How do you know when and what business to start?

The Short answer.

Write an idea short list – Research –  Listen to your gut –  Plan – Execute

Why are some of us employees and others not?

Essentially, society teaches us to ‘get a job’. For some this is after University and for some people they know what career or job they might want to do from having thought about it at school. “What are you good at and what do you like doing?” These are the questions we are asked to then go to the career fair and start applying for apprenticeships or work experience. Rarely does the question “Do you want to work for yourself?” crop up.

Further, we feel pressured to get a job as soon as possible to support our desired independence from Mum and Dad and for some,  to pay rent or buy a property. This is all reasonable enough BUT once you jump on the employment bandwagon it’s difficult to get off and then many jump to having a family. The truth is you can start a business at 16 or 96 but many of us don’t even consider it as a way of life. We become employees even though we WANT to be independent, to create something for ourselves, to feel the joy of a first sale or create a product or service that really means something to us. Some of us want to be an entrepreneur at school but many don’t feel it until later on until we are STUCK in a job we hate and living a life completely out of sink with our passions and core values. It is very, very difficult to maximise your potential doing something you don’t enjoy, so if you do stay as an employee then make sure you get balance in your life and find things that you enjoy if you can’t afford to leave your employment

I would also add that having a great career is not an issue. Many people love their careers and achieve excellence at and LOVE their jobs. What I suggest is you continually check in with your life plan….are you living with purpose? What is your why? You have limited time so do something that means something to you at ‘work’. DO NOT work to get to your pension and live for retirement. It may never come.

Which business do you choose then?

This is where the fun starts. It’s a personal journey and your business should be part of your life’s journey. In some way it should run in parallel to YOU. It should expand and grow as you do and vice versa. You are it and it is you……

You need to enjoy what you do and find something that sparks your interest, passions and fires your soul. You therefore do need to spend a considerable amount of time thinking about this, your core values, what makes you tick, what you enjoy, can you keep the motivation high when things are going wrong. Think about your lifestyle and how this business fits. Do you want to be mobile to be able to travel, can you work from home, do you want to open a physical premises, how can you scale your business (do you want to grow it even?). What defines success for you?

 Guide to working out what you might be good at?

 Write a list of what your personality enjoys? Are you detail or people? At what point in your life have you been most fulfilled? Are you creative ? What do you like? What makes you happy and excited? What do you look forward to? When do you feel appreciated? Listen to these emotions as something is telling you about your role in the world

What about losing a steady income?

One of, if not the largest blocker to people launching a business is the loss of income as it’s unlikely you will be earning income via new clients or contracts from day 1. This is a huge consideration for you and your family. Consider and discuss with your partner, if you have one. Be brutally honest about budgets, costs and change in lifestyle, prepare for a long period without income and plenty of set backs so you are not feeling overwhelmed as you go through your business execution. It REALLY helps having different planning scenarios that you and your family are aware of.

When to commit?

I would recommend you spend several months thinking about the above. Consider your options for what business resonates, research as many aspects as possible, attend trade fairs, webinars, review the market, your competition, build an economic model, seek a mentor and be HONEST about why YOU will be successful? What do you bring to the party? What’s your marketing and distribution strategy? Can you survive 1, 2 or 3 years without making positive cashflow? Can you raise money or do you have savings? Which third parties will you use to help you and how will you delegate?

You can do so much of the above whilst at work (if you are employed) but I would strongly suggest you make a decision sooner than later. From experience trying to do a job and start a business does not work and most people never take the leap. The simple fact is that if you want to work for yourself you will need at some point to make that leap, based on a thorough risk and reward assessment of the decision to become your own master and not a slave to others

Good Luck ! Be prepared for a wonderful ride that will change your life, the way you see yourself and see the world

You get one life. Don’t take your dreams to the graveyard. If you fail, go again………just imagine the satisfaction you might achieve when you are living to your true purpose, providing employment for people and offering a product or service that people enjoy or need.

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