Why I quit my job to go into the CWC/Silicon Couloir Start-Up Institute
April 5, 2016 by Mark Wilcox
Looking over a towering financial precipice, I leaped off the edge in February 2016, quitting my job as the eDaily editor at Wyoming Business Report to start my own life.
What was I thinking? A month after I put in my two weeks’ notice, I’m still asking that question. The thing is, I did it partly because of an oft-repeated maxim in the startup world I happened to hear Sandy Hessler teach her class before I had committed to it:
Jump and the net will come. ”
I had heard the statement before. But Sandy said it as someone who believed it. Had lived it, I came to find out later.
That was in December 2015 as the last session of the Start-Up Institute offered at Central Wyoming College with cooperation from Jackson’s entrepreneurial basecamp, Silicon Couloir was coming to a close. I was there reporting for my former job.
Cool stories everywhere.
It seemed almost like a club for driven people. People who wanted to change their world or the world for the better. I wanted in, but still couldn’t justify the time. The 10 intensive weeks of the course give 18 credit hours and pack in a mini MBA. I’d need to quit my job and immediately dip into savings to pay the $5,000 tuition.
That is a lot of money to a journalist with five kids.
I stewed on it and asked class graduates what they got out of it in the months that followed. People told me they got more out of it than they expected. I heard that they had probably saved themselves that much in errors since starting their businesses. Getting that kind of word-of-mouth made me start to think that maybe I should do it, regardless.
I voiced my intentions with a soft commitment to be in the class, but still wasn’t fully committed. Until the day I quit my job.
I had jumped.
No net in sight.
Literally the next morning – a Saturday no less – I got a call with a part-time job offer to be a blogger for a duo of life/entrepreneur coaches. It would work around the Start-Up Institute schedule.
Hi net! Boy am I glad to see you!
I haven’t taken the course yet, but one of the principles taught there has already come in handy. I can’t imagine this would be everyone’s experience, but it was mine.
Recently, we had a get-together at Sandy’s house so we could meet our classmates. The stories, once again, are diverse. But there is a common thread: Everyone is looking for something better.
Each person, each potential business, has a unique story to tell. Each has their own business model. Their own past. Their own life demographic.
And somehow, we’re all the same.
I’m looking forward to being part of this club.
Visit the Start-Up Institute for more information on the program.