3 Lessons Learned from an Accidental Entrepreneur

By on October 7, 2018

Some people know they want to start their own company someday; it’s simply in their DNA. Others never consider it an option and happily build successful careers working for others. 

For over twenty years, I was in the latter group, happily working as a B2B marketing professional for a variety of technology companies both big and small. I never had any interest in the myriad of headaches, hassles and financial risks of starting my own company. Besides, start a company doing what or offering what? No thanks, not me. However, things changed.

Lesson 1: Never say never. 

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What happens when you have that sudden: “ah-ha”, brain-child moment and create something for yourself to solve a constant nagging problem. Even better, your crazy, handmade little contraption is actually pretty damn clever, works like a champ, and your son’s friend says sincerely and emphatically “Connor, your mom is a genius!” Then, like a lightning strike, you realize that millions of other people have that exact same problem and need your solution. 

That’s when I made the decision to go for it, leave behind my career, and start my own company and brand. It was as if someone flipped a switch in me and totally changed the trajectory of my career path… and my entire life. As an “accidental inventor,” I quickly and passionately became and accidental entrepreneur. I was and continue to be both excited and scared at the same time as I embrace the ups and downs of this unplanned, unexpected journey. 

Lesson 2: Start with what you know and learn as you go. 

I knew there was (and still is) so much I don’t know about starting and running by own company, so I began with what I knew. Since I knew marketing, I began in my comfort-zone of the various marketing disciplines. I created a catchy company name, found an available URL, designed a great logo, wrote the messaging about what my product does, set up my social media accounts, etc. By starting with what I knew, it allowed me to get my mind in order and secure some incremental successes under my belt. After, I was able to move forward and research the other aspects of building my company. 

Lesson 3: Leverage the web.

Yes, it’s obvious and sounds silly, but the Internet is a phenomenal and indispensable resource. At each step, from searching for the name of my company and finding a patent attorney, to finding the right US-based manufacturer and various suppliers for product components, the Internet continues to be my most invaluable, go-to resource. Surely, cross-check information by utilizing Google, but all in all, let the web be your BFF in walking you through the process.

Allison Santini is the founder and creator of MyPhonePouch, a solution for wearing your phone when you don’t have pants pockets or purse.

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3 Lessons Learned from an Accidental Entrepreneur