This past weekend, I attended a party where most of the people there had been laid off, like myself, from our former employer. There’s now been enough time and distance from the actual layoff to have a bit of perspective (“how could the company’s management blow it so badly?” is the common refrain…) and where people have moved on to different activities.
Those activities are working at different companies or working for themselves trying to build a business or looking for work and taking time to enjoy life in the moment. All of it good. Most interesting to me, though, were those striking out on their own to try and build something for themselves. Invariably, when told that most businesses will fail, their response is something like, “well, I might fail, but I will have learned a lot about myself and building something in the meantime.”
While much in this economy is forcing people to try new things, the net result is better job skills and perspective from people who have tried going it alone. Here are some key takeaways from trying to build your own business:
People who have tried going on their own offer a richness of experience traditional corporate employees don’t have. They have greater perspective on the different corporate functions, understand finance better, know about marketing and have thought through they type of people they like to work with. They have built persistence in the face of long odds and know what it means to continue to work through discouragement.
In short, people who have tried building their own business are richer for the experience and shouldn’t be missed by a hiring manager. After all, there are only three answers to interview questions — and people who have tried building their own business have better answers.