Thursday, July 3, 2008

Learning to Make the Jump with Sheena Lindahl

I met my Michael Simmons, my current business partner (and husband) in college. I had no idea what career I wanted at that point, and was exploring. I was also struggling to pay NYU’s $30,000+ per year tuition on my own. I was balancing up to five part-time jobs at a time! At the time, Michael had a web design company that he had launched in high school. After a long day of school and work, we would wind down together and he’d tell me about the $5,000 business plan award he had just won and show me the newspaper article that just came out on his business. I quickly realized that I was going about my goals in the wrong way!

I started playing around with different ideas – but none of them felt quite right. Michael was winding down with the web development company and was trying to decide his next step as well. It became extremely obvious one day that our goals and interests were very aligned, and we decided to go into business together bringing together the things we loved: education and entrepreneurship!

From the moment we started Extreme Entrepreneurship Education, I knew it was right. (Though of course it was not easy.) In the beginning, I still had to work outside of the company to keep up with finances while we were launching. But as the company grew, I had more and more work and my time was getting spread too thin. Eventually, I had to make a decision – go full-time with the company or go full-time with the venture capital firm I had been putting most of my time outside the company to. That day – June 1, 2005 – was the day I knew the idea had taken off! We were getting enough inquiries that I knew this is something that at the least I could support myself in doing and that had a very likely chance of growing!

Whether you already have launched your business or not… There’s really no better time to launch your business if you haven’t. There will always be good reasons not to, but one good reason will be replaced with another. So if this is your dream, do it! If you’re already on the path to your goals, watch what you’re resisting that has the potential to take you to the next level – and start taking some steps towards it every day. You’re never going to have enough time, so it’s better to do it while it’s fresh and get it over with than to sit on it for weeks or months or years and get frustrated because you have to keep thinking about it!

Remember, “You can have anything, as long as you want it badly enough and are willing to work for it.” And, if you're going to play, make sure to “Play to win!”

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