I was in a roundtable the other day with some smart folks and mentioned that I have never worked “for the man”, besides a short internship after college I have been self-employed my entire professional life.

Afterwards someone asked me if I felt it was a positive or negative not having the corporate experience. I gave some quick answer about not missing out on fluorescent lights and cubicles. But a minute later while walking to the car I gave him another answer after processing the question a bit more.

I feel I am at an advantage because I do not have any preconceived notions.

Notions like how a company should be run

Think about it. Sure I had to learn some things the hard way. But overall I was free to create a company that was not weighed down with baggage brought with me from a previous experience.

What’s your experience? If you left a corporate job to go out on your own.. did you feel free to design the company of your choice, or did you have ย a “this is the way it is done” mindset? Good and Bad.

6 thoughts on “Preconceived Notions”

  1. Most corporations stay successful because they resist change. Their entire structure exists to repeat similar processes over and over and over and over, because it’s cheaper and more likely to please the stockholders that way.

    The ONE thing I learned from corporate America is that in order to grow, you MUST change and adapt and go with the flow. You need to surprise and shock and wow and solve problems.

    Corporations are great for people who want to be told what to do, and there’s nothing wrong with that, but for many of us, that just doesn’t work right.

  2. Coming from a lot of time in Corporate America I disagree with Tyler’s comment — a corporation of large size (ala FoMoCo, my alma mater) succeeds only if they Do change. The major problem is the in the last phrase of Tyler’s 2nd sentence, when corporations react only to the stockholder constituency.

    As a company grows, if you are in charge, you will institute processes, checks and balances, etc that will make you less flexible. Guaranteed.

    Take your companies to 1000 employees and the need for structure will consume your time, Josh. Preconceived notions notwithstanding. Without the experience, you will find yourself hiring staff that can bring the needed expertise.

  3. Word Rich,

    I freely admit that I may not be (at this time) suited to manage a company over 20-30 employees. A problem I wish to have soon ๐Ÿ™‚

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  5. Hey we taught you a lot at that ‘short internship’, as the guy that took the risk on hiring you, You were very green. And probably the 10 person office at PrimeView was the first time you had to show up on time for anything. ๐Ÿ™‚ And aside from weird, excuses like my car drove by itself and hit a house or hill or something. You were pretty much a solid employee.

    But I don’t recall that as an internship, so I say I take issue with that idea, and say you had a real life job. If only for a brief time. ๐Ÿ™‚


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