Having a backup plan to your goals and dreams is pretty useful. If your current way of doing things doesn’t get you to where you want to be, maybe there’s another way to get there. However, have you ever thought of what you would do once you do get there? What will you do if, per se, you’ve finally “founded” that startup engineering company you’ve always dreamed of? What do you plan to do with it? What courses of action do you take? How will you do it? You probably didn’t think this far, didn’t you?
Source: The Federalist
Sometimes, reaching our dreams comes by faster than we would expect, so by now, you should have a plan of what to do once you do reach that goal. And most of the problems come with the business side of things, because, well, we’re engineers, and we weren’t exactly taught how to handle entrepreneurship (that we will all eventually have to deal with). Here are some things to think about:
Money equals time and freedom, not more materials
Reaching success will inevitably lead you to earning a lot. But remember, that money isn’t for the purpose of buying material things, it’s for buying you more time and freedom for yourself.
How? Well, an engineer is almost always going to be involved in a corporation of some sort, so being successful as an engineer usually means being the boss of a company. And what does a boss do? They handle employees. And employees are there to take the weight off your shoulders and let them handle work you can’t do by yourself. This in turn gives you less time for work and more time to do whatever.
So make sure you set aside some cash for when you’ll have to hire others. I mean, the law requires you to pay them right.
Don’t spend more than what you need
70% of lottery winners go bankrupt. Well, it’s pretty obvious that it’s because they spend too much. But think about it this way: because they have more money, they have more opportunities of things they can do with it. And with more opportunities come more purchases. This continues to a vicious cycle until they have bitten off more than they can chew.
The same works for businesses. Again, being an engineer means you’ll be involved in one somehow, so you have to learn to take care of one. Once you start to earn more money, you begin to think of all the other opportunities you can take to expand and make even more money.
And that’s not to say taking risks is wrong, but what were to happen if that risk you took to expand backfired? What will you do now? You have just lost millions and got nothing in return.
So don’t be afraid to keep the status quo of your business right now. Only when you’ve had enough cash on hand to be confident in taking a risk even if it backfires should you take that risk.
Stay in your lane
Finally, this simple, yet meaningful piece of advice is to stay inside your lane. It’s difficult to master one thing, so why would you want to try several things and hope it’ll work out? Once you’re successful, don’t think you’re bulletproof and can do whatever.
Remember, those huge companies and tech firms that create different kinds in different markets are run by several people, each one handling a single division. You’re only one person. So unless you have a few reliable people you who can handle a new section of your expansion, it’s best to stay in your lane.