At the age of 24, Jenny Morrill started work on her dream of starting her own company. She then founded Move Loot, a business for buying and selling furniture and home decor that included pick-up and delivery. Her small four person group that operated out of a storage unit soon grew into a 90-person, nationwide company.
But Morrill admits that starting your own company isn't easy. In this Fast Company piece, she presents seven lessons she learned in the years since Move Loot took off:
- It can be incredibly lonely: Seek out a support system to turn to for advice, help, or commiseration, and consider finding cofounders to embark on your journey with you.
- There is no set path to follow: As tempting as it is to try to follow the path of an entrepreneur that came before, that strategy is full of potential pitfalls. Chances are the recipe that worked for another business wouldn’t be as successful for you if you copied it verbatim to your business model. The best companies are built on calculated trial and error—a series of smart mistakes that lead to breakthroughs and realizations.
- Get used to constant change: The most successful companies keep this mentality as they grow, adapting to the times and always innovating. In order to truly be able to build the best product or business, you need to be willing to change and avoid getting stuck in assumptions or ruts.
- It comes with extreme highs and lows: As the founder of a business, the connection you feel to its successes and failures is far more pronounced and profound than the connection the average employee feels.
- Prioritize your own needs, or no one will: It is easy to become fully absorbed in your business and put off other important things, so keep your professional and personal priorities in check to make sure you don’t lose yourself in your company.
- You will get more unsolicited advice than you could have ever imagined: Remember that you know your business best and you make the final decision on what you do. My advice? Feel free to ignore 90% of the unsolicited advice you get.
- You will leapfrog your career and grow more than you can imagine: Starting your own business and breaking out of the norm will propel your career and development to the next level in record time. The act of conceiving of a business, building the model, launching the MVP and growing that business from the ground up allows you to see every angle of a company and the phases of its development as if on fast-forward.