176: Why First-Gens Don’t Have to Quit Their Job to Start a Business

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Some believe that being an entrepreneur is the worst job on the planet. Why? Because all the complex problems that the smartest people in your team can not solve are pushed back to you. And when things start going south, it’s you that needs to come up with the solutions. Unfortunately, you can’t share your struggles with your investors because they might stop funding you. And if you seek help from your team, they might predict impending doom and abandon ship. So, before you leave your 9 to 5 job, think about whether you’re mentally and psychologically prepared for the tough times ahead. If not, don’t give up on your dream of owning a business. Take it slow and become a DUALpreneur. As a first-gen, sometimes it’s better to have a safety net to cushion those really low lows.  

How to Stay Focused and Manage Distractions – 02:30

It’s no secret; managing distractions is difficult. In fact, most behavioral experts agree that today’s world is designed for interruptions. This is why sometimes we just can’t help but drift from the tasks at hand and grab our cell phone the moment we hear a notification. Unfortunately, most entrepreneurs have to deal with technological distractions and people, too. This can include staff, clients, colleagues, or friends and family. So, how can you stay focused and manage the interruptions?

According to Nicki, planning and scheduling time for everything beforehand works wonders when tackling interruptions. Make plans for your day, your week, and even your month. In doing so, you develop a sense of accountability that makes it really hard to deviate from the set schedule. However, people outside your immediate circle will not necessarily know how you operate, so it would be best if you gave them a heads up. Set expectations and be transparent about your schedules and the workload on your plate. This way, it’s easier for them to understand that this person is genuinely busy but will reach out when they get the time. 

There is More to Life than the 9 to 5 Grind – 09:05

The American dream is all about going to college, getting a 9 to 5 job, raising a family, and finally enjoying retirement. Mind you, there’s nothing wrong with enjoying your dream 9 to 5 position. Because maybe it’s your default option, and you crave certain benefits and stability. However, there’s more to life than working for someone for your entire life. Nicki explains that there will always be that glass ceiling when working for someone or an organization. Their interests will always come first, and your growth efforts will always be frustrated. So, if you really feel like you can do a little more than what your current job lets you do, be a DUALpreneur. Launch a side hustle and scale it while keeping your regular office job.

Why Starting a Business is So Hard for First-Gen College Graduates – 11:17

Why is starting your own business so hard, especially when you’re a first-generation college graduate? Well, the issue is typically not with starting a business but rather making it work. This is because most new business owners rarely prepare for the highest highs and the lowest lows. And what’s more saddening is the fact that first-gens rarely seek help, always preferring to go after their dreams on their own. Nicki explains that there is nothing wrong with navigating the first few days of entrepreneurship on your own. The trials you face will make you stronger, tougher, and more resilient for the challenging days ahead. Still, it’s always good to have someone to go to when you start questioning your beliefs, values, purpose, and the general trajectory of your business. 

But get this, your mentor can only help you overcome obstacles and change your mindset; all the hard work is still up to you. Once you start your business, focus on yourself and your journey. Ignore the competition and block off people’s comments. At the end of the day, how you tackle today’s problems will determine how you approach tomorrow’s issues. So, build that resilience and just keep pushing.

Why the Majority of Friendships are Seasonal – 25:10

As time goes by, you will make new friends and unknowingly drift away from some of your old friends. It’s just the way of life. Unfortunately, some friendships last years, even when we know they aren’t good for us. I know it’s hard to cut ties with someone whose image brings back so many memories. But sometimes, you need to decide to cut them off. Nicki explains that discerning fake friends from your true friends is extremely crucial during this phase. You don’t want to keep the wrong friend and discard the supportive friend. She believes that just because you’ve known someone since kindergarten doesn’t mean they’re serving you now. Always remember, some relationships are seasonal. Besides, friendship is not all about longevity but depth. The people in your circle should be the people that will go all-in for you, not the ones that have known you the longest.  

Nicki Bond is a “duel-preneur” (employee and entrepreneur). She currently works as an HR Trainer in Higher Education and is the owner and chief executive officer of Life Strategist Consulting Group LLC, which is a small strategy consulting firm for individuals, organizations, and companies. 

Nicki received her BS in Journalism and Integrated Marketing Communication and her Master’s degree in Leadership and Organizational Management and is currently pursuing a Masters in Law with a concentration in International Business Law. 

She also serves as part-time Adjunct Faculty in Criminal Justice and Sociology. Connect with Nicki Bond on Instagram.