2. Do what you do well.
When you decide to start a business (while you are still working a full-time job), you should resolve to only take on what you can do well. Pay for help when a task falls outside of your wheelhouse. Opening your wallet for good legal counsel or design services will prevent future headaches.
3. Never compromise your family.
Less time with your family does not have to lessen the relationships.
I am lucky to be blessed with a beautiful wife and kids, so I have drawn the line in the sand that I will not screw up my role at home. In 3 years, I have missed less than 10 of my kids’ bedtimes total! I turn down almost every invitation for an evening event and while I may have to crack open the laptop at 10 p.m., I make sure to set aside time alone with my wife and kids.
Surprisingly, the world does not revolve around you and your business projects, so adopt the discipline to put down the iPhone at the dinner table and be present. Also, date nights are never a waste of time!
4. Know that simultaneous progress is possible.
No successful startup will ever relieve me of trying to be the best father on the planet and daily winning my wife’s heart.
If you are married or in a committed relationship — make progress. Get better as a father (or a mother). You can still do so while sprinting for your startup. For example, when I have an idea, I keep it moving by writing things down and making calls to relevant contacts.
Most importantly, pursue opportunities that might have legs, because you never know who will be your next big client, or what idea will be the one that enables you to quit your full-time job.
5. Believe in your startup idea.
I know that I have talent. I also believe that I am in the exact place to use my talent.
It is not unjustified pride; it is the necessary self-confidence to startup. If you have an opportunity to pursue a potentially life-altering project, chances are that you will never look back in regret on making the jump to a very busy, but life-giving entrepreneurial journey. Don’t be cocky, be thankful, and take responsibility for the trajectory you want like your life to take.
Ultimately, I have learned that if you do not move ahead, you will still be sitting in that same cube 10 years from now, doing the same thing, making 2 percent more per year. That is fine, if that is what you want to do — but it is probably not, because you have read this entire article. Make moves, son.
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Joe Cassara is founder and CEO of You Need My Guy, the best way to organize your referrals and recommendations online. He also serves as Managing Partner of Harvest Ventures, an early-stage venture-funding firm, and Mentor of StartFast, a venture accelerator out of Syracuse, NY.
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