Ready To Build A Startup? 5 Reasons You Should Work For One First

Perhaps the most compelling reason to work at a startup is the sense of entrepreneurship it instills in you.

Photo: Brooke Cline
; Credit: Winnie Bruce Photography
Photo: Brooke Cline, Owner of Emergent Advisory LLC
; Credit: Winnie Bruce Photography

According to Forbes contributor Neil Patel, 9 out of 10 startups will ultimately fail. These aren’t very good odds for millennials like me who cherish job security.

We graduated in the height of the recession and struggled to find our first post-college jobs. The thought of working at a company that only has a 10% success rate is absolutely daunting, therefore we tend shy away from such ventures.

Whether due to lack of funding, poor innovation, or general disinterest, there are many reasons for these failures. However, there is the 10% chance that your startup will succeed. Just look at AirBnB, Uber, or even Google.

Without a doubt, each of these companies struggled at one point or another. Their ultimate success is 100% attributable to the people who took the chance to help them flourish.

While working at a startup doesn’t guarantee you job security, it does guarantee you an unforgettable experience. As the owner of Emergent Advisory LLC, a full service accounting and bookkeeping firm, I’ve been working with startups for the past few years, and I can say with full certainty that there are many reasons you should take the chance at least once in your life.


1. Be a pioneer.

Working at a startup makes you part of something that could, quite possibly, change the world. Take Facebook, for instance. Facebook has literally changed the way over a billion people communicate on a daily basis. Thirty years ago it was still common practice to write letters, make phone calls, and meet people in person. These days we keep in touch by liking, sharing, and commenting, rather than with face-to-face human interaction. Facebook pioneers totally transformed the way mankind interacts. Isn’t that something you want to be a part of?


2. Feel the passion.

While some startups are funded by outside investors, others resort to bootstrapping, or, self-funding. I believe that CEOs who invest their own savings have more at stake than ventures financed externally. Like everyone else, these CEOs have mortgages to pay, families to feed, and kids to send to college. They may have employees on payroll and offices to maintain.

They have an intense desire to succeed. Their passion is infectious and makes you want to do whatever you can to achieve success.


3. Find out what you’re made of.

Working at a startup isn’t something you can train for. Oftentimes you are pushed into the deep end with a cinder block tied to your feet. Have you ever heard the saying “sink or swim”? Yeah, that’s what I’m talking about.

Processes aren’t always developed and resources aren’t always available, so it forces you to create your own solutions. When you were once an introverted accounting professional, you are now leading meetings and cold calling potential clients.

When you were once completely lost, you are now establishing best practices and owning it. Working at a startup pushes you out of your comfort zone and gives you more confidence than you ever thought you could have.


4. Experience ownership.

Some call it “getting in at the ground floor” but I call it “ownership.” You may be assigned to develop a new chat feature on your company’s website. You may be working on the coding for your CEO’s SAAS platform. Whatever you’re doing, you are making a huge difference.

Your actions directly influence the direction of the company. When the business is finally generating profits after years of research and development, you can know that you directly impacted that achievement. When the company grows and becomes public, you can look back and know that you helped get it there. You are responsible for making something great.


5. Learn entrepreneurship first-hand.

Perhaps the most compelling reason to work at a startup is the sense of entrepreneurship it instills in you. You’ve been at the ground floor of someone else’s dream for years. A big piece of you wants it for yourself.

You understand the level of dedication it takes because you’ve been there. You see the hard work pay off. You want the satisfaction of knowing that you created something and left your mark. You want similar success.

 And you can have it.


This article has been edited and condensed.

Brooke Cline, a first generation blogger and finance ninja, owns and operates a full service accounting and bookkeeping firm, Emergent Advisory LLC.
 She has spent the last six years in the accounting and finance world, providing services to government entities, real estate empires, and Silicon Valley startups. She is passionate about helping businesses grow from the ground up. She and her husband live in Georgia with their Wheaten terrier, Lucy.
 Connect with @starr_cline
 on Twitter.


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