Agile Mentors Podcast

Agile Mentors Podcast

Practical advice for making agile work in the real world

The Agile Mentors podcast is for agilists of all levels. Whether you’re new to agile and Scrum or have years of experience, listen in to find answers to your questions and new ways to succeed with agile.

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#40: Is it Time to Go Out on Your Own? Tips and Insights with Chris Li

March 22, 2023     38 minutes

Chris Li joins Brian to talk about making informed decisions about going out on your own and navigating the challenges of entrepreneurship.


On this episode of "Agile Mentors," Chris Li joins Brian to discuss the journey to becoming an entrepreneur. They dive into everything from the importance of having a clear vision and passion to weighing the benefits of partnerships and investors.

Listen in for valuable advice from Chris and Brian on sidestepping the fear of going alone and the crucial things to consider before taking the leap.

Listen Now to Discover:

[01:08] - Brian introduces Chris Li.
[03:13] - Chris discusses the importance of taking stock of your threshold for comfort before determining the next step, especially in the current climate.
[05:33] - Brian emphasizes the importance of passion in making decisions about the next steps and recognizing when you've reached the pinnacle of your current position so you can explore other opportunities that align with your passions.
[07:05] - Chris shares his journey, from knowing he had an entrepreneurial spirit to finding the right people to help him as he took the leap.
[08:51] - Brian highlights the importance of having a network of people to fall back on and the value of mentorship for personal and professional growth.
[09:29] - Chris notes that going out on your own looks different for everyone and why it's essential to find the path that works for you and shares an example of someone who took a different route to improve their career.
[11:35] - Chris breaks down external and internal factors that can help you determine if you're ready to go out on your own, including the most critical factor to consider.
[14:22] - Brian discusses healthcare as a significant factor.
[15:15] - Brian discusses the importance of risk tolerance and mapping out income streams and costs to ensure that going out on your own is financially viable.
[15:49] - Chris discusses the investment period at the beginning of a move and why having an end goal is essential.
[17:37] - Taking stock - what will you have to give up to have this other thing?
[18:47] - The importance of a support team to help walk you through ALL sides of the situation—good, bad, and neutral.
[21:13] - Brian talks about why developing a backup plan is essential.
[21:43] - Chris shares why getting legal advice is vital.
[23:23] - Brian emphasizes the importance of hustling when you are your own boss.
[24:05] - Chis encourages listeners not to be discouraged by the elements of the process. Starting a business can be a valuable experience (regardless of its outcome).
[25:17] - Brian encourages listeners to be realistic about their situation but not to let fear hold them back from pursuing their entrepreneurial dreams.
[26:18] - Chris advises listeners to consider all the angles of any new opportunities that may come up, being realistic about their potential value.
[29:21] - Brian emphasizes the importance of hustling, working extra hours as an entrepreneur, and considering your own work-life balance priorities.
[31:32] - Think about how you will spend your time AND your money: Chris shares some practical things to consider, like how you will spend your time AND your money, and partnerships and securing funding.
[35:49] - No matter your choice, you can always change course.
[35:56] - Do you have an idea for the show or feedback you'd like to share? We'd love to hear from you. Email Brian.

References and resources mentioned in the show:

Join the Agile Mentors Community
Mountain Goat Software Certified Scrum and Agile Training Schedule
Scrum Alliance
Subscribe to the Agile Mentors Podcast on Apple Podcasts

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This episode’s presenters are:

Brian Milner is SVP of coaching and training at Mountain Goat Software. He’s passionate about making a difference in people’s day-to-day work, influenced by his own experience of transitioning to Scrum and seeing improvements in work/life balance, honesty, respect, and the quality of work.

Chris Li is the Founder of SparkPlug Agility and a dynamic and enthusiastic IT consultant with more than two decades of industry experience. He specializes in delivering exceptional learning opportunities and is passionate about delivering outstanding speaking engagements, mission-focused insights, and cultivating meaningful partnerships for individuals, teams, and organizations.