs all started companies in college, and they also later dropped out. The main thing is that they were all geniuses in their own right, so they focused less on school and more on their projects. Being a student is great because you can meet other talented people and the pressure to succeed is not as great because you’re still young, and full of energy. However, as a student, you don’t have as much experience with starting a company, so you’re taking a huge risk if your company isn’t successful.

The ‘Rents

Sometimes, living with your parents is a necessity and for others, it’s a choice. Living at home is great because you’re not far from your loved ones, and you get free rent and food. You’ll also saving up a lot of money instead of paying rent and bills every month, which can help you speed up your entrepreneurial process by reinvesting all of your money into your business. However, it can also be a burden, because living in a pampered state can make you feel lazy, and there’s plenty of distractions at home to make you think you’re staying “busy.”

The Couch Nomad

Felix Dennis, famous print tycoon and author of How To Get Rich, started off as a couch hopper sleeping on friends’  sofas, but he was not just any couch hopper taking advantage of free rent. He saved up his money and invested in his printing business, and even did some bank trickery with his friend to make it seem as if their business were making consistent money. He’s also never learned to drive in his life, as he always got his friends to do it, but now he just has a full time chauffeur. Talk about having awesome friends.

The Career Shift

Steve Pavlina is a famous self-development guru, who first started off as a game developer. He grew up loving math and computer games, but always felt he could offer the world more. It’s when he started his blog and started helping out other game developers that he realized his true calling, which he calls “Personal Development for Smart People.”

There are other people out there with careers that do not relate to their shifting careers, like a lawyer becoming a bakery shop owner, or a corporate man opening up a bike shop, but usually the career shift happens mid life, when a person realized the true love of their life and what they want to do for the rest of their days. A career shift is usually always positive because they’re leaving behind something stressful and taking on something more meaningful.

I’m sure there are many more transitional periods, but these are the ones I believe are the main ones, so please, let us know what transitional period you’re in.

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  • Samuel

    Awesome post bro! Thumbs up to all these great icons lol. Well the transitional period i’m in for now is that am still living with my parent also am a student. Most of the time, i do think of quitting and focus on my business but i just have to keep going since i will soon be through with my studies. Thanks for sharing.

    • Giordany

      Yea man, just finish your studies or you’ll regret it. Learn as much as you can, when you can.

  • Moon Hussain

    Giordany, that was a fun read. I think I’m in a career transition but it all depends on how things work out.

    The Void sounds awesome–the guy who built his game within 1 month (or the backbone at least), now that’s just pretty damn awesome.

    Two thumbs up here.

    • Giordany

      Glad you enjoyed it! You should check out the game, it’s really fun.

  • http://juniorbiz.com Nick Tart

    Haha… I’ve been in four of those transitional periods! You gotta do what you gotta do. It’s nice that we have friends who are willing to put up with us sleeping on their couches ;).

    P.S. That’s crazy about Minecraft!

    • Giordany

      Four! I envy you. Good luck with your current transitional period!

  • http://www.lavenderuses.com Patricia@lavenderuses

    what a great take on the transitions we could/should make to be that successful person we are aiming to be. I left the 9-5 a couple of months ago; took a small biz course (run by our govt & funded by them) and I am about to monetize my blog. Here’s to success for all us hard-working bloggers and yes I work far more hours now than I ever did in a “normal” job. Only difference is I’m loving this journey a whole lot more :-)
    Patricia Perth Australia

    • Giordany

      Good luck with your blog! I hope it’s what you enjoy doing all day, every day.

  • http://seommotips.com Suresh Khanal

    Good examples. I’m under 4 or 5 stages you’ve pointed. Finding a right direction could make a great turn in life and still searching for the particular sector where I could do better.

    • Giordany

      Take as long as you need to find your sector, because going back to a transitional period is harder than one may think.

  • Peter J

    I think i would fit into the student category, (like many of us here?)
    Just see where the future leads me ;)

    • Giordany

      “If you want to make God laugh, make a plan.” I’d say may the plan anyway; I don’t like going with the flow, but if it suits you, do what you must. Good luck with your blog!

    • http://thestartupstudent.com Zack Shapiro

      Hey Peter,

      What are you working on? I’d love to hear more about what you’re doing outside of college. Shoot me an email, zack@59thirty.com and let’s connect!

      ZS

  • http://www.dinovedo.com Make Money Online

    Im in college right now, so I guess im in the student category, however, moving onto the self employed section!!!

    Thanks, Dino Vedo

  • http://profitsrgood.com Roland

    There is no perfect time to start a business. You have just got to decide to do it and then go for it! If not you will end up stuck in a situation.

    • http://thestartupstudent.com Zack Shapiro

      Roland, I completely agree. The stars will never align and say “Start a business.” Just take your first step. If it feels good, take another one.

    • Giordany

      I disagree because from what I’ve gathered, most successful businesses grow organically into success. They start off small and only when the transition reaches critical mass do they take the leap.I’m assuming you’re talking about leaving your job, and then starting something from scratch. But its better to stay at your job, then leave when your side-business has matured. This is what I wish I would have done, because forcing a business to grow is resource draining, and time consuming.

  • http://thestartupstudent.com Zack Shapiro

    I’m a student though sometimes I wish I wasn’t. I’m doing so much outside of school that it’s mostly a nuisance in my schedule.

    • Giordany

      Just finish school while you’re young, or else,20 years from now, you may wish you had finished school and suddenly decide to go back.

      Also, this problem stems from not using school wisely to suck out as much value as you can. It’s a learning environment, if you’re not learning, you’re doing something wrong, not the school.

      I assume you’re in college, so evaluate your classes and change the ones you don’t like, or add ones you wouldn’t usually consider. I wish I had taken more entrepreneurial business classes at USC because the ones I did take were awesome.

      Hope this helps.

  • http://www.thesaleslion.com Marcus Sheridan, The Sales Lion

    LOVED this article…really resonated with me. Coming out of college, I started a swimming pool company and was a ‘pool guy’ for almost 10 years. Along the way, we built one of the most successful education-based marketing websites in the world and now I’m passionately sharing the benefits of inbound, education-based, and content marketing to any small business owner that will listen.

    Gotta love transitions! :-)

    • Giordany

      Awesome! Great story. Glad a transition helped you, but your transition is a peculiar one because you used a business you created to transition into a bigger and better business, that’s a new category in itself! Thanks for sharing.

  • Fran

    I started off marrying one. He then pulled me into it through “love”. My family were hard worker bees before I got married. Now I am one, too. I would never be able to work a 9-5 job. It would never be able to pay my bills and I like to have my free time without having to ask for it. I have to admit, most of the time I work well over 15 hours a day. I live by the saying, you have to play as hard as you work. I do that for sure. Great post for all those new comers.

    • Giordany

      Ah, a new transition: Marriage. That’s one I overlooked. Definitely having a helpful spouse is a transition. Thanks for sharing, keep playing hard and working hard!

  • http://uniqueblog.net Derek Jensen

    I’m in the student period and its a battle to figure out how to manage time with friends, family, school work, and things that I want to do on the web.

    Time management and productivity is a must. To help with this I just do one thing at a time meaning I open social networks to talk, just open wordpress to work on the blog, and documents to work on additional work.

    • Giordany

      I have an upcoming article about embracing laziness, but it’s really about being more productive, I’ll let you know when it comes out, and hopefully it gives you some ideas.

  • Anne

    Based on the above transitional period, I am the The Career Shift. From being a Professional Civil Engineer, I am a web designer and graphic artist. I am not ashamed of my current work because aside from good salary, I have enough time with my family.

  • Jamie

    This was a fun article to read. I never have stopped to see which category I fit into. It was fun reading and placing myself in them. This is going to help me better understand myself and others.