A few of my friends in the corporate world are thinking about taking the leap into the startup world.

Now I've shared my perspectives on this topic before, but I thought I'd perhaps share a few more and put them all into a single post.  Here goes…

- It's the hardest thing you'll ever do in business.  Nothing else comes close.  If you're always "swamped" in the corporate world, maybe this isn't quite for you.  Big company jobs are a cakewalk compared to what you'll endure as an entrepreneur.

- While it's the most difficult thing you'll ever do, you'll also be broke.  Don't expect to make a ton of money early.  Revenue takes time.  You'd better be prepared for it.  I recommend preparing for making no salary for at least a year, and truthfully you'll probably need more than that in most cases.  Yes, even you may not solve the revenue problem immediately.  Kudos to you if you can.

- Things won't happen quickly.  Imagine the bureaucracy involved in important decisions in your corporate job.  Now consider that your startup will probably be 100th at best on the list of priorities for the companies that you want to work with — either as a partner or a customer.  So get used to things happening a lot slower than you think.  This is a game of patience.

- Along those lines, don't expect real traction for 13 months.  I don't know why it is the case, but for whatever reason there is a lot of validity in the 13 month rule.  Most ventures need that much time to figure out what they are doing, fail a few times, and nestle gently in a place where opportunity and skills meet.  This is also ironically enough time for the businesses you pitch to realize that you're serious and committed to building a business around your idea.  Woody Allen said that "80% of success in life is showing up."  I'd add the corollary that 80% of startup success is surviving a single year.

- Once you start to succeed, everyone will bring their grummy hands to your honey pot.  Find people who are willing to help you first and bill you second.  Don't do it to avoid paying people for honest work, do it to find out who your true service provider partners should be.

- Finally, prepare your family and/or significant others.  This ain't a cakewalk.  Gone are the trips to Europe, the fine wines, the shopping sprees, the fancy cars, the great nights out at world-class restaurants.  Most entrepreneurs can't afford to maintain a great lifestyle, perhaps one you've earned through hard work.  Success is determined not by your past or your credientials, but by whether or not the market wants what you have.  That's it.  The best thing you can do is remember all those good times and forget them.  Now it's time to earn the good life!