Ex finance, investment banking, or consultant folks that became entrepreneurs, what was the journey like?

Calling all EX-Finance, Investment Banking, & Consulting folks that left to become an entrepreneur, what was the journey like?

With every day that passes, I become more disillusioned about staying in finance. I've always wanted to be an entrepreneur of some sort and it seems that's the most consistent way to establishing true wealth.

What made you make the decision to leave the beaten path and start a company?

I know coming from a finance/consulting background allows you to bring a unique skill-set to a startup, but is it that beneficial to have those skills in the start-up world?

What are some negatives and positives things that you brought into the start-up enthronement given your background?

Thanks for any responses given.

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Comments (55)

Jun 19, 2017

Damn.. Its like you spoke my mind! Bump

Jun 20, 2017

Bump

Nov 19, 2017

Bump

Nov 19, 2017
midwestbiggie:

Calling all EX-Finance, Investment Banking, & Consulting folks that left to become an entrepreneur, what was the journey like?

With every day that passes, I become more disillusioned about staying in finance. I've always wanted to be an entrepreneur of some sort and it seems that's the most consistent way to establishing true wealth.

What made you make the decision to leave the beaten path and start a company?

I know coming from a finance/consulting background allows you to bring a unique skill-set to a startup, but is it that beneficial to have those skills in the start-up world?

What are some negatives and positives things that you brought into the start-up enthronement given your background?

Thanks for any responses given.

At first its exhilarating. You resigned your corporate job to take on the world. To do great things. You have the feeling that finally you will personally reap all the rewards of your work.

Not only that, but it is very freeing. For the first time you aren't restricted to some classroom or job. You're completely open. I started an LLC and then went to Indonesia for a few weeks to think about life and go surfing.

But, for many startups or entrepreneurs, a big part of the new life is managing when you can work and an income flow. Depending on your type of work, income could be very erratic. You could have one project and be able to pay for the rent and bills for months and be carefree only to neglect your sales pipeline and wind up scraping by until your can line up your next opportunity.

You're essentially taking on more risk in your life and uncertainty to take on a greater potential reward. Remember that. Corporate life can lack some upside in earnings. But, it is comfortable for most in the industry. You could make high six figures or seven figures as partner in many companies. But, you will spend your whole life. there.

Is your interest in making greater money, making billions? Or do you feel so strongly about an interest that you think you can monetize it full time because it is your passion? Think thoroughly about your prime motivations.

Finally, the social aspect of entrepreneurship is different. You no longer see the same people for 40 - 50 hours per week. Initially you're likely to be hacking away by yourself unless you get seed funding to hire a team or something like that. So it is important to keep social circles in your life with people you see on a regular basis in a healthy aspect. For instance, a certain class at the gym. Some entrepreneurs lock themselves in a room for extended periods of time, which is great if you are efficiently working, but it is unsustainable.

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

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Nov 19, 2017

Report back in one year and let us know if you feel the same way.

Nov 19, 2017

25k ....idk about you but I want my freedom to be atleast worth 100k then yea sure I might agree with you lol

Nov 19, 2017

first 30 seconds

The answer to your question is 1) network 2) get involved 3) beef up your resume 4) repeat -happypantsmcgee

WSO is not your personal search function.

Nov 19, 2017

Best of luck with your business. Freedom is great if you can afford it!

Nov 19, 2017

not quite sure i'd call you a success story....

You made around a grand in 2 weeks

Nov 19, 2017

Good luck man

Nov 19, 2017

Yeah, there are these thing called, ya know, quotation marks indicating that "success" is merely a word used for lack of a better word.

Nov 19, 2017
Virginia Tech 4ever:

So, I recenty left my job and became an independent real estate consultant. The pay cut has been...well, massive. I've only been in the business for about 2 weeks right now, and with current work flow, I'm on the road to making about $25,000 per year, net of expenses. I guess for 12 days in the business, it's not too bad--I'm sure that'll become substantially better in the future. That said, man, I don't think I could ever work a regular salaried job again. I feel...free. For the first time in my life, I feel free.

I honestly see now why people become entrepreneurs, even if it means longer hours and less pay. The human condition is programmed to seek freedom, at least for many people. If you're wired that way, you'll take a more arduous path in exchange for freedom.

Any other "success" stories?

I started a web development company about 2 months ago and it's fantastic. Right now I'm making slightly less than I did at my old job but I'm only working half as much. Even better: several older, wealthy, well established people have approached me with new business ideas. They are looking for a partner who understands technology.

I'm fucking ecstatic.

Nov 19, 2017
surferdude867:
Virginia Tech 4ever:

So, I recenty left my job and became an independent real estate consultant. The pay cut has been...well, massive. I've only been in the business for about 2 weeks right now, and with current work flow, I'm on the road to making about $25,000 per year, net of expenses. I guess for 12 days in the business, it's not too bad--I'm sure that'll become substantially better in the future. That said, man, I don't think I could ever work a regular salaried job again. I feel...free. For the first time in my life, I feel free.

I honestly see now why people become entrepreneurs, even if it means longer hours and less pay. The human condition is programmed to seek freedom, at least for many people. If you're wired that way, you'll take a more arduous path in exchange for freedom.

Any other "success" stories?

I started a web development company about 2 months ago and it's fantastic. Right now I'm making slightly less than I did at my old job but I'm only working half as much. Even better: several older, wealthy, well established people have approached me with new business ideas. They are looking for a partner who understands technology.

I'm fucking ecstatic.

You sir are a very lucky individual.

The answer to your question is 1) network 2) get involved 3) beef up your resume 4) repeat -happypantsmcgee

WSO is not your personal search function.

Nov 19, 2017
surferdude867:
Virginia Tech 4ever:

So, I recenty left my job and became an independent real estate consultant. The pay cut has been...well, massive. I've only been in the business for about 2 weeks right now, and with current work flow, I'm on the road to making about $25,000 per year, net of expenses. I guess for 12 days in the business, it's not too bad--I'm sure that'll become substantially better in the future. That said, man, I don't think I could ever work a regular salaried job again. I feel...free. For the first time in my life, I feel free.

I honestly see now why people become entrepreneurs, even if it means longer hours and less pay. The human condition is programmed to seek freedom, at least for many people. If you're wired that way, you'll take a more arduous path in exchange for freedom.

VEEEERRY nice. Congrats, man. F the man.

Any other "success" stories?

I started a web development company about 2 months ago and it's fantastic. Right now I'm making slightly less than I did at my old job but I'm only working half as much. Even better: several older, wealthy, well established people have approached me with new business ideas. They are looking for a partner who understands technology.

I'm fucking ecstatic.

Dude, that's awesome. FML. I feel behind. Haha.

Nov 19, 2017

gratz man I actully have my own mobile marketing business, and a virtual business card business and i am making decent dough, nothin close to banking, but then again I spend a max of 2-3 hours a day on it.. haha prolly like 60-70k for my partner and I to split

Nov 19, 2017

Bravo man. Might be low paying for a while, but if you can stick it out and hustle, I think it will be well worth it.

Nov 19, 2017

Love hearing about stuff like this. That's great man. Congrats and best of luck.

If I may - what did you do before and what exactly does your new venture/role entail? Who are you consulting and what specifically are you consulting on etc.

Nov 19, 2017

Hey man, congrats thats awesome! I'd be interested to hear the details of what being an independent real estate consultant entails exactly. I've been working as an analyst for awhile now and I hate it, everyday I think about quiting and starting my own business. Even if theres a pay cut, there is something to be said for enjoying life and building a business from the ground up. Congrats again and keep us posted on your success.

Nov 19, 2017

Congrats VT! And yeah, keep us updated man.

People like Coldplay and voted for the Nazis, you can't trust people Jeremy

Nov 19, 2017

Oh man, this was posted on the front page? Thanks, Patrick or whoever. Now I feel like a total douche. LOL.

Anyway, I've been doing a lot of odd tasks for several hundred bucks, like some real estate research, building a financial model, and writing some articles. I've been hired on a trial basis to underwrite hotel and industrial loans as a third party (a trial basis because my background is multifamily). Those were the small deals. I'm helping a guy raise about $1 million in equity capital for a Washington, D.C. real estate venture. That will pay about 3% commission when I get the money placed (I'd charge more, but I have my reasons on this project...). I've got an investor lined up--hopefully that transaction will go through--scoring a $30,000 deal in the first month would be pretty sweet. Basically, the idea is to float through averaging about $25/hour for the work I do, holding on for the big scores. Eventually, those big scores will lead to bigger and better deals and then eventually I can leave the bullshit work behind.

And then I run my own investments on the side with my little trust fund, so that's some nice income--averaging about $100,000 per 18 months. So, on my way.

Oh yeah, I did underwriting for a GSE's multifamily group and then asset management for the top multifamily group in the nation. So my resume has helped me land business pretty quickly.

Nov 19, 2017
Virginia Tech 4ever:

Oh man, this was posted on the front page? Thanks, Patrick or whoever. Now I feel like a total douche. LOL.

Anyway, I've been doing a lot of odd tasks for several hundred bucks, like some real estate research, building a financial model, and writing some articles. I've been hired on a trial basis to underwrite hotel and industrial loans as a third party (a trial basis because my background is multifamily). Those were the small deals. I'm helping a guy raise about $1 million in equity capital for a Washington, D.C. real estate venture. That will pay about 3% commission when I get the money placed (I'd charge more, but I have my reasons on this project...). I've got an investor lined up--hopefully that transaction will go through--scoring a $30,000 deal in the first month would be pretty sweet. Basically, the idea is to float through averaging about $25/hour for the work I do, holding on for the big scores. Eventually, those big scores will lead to bigger and better deals and then eventually I can leave the bullshit work behind.

And then I run my own investments on the side with my little trust fund, so that's some nice income--averaging about $100,000 per 18 months. So, on my way.

Oh yeah, I did underwriting for a GSE's multifamily group and then asset management for the top multifamily group in the nation. So my resume has helped me land business pretty quickly.

First - CONGRATS! Obviously you're not where you want to be yet, but if you're enjoying it now it will hopefully only get better.

Second - I know you need to work at this point, so the $25/hr is probably good but is this what you see charging in the future? The little I know about your background and success makes $25/hr seem like you're really short changing yourself.

Good Luck and keep us posted!

The guy who was bashing VT for not making $ in his first 2 weeks - STFU. By all accounts he's been successful in the past and will succeed in this. Additionally, he's been a great poster here for quite a while and always willing to help. He's nicely responded to a stupid noob RE question or two of mine in the past.

twitter: @CorpFin_Guy

Nov 19, 2017

Thought I'd chime in with some advice: If you want to break out on your own, talk to every single fucking person you can. That's all I did in the 6 months leading up to starting my company.

Ask about their work, their life, their kids, their hopes, their dreams, their drug addictions... absorb whatever you can. People absolutely love to talk about themselves, and they WILL help you, directly or indirectly.

I can't emphasize this enough. If you're unhappy in your job, and want to become an entrepreneur, start talking to people.

That's the secret.

Nov 19, 2017

Actually, for $25/hour I may consider hiring you.

In all seriousness, myself and a buddy or two have long thought about getting into housing - particularly multifamily. I wish you were in the Chicago area, because if you had local knowledge I'd definitely hire you with your experience.

twitter: @CorpFin_Guy

Nov 19, 2017

All you dumb fucks defining success let's see if you got the balls to quit your job and start a business knowing you'll start off making 25K. Profitable businesses don't happen overnight and they certainly don't bring in enough dough in year 1 but it's a start.

Congrats on starting the new gig and wish you the best of luck man. Keep us posted with what's good. I actually just told my boss I quit too but only to lateral to a "better" firm.

Keep the heads up!

Nov 19, 2017
brownbanker:

All you dumb fucks defining success let's see if you got the balls to quit your job and start a business knowing you'll start off making 25K. Profitable businesses don't happen overnight and they certainly don't bring in enough dough in year 1 but it's a start.

Congrats on starting the new gig and wish you the best of luck man. Keep us posted with what's good. I actually just told my boss I quit too but only to lateral to a "better" firm.

Keep the heads up!

It feels good to say, "I quit", unless you give 6 weeks notice...

Nov 19, 2017

Haha, thanks, bro. Yeah, the $25/hour is about what I'm getting now for my work--it's basically the grunt work that's helping me float while I work on landing these big deals. Multifamily is a tough business to make money in as an investor--most of the guys I've seen investing are already rich from other ventures.

Surferdude, I REALLY agree with that advice a lot--my contacts have been invaluable. I'd definitely agree that people should start working the proverbial phones if they want to go out on their own, at least in the people businessess that are real estate and finance.

Nov 19, 2017

If you survive and keep your edge, you'll have the potential to make more than most of your colleagues. But of course, most people don't survive the first couple years. Kudos on the spirit. Focus on your fundamentals but put time out to always look for creative growth opportunities.

Magnus Ward

JUST BE A MAN - The Blog

http://justbeaman.wordpress.com

Nov 19, 2017

Congrats and good luck. Love to hear story like that.Bravo.

Nov 19, 2017

I love hearing stuff like this. I make far less now than I did when I was grinding it out, but I wouldn't trade the freedom for all the tea in China.

Nov 19, 2017
Edmundo Braverman:

I love hearing stuff like this. I make far less now than I did when I was grinding it out, but I wouldn't trade the freedom for all the tea in China.

Yea cause what the fuck would you do with all that tea? I mean really.

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford

Nov 19, 2017

VT4E, Enjoy:

Nov 19, 2017

I've just abandoned an entrepreneurial venture, that provided me with enough money for an average lifestyle and less work than an average job. Was able to run it, go to college and still have loads of free time.

But there was no way to make it big with the idea or the company. For me having the chance of jackpot is worth more than any comfortable lifestyle. I guess most of us here are young, it would be sort of stupid to abandon a career path, because of some entrepreneurial stint in a tiny market niche that pays good.. might as well be a cab driver...

Of course if your idea has the potential to make you massively rich, then by all means take the risk and go for it but its not going to provide a better lifestyle than an IB career... it will probably be even harder and more stressful

Nov 19, 2017
thor1000:

I've just abandoned an entrepreneurial venture, that provided me with enough money for an average lifestyle and less work than an average job. Was able to run it, go to college and still have loads of free time.

But there was no way to make it big with the idea or the company. For me having the chance of jackpot is worth more than any comfortable lifestyle. I guess most of us here are young, it would be sort of stupid to abandon a career path, because of some entrepreneurial stint in a tiny market niche that pays good.. might as well be a cab driver...

Of course if your idea has the potential to make you massively rich, then by all means take the risk and go for it but its not going to provide a better lifestyle than an IB career... it will probably be even harder and more stressful

You bring up some good points, but it still seems to me that the main way to make a lot of money is entrepreneurship. I've seen statistics that the majority of millionaires own their own business. And when you look at billionaires, that's often the case too. In a lot of industries, it's pretty hard to make $200K a year. But, plenty of small business owners beat that. Don't get me wrong because I'm not saying it's easy to run a business. I'm just saying that being your own boss is still one of the most common ways for people to make it into the upper income bracket. Where else do you have that kind of upside financially? Lastly, I'd like to leave you guys with a quote from Felix Dennis: "Ownership is not the main thing. It's the only thing."

Nov 19, 2017
Virginia Tech 4ever:

That said, man, I don't think I could ever work a regular salaried job again. I feel...free. For the first time in my life, I feel free.

Congrats, man! I hope to start a business in the next year or two, in order to supplement my income. Hopefully, I'll eventually get to the point where I can do it as my only job.

Nov 19, 2017

Being an entrepreneur gives you the best lifestyle ever. Welcome to the club, best of luck on your venture!

Nov 19, 2017

When you become a huge hit and have millions and millions ill be more than willing to be your right hand man :D

Nov 19, 2017

hah. a fellow hokie. i've also started for almost 7-8 months now... things were going well the 2nd - 5th months... but now business is down. due to fluctuating commodity prices and crazy inflation.

much support and encouragement for taking the leap!

ps. try to be prepared for slow months....

Nov 19, 2017

I like this thread. I set up 2 franchises with partners and must say I enjoyed it much more than an employement gig. I made some beginner mistakes though. My lesson was: Define a detailed exit plan (even it means exiting at retirement).

Nov 19, 2017
t4s:

I like this thread. I set up 2 franchises with partners and must say I enjoyed it much more than an employement gig. I made some beginner mistakes though. My lesson was: Define a detailed exit plan (even it means exiting at retirement).

You started franchises? Or you bought some franchises (like a McDonald's store)?

Nov 19, 2017
t4s:

I like this thread. I set up 2 franchises with partners and must say I enjoyed it much more than an employement gig. I made some beginner mistakes though. My lesson was: Define a detailed exit plan (even it means exiting at retirement).

You started franchises? Or you bought some franchises (like a McDonald's store)?

Nov 19, 2017

congrats - keep us posted

Nov 19, 2017

For the story, back in the end of 1990 my brother in law started a business right after his ms in engineering. For like three years, he was struggling, all his buddies from school and that were traders/structurers were cracking job on his car and his project of creating his company providing a "fiber optics" for internet.

No one believed in it, it was too expensive, not necessary, no one had the knowledge....

10 years later, the company is now a big division of a giant telecom company. Needless to say that things have changed...

Looking back, though, i must say that he worked more than anyone i knew, going through blackberrys every year and the whole freedom thing was not really striking. Of course he never had to go through the whole IB analyst circus but he was constantly working...

Even now, with 2 assistants and brilliant people working for him, he is not cruising, he is constantly travelling and on calls.

In my opinion, the "no pain, no gain" moral is very true. If you really wanted to achieve great things you have to dedicate yourself and this dedication means sacrifice.

Nov 19, 2017

Freedom is overrated......
.

Nov 19, 2017
wfucpa:

Freedom is overrated......
.

To some people it is... Others cherish it like it's oxygen...

Nov 19, 2017

Being a CPA is overrated. I'd rather have my heart cut out with a spoon.

Nov 19, 2017
Virginia Tech 4ever:

Being a CPA is overrated. I'd rather have my heart cut out with a spoon.

LOL - it all makes sense now, of course a CPA would think that freedom is overrated.

Nov 19, 2017

LOL....nope, I ran my own business (not related to finance or accounting) for 11 years and did very well. I loved not answering to anyone but myself and having control over how much money I made.....and not having other people tell me what I was worth or what to do. I am not your typical CPA. What I meant by freedom is overrated is that it all becomes a job....no matter if you are working for yourself or someone else. The freedom that you gain is great but there is a trade off......you may not have a boss but you will answer to someone or something. You may answer to the bank......your empolyees ( meaning, you have a responsiblity to them). I enjoyed my self employed time but I also know that it is not all rainbows and unicorns......you may gain freedom from somethings but it will be offset by a new set of responsiblities to other people and institutions. Maybe I should have said....the freedom of owning your own business is overrated.

Nov 19, 2017

I was just joking around wfucap. Nice post, by the way.

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Nov 19, 2017

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