How do you decide to leave the security of your 9 to 5 job to pursue your dream? I sat down with Chris White for a candid discussion on his process for doing just that!
“How do you make the call to give up what you have? First, I had to look at what could be.”
Chris had made a life and a living in the world of information technology. As a high schooler, he witnessed the birth of the web and the dot com era and knew he had to be part of it! From web and back-end development to database management, Chris truly has had his hand in all things web. His passion and focus? Assisting with creating better team inter-communication to promote higher functionality, quality, and efficiency. He was successful at his job; he helped create and fix networks, but was he happy?
“Well, there are various levels of ‘happy’. I think once you get a glimpse of what you could do on your own; the sparkle of your job diminishes a little.”
In 2020, after completing our incubator program, Interphase, Chris decided to take the leap and go full-time into pursuing his venture.
“ I tried staying employed and working on my business after hours and on my off time, but after working 40-50 hours a week at my job, I was putting tired hours into my start-up.”
Today, Chris has completed not only our incubator but also our accelerator program, Instantaneous!
“The incubator and accelerator programs helped me explore different eventualities and test the assumptions I had about my customers needs. I was also able to create contingencies in case my assumption A wasn’t possible, I created plans B, C & D. The program allowed me the time to explore practical considerations as well.”
All too often, we see the narrative of entrepreneurship as a fairytale of ease and success; people making money hand over fist, flying in private jets, and eating meals created by private chefs. On Chris’ journey he knows firsthand how different the reality of creating (and sustaining) a start-up is.
“The false narrative of entrepreneurship being glorious and glamorous is missing the challenges of the real; of the reality, of the grit. When I first started I had no idea how to handle things like clients not paying or filing business taxes.”
When I asked what advice he would give to someone thinking of making the decision to pursue their start-up full-time and what factors played the biggest part in his process, he responded with a slight chuckle.
“Well, first I had to get my wife to be at least as half as confident as I was. Then I wish I would have taken time to zen-out and just make the decision. I suggest anyone thinking of pursuing their venture full-time join [incubator/accelerator] programs for support and actually take the time to ‘zen-out’ (clear your mind and focus) and just decide if the time is right for you to just jump in!”