Josh Mastel | Crain's

In this ongoing series, we ask executives, entrepreneurs and business leaders about mistakes that have shaped their business philosophy.

Josh Mastel

Background:  

Based in Charlotte, UpRoar Partners is a sales-as-a-service company that helps small and mid-sized B2B companies improve their sales performance. Prior to founding UpRoar Partners, Josh Mastel spent the majority of his career in the technology services industry building and scaling large sales teams across the country.

The Mistake:

Before I founded UpRoar Partners, I was in a very comfortable spot as the VP of sales for an IT service company. I had wanted to leave the company and start my own business earlier – I always knew entrepreneurship was in me because I had all of the traits – but decided to stay in corporate America a couple more years.

I thought it would be beneficial to spend that additional time at the company because I thought I would learn more and be better prepared to start my own business. But I think I was also afraid of leaving this very lucrative spot to jump out of the plane and start my own business.

In hindsight, that was a mistake, because I could have done that job in my sleep. Had I left earlier, I would have been two years ahead of where I’m at now, because I was just as prepared to start my company then as I was two years later.

Paralysis by analysis is a very real thing.

The Lesson:

Nothing in corporate America can prepare you for entrepreneurship as much as just doing it does. No matter how prepared you think you are to start your own company, you have to surrender yourself to the idea that you’re going to fail, either way. You might as well make the jump sooner rather than later.

Corporate America doesn’t really teach you how to fail. You don’t learn as much when you are comfortable and failing on someone else’s dime. When everything is on the line and all of your decisions have a massive impact, however, you quickly learn how to pivot and adapt.

Corporate America doesn’t teach you how to figure out what the market wants to buy, either, because it’s already got that figured out. When you start your own business, you don’t have that figured out, so you have to learn on the fly.

I’m not saying corporate America doesn’t prepare you for entrepreneurship at all, but it’s not going to teach you everything you need to know about running your own business. Paralysis by analysis is a very real thing. It’s better to just take action, fail, learn and pivot.

Photo courtesy of UpRoar Partners..

Do you have a good story you’d like to share, or know someone we should feature? Email hgamble@crain.com.

And be sure to sign up for your local newsletter from Crain's.