In the beginning…

June 29, 2006

So it was June 29, the day before my last day at Citigroup, and I had just made the hardest decision I’d ever had to make in my life. After much deliberation, I decided to pursue my passion for OnCard full-time in lieu of starting a new job I had accepted at a prestigious private equity firm in New York City. I can’t begin to explain the anxiety this decision produced, and I felt absolutely terrible about disappointing the new team of professionals I was supposed to begin working with on July 5th. Leading up to my start date, I fully intended to begin working at the new firm. I just did not expect our new business venture to require my full-time attention so quickly. I felt that I would not be able to devote 100% to the new job while OnCard was taking up an ever increasing amount of my time during the day, and it would not have been fair to my new employer. Needless to say, I conjured up all the strength I had and met with my soon-to-be ex-employers in-person to discuss the situation. They were incredibly understanding given the circumstances, but I still felt terrible for a week after. That was the first real sacrifice I had to make to pursue the entrepreneurial dream…

Bottom Line: Try not to do what I did by leaving it until the last possible moment. I was scared that OnCard would not be ready for me full-time and I didn’t want to risk the safety net of a new job. However, don’t quit a job prematurely before your business venture shows some signs of success. This does not necessarily mean revenues or customers. Market research validation and indication of interest by prospective customers would probably suffice. However, when you make the leap, jump in all the way. Otherwise, you’ll hurt your chances with your infant start-up and end up doing a poor job at both.

JT

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