This isn’t the first and will not be the last time I address this topic. Being fortunate enough to work with MedTech Founders is something I do not take for granted. Seeing them fundraise, hire, scale, and eventually go IPO or get acquired has taught me the value of risking it all for something you believe in. Does it come with challenges? Yes, of course it does. The headwinds are significant, from grassroots marketing and cross-country roadshows to waiting on FDA approval and reimbursement. For anyone who has ever built anything from scratch, the juice must be worth the squeeze. If the solution to a problem does not exist, the technology to solve it might just be worth betting your career on.

Let’s take a closer look at why you might want to move from the routine of your current role to a position with less structure and more obstacles.

  • Are you still being challenged in your current company or role?
  • When was the last time you got to build something from nothing?
  • Do you have a voice at your current organization, or are you just another cog in the wheel?
  • Do you want to be a big fish in a small pond or a small fish in the ocean? What about equity?
  • Have you ever been part of a liquidation event when a startup company goes IPO or gets acquired?

You will need to answer financial and career trajectory questions when considering if and when to make a move. Career choices often come down to timing as much as talent.

When was the last time you took a risk? In your career, personal life, or even pushing a bit harder in the gym, it is usually something most people avoid. Routine is comfortable. Unfortunately, there is no growth in comfort. We must embrace change. Ask for what we want, even if it’s scary. Then we know what lies before us, even if it’s not what we had hoped. Or maybe it is. We only know if we have the courage to ask and the fortitude to respond. After nearly two decades in the medical device space, I decided to switch from being an employee in the industry to helping BUILD the industry.

Things are a lot less scary when we align ourselves with proven winners. Those who have built something from scratch are not only surviving but thriving. People who command attention through their subject matter expertise and are always at the top of their game. Those who we admire and push us to be better. Think about the person or company that does that for you. Have you reached out? Do you have a mutual connection that can provide an introduction?

What are you waiting for?

We can always make more money. None of us can make more time. The sooner you bet on yourself, the better ROI you can get on that courage. What is the downside of trying? We can always go back to what is comfortable. As bestselling author John Maxwell says, “Courage isn’t the absence of fear. It’s doing what you are afraid to do. It’s having the power to let go of the familiar and forge ahead into new territory.”

What would it mean to expand your professional network? To be surrounded by founders and builders of companies that have gone from startup to startup and taken all their top talent with them along the way? We are only as good as the people we surround ourselves with, personally and professionally.

Have you ever noticed that you perform up to your level of competition? That’s because we are psychologically wired to compete and level up. Not just so we look good but because we want to match a certain level of business acumen or subject matter expertise. Introvert or extrovert doesn’t matter. Some of the smartest and most astute businesspeople I’ve ever worked with were the ones in the back of the room simply absorbing the knowledge and then applying it to their craft. It’s time for some career courage.

If you want to go big, stop thinking small. I believe in you. Just keep going!