Why People Quit Their Job to Become Entrepreneurs
How Quick Base gave this entrepreneur the platform to pursue her dream
When Sharon Faust was 5 years old, she knew she wanted to be an entrepreneur.
She looked up to her mom and watched as she crafted the life that she wanted with spirit and determination. A true creative, Sharon’s mom was an artist and entrepreneur who started a graphic design firm and opened a store that sold renaissance clothing and other items.
Sharon’s mother wasn’t the only source of inspiration in her life. Her grandmother ran a real estate business, and her father grew up on a family-owned farm.
These examples instilled in Sharon a deep desire to create something of her own one day. She wanted that life of independence and fulfillment she admired so much about her role models.
It didn’t take long before Sharon started following those footsteps. At the age of five, she started selling popcorn to her neighbors going door to door. She recalled proudly how she took a loan from her mom to start the venture and paid back every penny with her popcorn earnings.
Five year old Sharon ran her business diligently. She managed her money, tracked her inventory, and knew her numbers. It was clear that Sharon was destined for entrepreneurship.
Why People Become Entrepreneurs
I learned this story from Sharon within the first ten minutes of speaking with her. Yet after those ten minutes, it felt like I had known Sharon for ten years.
It was partly because of Sharon’s open and sharing nature. But it was also because of just how similar her story sounded to my own.
While our backgrounds are different, I heard in Sharon’s story a set of motivations that drove me to become an entrepreneur as well. Motivations that I believe are universal to all who have felt called to start a business.
The magic and excitement of bringing an idea to life.
The fulfillment of creating something that provides value to your own life and to others.
The freedom to do what you want on your own terms.
Sharon ultimately realized her childhood dream. She now runs a company called Quick Base Junkie where she provides online training for users of Quick Base, a low-code development platform for creating custom business applications. But her journey from popcorn saleswoman to Quick Base Junkie was not a straight and direct path.
Most Entrepreneurs Don’t Start in Their Garage
By the time Sharon graduated high school, she was still dead set on becoming an entrepreneur. So she enrolled in the Eller College of Management at the University of Arizona and double majored in finance and entrepreneurship.
When she graduated, she stared real life in the face and had to make a decision.
“My degrees in business and entrepreneurship didn’t really prepare me to be an entrepreneur,” Sharon told me during our conversation. “The entrepreneurship classes encouraged us to pursue gigantic ideas, but they didn’t really tell us how.”
So Sharon did what most business school students do. She chose the path that offered safety and security and took a traditional job.
By any measure, Sharon’s journey through the corporate world was wildly successful. She held jobs in the defense and medical industries before landing at Intuit where she led customer experience efforts for TurboTax. Along the way, she picked up her MBA, certifications in Project Management and Lean Six Sigma, and continuing education from Stanford and the University of California Berkeley.
But there was always a nagging feeling pulling her back to her childhood aspirations.
Quick Base as a Platform for Intrapreneurship
It was during her time with Intuit where Sharon was first introduced to Quick Base. “When I started using Quick Base, it was like I struck GOLD!” Sharon often shares. “Having tried and failed at using Microsoft Access, Quick Base was by far the most amazing no-code database development tool I had ever laid my hands on.”
As Sharon became proficient at building Quick Base apps, her colleagues began coming to her for help. She loved being able to build new apps to solve the problems her team was facing, and she became the go to person to train others on the platform as well.
The more that Sharon used Quick Base, the more she fell in love with it. She became a junkie. It gave her the freedom and flexibility to do things that no other tool she had used in the past could do. And she saw that not only was it delivering value to her team, it was also delivering to her the very things she was seeking from entrepreneurship the first place.
Quick Base gave Sharon that sense of magic and excitement of bringing her ideas to life.
Quick Base gave Sharon the fulfillment of being tremendously valuable to her team.
Quick Base gave Sharon the freedom to create solutions with creativity and ease.
Using Quick Base, Sharon had become an intrapreneur.
Taking the Leap
While using Quick Base at Intuit gave Sharon excitement, fulfillment, and the freedom to create anything she imagined, it didn’t give her the opportunity to do those things on her own terms. So last year, she decided to make the switch from intrapreneur to entrepreneur.
I asked Sharon what drove her to make the decision when she did. “I always knew that I would take the leap at some point in my life,” she told me. “I was just waiting until I was in a place where I could afford to take a risk, and I was waiting until I had an idea that really excited me.”
The experience she gained from her career gave Sharon the confidence to take the risk. Quick Base gave her the idea.
“When I first started using Quick Base, I figured that for such a powerful and well-adopted product, there would be tons of information online that I could use to help me learn,” Sharon told me as she shared the inspiration behind starting Quick Base Junkie. “But I totally struck out.”
While there are service providers like myself that specialize in building Quick Base applications, Quick Base was built with the intention that users could build apps themselves. In fact, they call their users citizen developers, a reference to a growing trend among business software to enable their users to build custom tools without needing any specialized skills or coding experience.
Unfortunately, as I too discovered when I first started using Quick Base, there’s not a lot of resources available for those citizen developers who choose to take the DIY route.
“I really feel for those people out there who can’t find the resources they need to be successful,” Sharon told me. “It’s really time consuming to research, try, test, and try again to solve the challenges businesses throw at us every day. I started Quick Base Junkie to help builders shortcut the process of learning and discovering new approaches to solving the problems they face.”
The Reward was Worth the Risk
While Sharon’s journey just began last spring, she’s already off to a quick start (pun intended). She’s amassed a treasure trove of free training content on her website and YouTube channel. She was also excited to share with me the launch of her latest premium courses on some of Quick Base’s most powerful tools - API buttons, webhooks, rich text fields, and formulas.
The word is spreading throughout the Quick Base community. She’s become a regular presence on my LinkedIn feed where I learned that she was also recently interviewed for a feature published on the Quick Base blog.
As Sharon can attest, starting a business certainly comes with struggles and hardship. She shared honestly how it hasn’t felt exactly like what she had expected after dreaming about it for so long. Yet she’s finding balance and despite the challenges, she hasn’t regretted her decision one bit.
After all, Sharon has found those elusive qualities that every entrepreneur strives to achieve - the excitement, freedom, and fulfillment of creating a livelihood that brings value and joy to her own life and to the lives of those she cares about.
Just as her mom did.