9 Things I Learned When I Quit My Job and Started My Own Company

Going from a worker drone to the boss man doesn’t happen overnight — here’s some hot tips

New York City native Max Samis bounced around a couple of jobs before deciding the corporate rat race wasn’t for him. After working for the likes of MILK Studios, Foursquare and Bit.ly, the twenty-something saw the most potential in one thing- himself. With a passion for photography and an eye for unique design (and hot ladies), Samis brought to life Mister Spoils — The Essential Email for Sophisticated Men. However, quitting the man and becoming your own boss isn’t all fun and games. It takes determination, a strict work ethic and a lot of learning on the job. Here’s a tip: keep the bar stocked.

Below, the top 9 lessons Samis learned while launching and maintaining his own company:

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You’re Building, Selling, Or Failing

There are only two jobs. You’re either building the products (really) or you’re selling them. Think about everything you’re working on and organize the tasks on your to-do list so they clearly fall into each category.

Approach The ‘Yes’ With Caution

When you’re just starting out no one will give you the time of day, let alone open up their wallets and rolodex. But the second you gain what even looks like traction people will chase you down. Don’t get excited, and remember who offered you a hand when you had nothing to offer them back. Small quick wins today are infinitely more valuable than wild promises made by someone whose priorities lie elsewhere. I’m still waiting for introductions from people I met in 2012.

Trim The Fat

Every so often you’re going to need to clean house. There will be people and opportunities that take more bandwidth to manage than yield results. It’s important to put your emotions aside and deal with these distractions as quickly as possible so you can get back to work.

Bro! Do You Even Lift?

I resisted for the longest time but it’s true, your trainer wasn’t lying. Eating right and working out are often the only things you have control over when you’re building a new company. Living clean will keep you sharp, and no one wants to do business with a slob.

Pay It Forward

Seriously. Don’t be an idiot. These things come full circle and the universe has a way of making sure you get yours. Some of my most valuable advisors today were once my struggling peers.

Keep The Bar Stocked

You’re going to need it to celebrate your victories and even more to recover from your losses. It’s also an easy way to convince friends and colleagues to visit when you need a break. You’d be surprised how many brilliant ideas manifest themselves when you lure a few smart people together and send them home stumbling.

Live And Die By Your Routine

I don’t recommend working from home but if you must, live and die by a routine that you set in advance. Wake up at 11 and work until 9 or go to the gym after lunch. Whatever works for you, chief. But hold yourself accountable and beat yourself up when you stray – because no one else will.

Take The Beating

Did you f*ck up? Admit it to yourself and your team, then learn from it and move on. Nothing will break you faster than stubbornness and pride. Showing people you can get knocked down and stand right back up will help you earn their respect and convince others you’re worth following.

Power All The Way Down

One of the hardest lessons I’ve had to learn is the importance of powering all the way down. Turn off your computer, disconnect your email, and spend time doing something for yourself every day. Big wins often come after a night out with friends or a weekend getaway.

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