The first thing you have to do to launch
any successful enterprise is to get over the notion that itís impossible.
This may fly in the face of good-intentioned friends and relatives, so if
you need the support of someone else to make you feel that you can
succeed, make sure you talk to someone whoís already done what you seek to
First, Eliminate Your
Then you have to eliminate
all the excuses for why you think a self-reliant lifestyle wonít work for
you. Here are probably the big three, but you may have a few of your
own to work through:
EXCUSE No. 1: Iíd like to work for
myself, but all I know is [ fill in the blank ] obviously, you canít do
that over the internet.
A lot of people were saying that five
years ago, but look how many businesses thrive in virtual space today.
Maybe you canít paint someoneís house by sending them a download, but you
can advertise, take orders and schedule your jobs in your own time leaving
yourself free to perform the skill you do best. You donít have to be
seeking a worldwide market. Youíll be amazed at how many of your
closest neighbors are wired to the world, even in the most rural
EXCUSE No. 2: Iím broke. We just
have enough to live from paycheck to paycheck.
None of us has enough money (and those
that do are often the stingiest in spending it). If all you have is
access to a computer and your good looks, you can still start your own
business. To make an extreme example, letís say youíre a heavy
equipment operator. A new bulldozer may cost upward of $150,000 so
you canít possibly start up as an excavation contractor, can you?
Well, yes, you can. You donít need a new bulldozer to be an
excavation contractor, you need a client who will pay you more to do a
certain job than it will cost you to borrow, rent or make payments on the
equipment you need to do the job.
EXCUSE No. 3: I have the ambition
of a three-toed sloth. If it werenít for the threat of complete
self-destruction at the end of each work week, Iíd probably never get out
of bed at all.
Of the three, this is without question
the best excuse, because in order to build a business large enough to
replace your job, you will almost certainly spend more time working on it
than you did at your employment. If ambition is your problem than
probably this is not the direction for you. However, I think youíll
find that working for yourself is much more rewarding and more interesting
than letting someone else call all the shots. You might just have it
in you after all.
If youíve been an employee all your life,
then the most important parts of gaining self-employment may be relatively
unfamiliar to you, that is, decision-making.
More Fun, But a Lot of
Success at being your own boss depends
very much on the basic decisions you make as you start up your start-up;
decisions, like, "what do you want to do in the first place?". Here,
you have to balance practicality with what stirs your soul, and I would
emphasis that itís most important not to let either aspect have dominance.
In order to promote success, you need to
spend your time working in a field that you find interesting, challenging
and fun. If you donít really enjoy what youíre doing, then you may as
well stay on the job you have now. On the other hand, you canít ignore
the fact that the path is littered with the dead corpses of young start-up
companies dedicated to the ownerís favorite hobby.
Maybe you love canoeing, but that doesnít
mean that youíll love manufacturing canoes, or that youíd enjoy running a
guide service, or thrill over publishing maps of rivers. Maybe youíd be
better off concentrating on a completely different field, and letting your
hobby remain your hobby.
One thing is certain though, if your
hobby is the basis of your new business, you need to make sure that the
business end takes precedence over the hobby. To oversimplify, if you
make doughnuts, you need to be sure you donít eat up all the profits; if
you want to move from being a coin collector to being a coin dealer, you
need to be able to purchase items that will sell, not the ones you want to
own the most.