Starting Your own Business

Eccentric or Brilliant?

I’ve always loved taking on several business ventures at a time. I like variety. It keeps things interesting, satisfies my ADD tendencies, and helps me to feel fulfilled.

I’ve always been the kind of person that took on too much at once as an effort to keep up with my creative adventurous side.

The problem with doing that is, it doesn’t leave much time to concentrate on one thing. It also causes other people to think I’m flaky and unfocused.

The truth is, entrepreneurs must have a certain flakiness, or ability to take chances, to be able to step outside of the norm.

If you’ve lived the past twenty years doing a desk job, I don’t expect you to understand where I’m coming from. Security may be the most important thing to you, and I totally get that.

Whenever I’ve started a new business, I’ve been judged by others because of my squirrelly sense of adventure. But hey, I’m an artist, what can I say? We like diversity.  🤷🏻‍♀️

When it comes to business, I don’t see a sense of adventure as a bad thing, as long as you get to try new things and learn new skills. Why should life be boring?

Unfortunately, “exciting” doesn’t always pay the bills. This is why we are referred to as “starving artists.”

RISK TAKING

Trying new things doesn’t always pan out. It doesn’t always end up as a successful source of income. When starting a new adventure, it was always worth it to me though, to see what works and what doesn’t; to get the thrill of the high of the unknown.

My new plans for becoming an accountant are in the making and surprisingly, I am excited about it even though most people associate this type of job with boredom.

Accountant.

Sounds boring, doesn’t it?

I will be a pencil pusher. I will be associated with desk jockeys.

Thrilling.

The truth is, to me it is thrilling.

I like crunching numbers, filling out financial reports, and helping others break free from bad habits such as debt. I think financial advisor and accountant fit me perfectly.

And, while it may not be “exciting” to some folk, I really like the idea of being able to help others overcome their financial faux pas. What gives me the greatest satisfaction in life is helping others.

Now that my kids are grown, I no longer need a flexible schedule so I’m going after the dependable income this time. While I was raising kids, they were my top priority and I always kept a job that allowed me to spend as much time with them as possible.

I’ve been self-employed most of adult life because I liked having a flexible schedule and assembling my own hourly wage. For those of you who are considering becoming an entrepreneur, keep in mind that is the best part.

Being an entrepreneur means the ability to go and come as you please.

Sounds nice, doesn’t it?

Unfortunately, the downside is, there is no reliable source of income.

The other problem with self-employment is you have to do your own marketing, advertising, and handle your own bookkeeping as well as doing all of the work. It can be overwhelming at times; especially if you are not getting enough work to pay your bills after all of your exhausting efforts.

If owning your own business is important to you, as it was to me, you may do well in carrying the full work load. However, the entrepreneurial lifestyle isn’t for everyone because of the long hours, heavy work load, and unreliable income.

I’ve had several successful businesses, but I worked longer and harder for that success than I would have ever had to work if I had been working for someone else. Most of my businesses were labor intensive on top of having to run most of the business alone.

Let’s face it though, working the 9-5 is no longer the norm. I was not totally off beat when I pursued multiple business ventures, as many others have done the same and made it work.

FINDING YOUR NICHE

If becoming an entrepreneur is a dream, you will fit right in with the rest of the risk takers.

The secret is finding your niche.

The truth is, not everyone needs a decorator. I’ve done that as a side job for many years. I considered it my niche because I’m good at it.

The problem is, so many women consider themselves to be a decorator, that it is hard to make a ripple in the sea of design fanatics who try to walk in Joanna Gaines shoes. 

Not everyone needs yet another real estate agent, either. This was another career choice I attempted.

The problem with real estate is that most people know at least two or three Realtors and since they are not sure which one to choose, and they’re worried about hurting someone’s feelings, they end up going with someone they don’t even know.

I was a good agent, but that didn’t make it worth the time and effort I had to put into the business to make it work. I still have my license and plan on using it again in a future business venture, once I’ve received my accounting degree. But for now, I feel that I got out of the business just in time for COVID.

Finding your niche is important, but you need to make sure it is a position that everyone else isn’t already filling.

The real estate market has been slow since 2017 with a lack of inventory. Buyers almost paw at one another trying to make a bid.

It is a sellers’ market and has been that way since I got out of the business. What this means is, Realtors are in higher competition with one another than usual. New Realtors don’t stand much of a chance when competing against someone else who’s been in the business and knows how it works.

If owning your own business is a dream, you will want to consider how many people are already doing the job you’re dreaming of doing. Google it and see how many businesses or other agents pop up in your area of town.

LEAVING THE DESK JOB

Did you know that working a regular job is actually considered the slow way to growth in the business world?

Did you also know that people who work the 9-5 want you to be just like them? They will encourage you to do what everyone else does; to play it safe. The problem with being just like everyone else is that your growth rate will match theirs.

Do you really want that?

Does your co-worker have a lifestyle that you want to mimic?

I seriously doubt he/she does.

The truth is, people really don’t want you to be different. They want you to succeed the way they’ve succeeded or work the way they’ve worked. So, you will find that they will not support you in your decision to step outside the norm.

They want you to have what they have, work the hours they work, and have a boss like theirs. They want you to have a lifestyle that they can understand.

And, while there is nothing wrong with that, it isn’t necessarily conducive to a productive lifestyle, depending on your circumstances.

Warren Buffet

Men like Warren Buffet, a man who is worth over 80 billion, succeeded on being different.  

He purchased his first stock when he was eleven years old and worked his first job in his family’s grocery store at that age as well.

As a teenager, he took odd jobs such as washing cars and delivering newspapers. He used his savings to invest in small business ventures like placing pin ball machines in local businesses.

He got an education on investing while in college, and grew his entrepreneurial mentality.

The man then went on to become a billionaire. He didn’t do that working just like everyone else. He did that by being different.

He began as an investment broker but then moved to investing in businesses, instead. One of his largest investments was in a textile company. You may know it as Berkshire Hathaway; a company now worth about $490 billion.

The company owns name brands such as Geico, Dairy Queen, Fruit of the Loom, and Duracell; just to name a few.

Warren Buffet made his billions by not putting his money, time, and efforts into a desk job. He didn’t keep his eggs in one basket. He took risks, made mistakes, and even lost money sometimes.

His success came as a result of investing and being an entrepreneur.

I truly feel that there are certain people in this world that were called to be entrepreneurs. Knowing whether or not you are one of them will only happen if you step out and take a chance at investing into something besides your day job.

With that said, don’t quit your day job just yet.

Instead, use it to finance your future goals.

Depending on where you work, you may be able to have a side business. Once your business is doing well, you can then transition to becoming a full-time entrepreneur.

The first step in being a great entrepreneur is in not being afraid to fail.

You need to do some side work to build up your savings before diving into the investment world. This way, if something doesn’t make it, you won’t go broke.

This means longer hours than your desk job calls for. In order to be different than your co-workers, you have to do something out of the ordinary.

Your 9-5 isn’t likely going to cut it unless you’re really good with your finances and make wise investments with what you have.

Also, be aware that starting a business is a risk.

Even Buffet, a man known for his success and investment strategies, gets it wrong from time to time. He lost 10 billion this year alone on an oil stock that was initially successful when he first invested in it.

Benjamin Graham

Buffet learned much of what he used in business from Benjamin Graham. Graham, also known as the Intelligent Investor and the Dean of Wall Street, wrote books that taught the proponents of financial security analysis.

Graham said that intelligent investors need to be firm in their decisions and not follow the crowd. Being an investor means that you will be different.

Let’s look at other investors who had to be different in order to find their success.

Steve Chou

Steve Chou is an entrepreneur who started mywifequitherjob.com and made a success out of online blogging & an online store. I remember a time when blogging was an unheard-of job.

When he and his wife first started their online business, they had zero sales.

Their story reminds me of my online furniture business which I opened in 2018. I had beautiful home furnishings. I had a professional e-commerce website that looked decent. I had an easy way to pay and a great business plan.

The problem was, I had no sales.

I was aware of Google Ad Words and incorporated that into my business plan, to no avail.

Steve Chou, however, made it work by using Google Ad Words. He got his first sale off of it.

I got no sales. Steve Chou got sales. What gives?

And, like Steve Chou, I also knew how to write a blog that drove organic search traffic to my store.

Still, nothing.

Within one year, Steve Chou and his wife made a $100,000 profit from the activities in their online blog & store.

I made nothing.

Why didn’t my plan work? Steve Chou had the same kind of plan, but he sold napkins to create his success.

N-A-P-K-I-N-S.

Really?

Yes, really.

He sold napkins and made his first $100,000 off of them.

The reason his plan worked, and mine didn’t, is because he had a niche that wasn’t utilized by hundreds of big box stores, like mine was.

My competitors were stores like Wal-Mart and Lowes. There was no way my prices could compete with Wal-Mart prices.

Not only that, I lost most of my distributors. So, my online furniture store went under.

Most people use Google now. If you are going to have an online business, you have to make sure your competitors are not able to undercut your prices or offer better quality products than yours at the same price.

Another good idea in the beginning is to diversify your income. This will seem flaky to those who are not entrepreneurs or investors, but to the investment-wise community it will make sense.

Many successful entrepreneurs have diversified with multiple income streams. It is how I’ve kept my businesses afloat.

In other words, I wasn’t depending on just one source of income. It is also important to create even more conversions and profits over time.

Warren Buffet did not put his eggs into one basket. Instead, he invested in several places. This way, if one investment loses money, he still has the other investments to fall back on.

Being an entrepreneur is a risk and sometimes it is better to have multiple investments for this reason. This means your attention will be pulled in many different directions.

If you have more than one business, or a job and a business at the same time, many people will see you as flaky, or unfocused. But if what you do works, don’t worry about what they say. Just stay focused on growing and learning.

MY INSPIRATION

Joann Gaines is a home flipper who also owns a home décor company, a bakery, a restaurant, was the star of a hit tv reality show, is now opening her own television network, owns a seed and supply store, a children’s clothing line, owns two vacation rentals, and she is a broker who owns a real estate brokerage who employs about 115 real estate agents.

Wow, that was a mouthful!

She is also an author, a mom to FIVE children, a wife, and a decorator.  

She has at least thirteen job titles!

Sound flaky?

Maybe so, but it turned her into a millionaire.

She and her husband are now worth over 20 million dollars.

I’ll take that kind of flaky!

She always seemed to be taking on too much at a time but I tried not to judge her harshly because I too love going after my dreams and making many things work.

She has been my inspiration for going after my dreams for several years now. She is living proof it is possible for one person to take on too many things at once, and make it all work.

It is possible to pursue all of your dreams and achieve them.

It’s called being an entrepreneur.

It works for those who know how to work the system in their favor.

Some people who have had a desk job all of their life may not understand this way of thinking.

It seems flaky to a person who is used to getting a regular paycheck every Friday afternoon, to throw that away for some sort of risk that may not even play out to pay their bills.

I get that.

But to someone like myself, who loves taking chances, going after new things, and seeing what works and what doesn’t, it can be a way of life.

You just have to ask yourself if you’re willing to give up that guaranteed income for something that could potentially make you rich?

You also need a back-up plan and several strategies for catching yourself in case an investment falls through.

It’s a gamble for sure.

In making the choice to now pursue a regular paycheck lifestyle, I thought I had to give up all of my dreams in order to make it happen.

But the more I think about Chip & Joanna Gaines, Warren Buffet, and many others like them who have pursued their dreams and achieved them; the more I realize it is okay to keep what I already have going on, and pursue all of my other dreams at the same time.

And guess what? One of my businesses is still thriving while I pursue my degree. Isn’t that awesome? That’s how God works.

When I consider many other entrepreneurs who have taken risks, it doesn’t seem that far off for me to take my own.

I mean, why not?

My husband said, “If you try your hand at many things, you become a master of none.”

I get what he said. It’s logical. But it’s also boring to an artist type personality such as mine. Doing only one thing isn’t what works for many entrepreneurs.

My husband has always had a desk job with a steady income, so he doesn’t get it. And, thank goodness he does have a desk job. He’s carried me more times than not. (Love you, babe!)

But the point is, he doesn’t get it.

Many people won’t get it.

But that’s okay. If you are going to do what you love, or what gives you a flexible schedule, you have to be willing to take chances and get beyond the judgment or poor advice others may give.

Many of you will not want to be judged. Many of you care what other people think. And, if you do, you may not make it as an entrepreneur.

As I said, it is a risk. You need to be aware of all of the risks before you quit your day job.

All of the aforementioned people are perfect examples of not giving up your dreams, and making them work for a great income, and a lifestyle of freedom.

It doesn’t come without dedication, risks, hard work, and maybe even a lot of blood, sweat, and tears, but it is possible to give up your day job to become a success.

For me, there’s no telling what the future holds as I go after the steady income. But here’s a little hint: I plan to continue to go after all of the other things I love as well. I see no reason why I have to give up one, to pursue the other.

Temporarily, maybe. But long-term I plan to succeed and do the things I love doing. It’s called being an entrepreneur.

Are you on board as well? It starts with a business plan which you can download here.  

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