Outgrow the Cubicle: Become a Tech Entrepreneur in 2020
I am Xola dos Santos, the director of XDODE.COM, and I have worked idealistically in various non-profits, my personal ventures and corporations throughout my early 20’s, mostly as a technical expert in Web Technologies and Video Production.
In this article I offer some practical advice on how to be forthright, innovative and manage your reputation in order to thrive in your career in 2020 if you want to be a technology entrepreneur.
Keep a Strategy Journal
Carry a daily habits journal around you and scribe your feelings, ambitions and opinions daily. Reflect on what achievements you have made and ensure you have an understanding of what would make the week great. You need to keep a grip and handle on life so that you can keep yourself accountable. A Moleskin journal usually does the trick – along with a comfortable pen.
Use this journal to set goals and mobilise all your resources around achieving those goals. These resources are not limited to money; What social networks do you have or do you have any connected family or friends who are especially skilled and can support you? Join a developer community on meetup.com if you need more support.
Most entrepreneurs never end up realising their visions simply because they don’t have a habitual way of settings goals and working towards them. Once you set a goal: Stick to it.
Often you might develop a loss of enthusiasm as a technology entrepreneur because life keeps giving you roadblocks: See those roadblocks as hints and markers. If you have a solid set of routines this softens the impact when life throws you a curveball.
My everyday morning consists of the following routine:
- Get rigorous exercise for at least 20 minutes a day
- Read for at least fifteen minutes a day
- Try watch as least amount of TV and series
- Eat that Frog
- Perform a random act of kindness to a stranger
- Focus on a positive key phrase and let that be your mantra for that day
- Don’t forget to work on and in the business
Practice and Embrace Creativity
I have a template that I developed with Leon Grové, a Clinical Psychologist and Executive Coach, that can help you unscramble those complexities in your conscious, unconscious and creative minds. After journaling using this template for a year, I found that I was able to exert incredible intellectual control onto my conscious mind by “triggering” pleasurable thoughts, practising new ways of thinking and embracing my creative side – going to live jazz shows and playing the trombone. Without Innovation and Creativity, you are DEAD.
Learn the latest Technologies
There are many gamified productivity apps in the marketplace that can help you keep schedule and order in your life, including Asana, Microsoft Teams and Trello. Master this new wave of Agile Project Management tools.
Be sure to have a general sense of the major computer algorithms (bubble sort, Shortest path in a Maze, etc) and major design trends. Having these general skills across a handful of programming languages can really give you an upper hand as a technology entrepreneur.
Organisations are looking for candidates with more generalised skills than specialist roles, so familiarise yourself with the commercial side of the business as well.
Don’t focus on getting Promoted: Be Entrepreneurial
Money is import and having more money will impact many many areas of your life. One of the hugest mistakes technology entrepreneurs make is that they don’t keep an eye on their accounts and administration. Learn to keep an eye on your money and have mature conversations with bank managers, friends who might have Chartered Accounting degrees or perhaps even finance managers at your workplace.
But more money cannot be the principle personal driver for a promotion. Promotions usually come with increased work-stress, less time for family, increasing complexity and more responsibility in the business. A promotion will bring you more money, but are you ready to let go of all your free time in pursuit of one? … if so then this article is not for you.
Consider asking your senior managers to give you a special project, or conceptualise a brilliant idea that solves a real-world problem, and commercialise that idea as a technology entrepreneur.
I would encourage you to look at the various domains of your life and consider what is important. One of those passions might be an opportunity for an innovative product idea.
Do you feel stuck in a rut at work? What is your career plan? Are you happy with your office job? Let me hear what you have to say in the comment section below and don’t forget to subscribe to our blog HERE.