As an entrepreneur, you are what you’ve learned

Transitioning from the corporate world to entrepreneurship can seem frightening and intimidating during the early stages of growing your business. At times, you may really wonder if you’ve made the right decision — believe me, I know the feeling.

While establishing my own business, SupportPay by Ittavi — the first-ever automated payment system that helps you manage your child support, spousal support and your child’s finances — I realized that my hard work over the years did not go to waste just because I had left the corporate scene.

Here are some of the skills I fell back on when I created my company, giving me the reassurance I needed for success:

Public speaking

Learning how to communicate with people in a corporate environment helped me become comfortable speaking in front of large and small audiences. This was especially useful once I entered the world of entrepreneurism — pitching and selling your business to a potential venture capitalist or customer is everything.

Building a killer team

Through classes and the process of hiring and firing employees, I quickly began to appreciate the many different personality styles of my employees and my peers. It helped me realize that a team cannot be powerful without diversity.

For example: I am an extrovert — so I think out loud when making decisions. Introverts on the other hand think internally and need time to process information in order to come to a decision. Together they can balance each other and form a strong and productive team.

Lead by example, especially during difficult times:

Everything’s not always going to be peachy-keen when you start a business of your own. But even during the time of layoffs and economic busts, it’s vital that you reinforce the value of your staff to each one of them. It’s important to sympathize and show them you care.

Multitasking is a myth

If you haven’t read the book “The Myth of Multitasking,” I recommend doing so. Or read “Brain Rules,” where author John Medina says: “To put it bluntly, research shows that we can’t multitask. We are biologically incapable of processing attention-rich inputs simultaneously.” This means 10 minutes of focused work will give much higher returns than 1 hour of trying todo many things.

So to prevent this from happening to me, I set aside time every day to “be available” so that I am not in the middle of something if I get interrupted.

Don’t talk about it; be about it

Your company culture comes from the top. Leaders can’t say one thing but do another and expect their organization to be successful.

My final piece of advice to developing entrepreneurs is to rely on your training. Taking an inventory of your failures and successes from the corporate world and applying those lessons to your new business will put you on a good path to success. And although success looks a lot like hard work, the end results can be greater than you ever imagined.