Ah yes, I can see it now… I’m sitting in my office in the middle of Silicon Valley laughing at the small sums that Mark Zuckerburg is worth when compared to me. The (insert business idea here) finally took off when I discovered my true passion and transformed it into gold.
It’s as easy at that, right?
It seems pretty easy these days to find a story of someone who went out on their own to start their own business, and who is now swimming in millions while living the high life.
Since I graduated college in 2004, I’ve wanted to start my own business but haven’t. I get frustrated when I look back on the time that has passed with little results in that arena!
I think I’ve had some pretty good ideas and have even written up some business plans to get them started… but that is usually where it ends. Some ideas start with my own needs and wants and others are attempted answers to today’s challenges and trends. Let’s review some of the ideas:
1. The Green Box ( a green retail store)
2. Golden Years Job Placement (for retired people)
3. product – six pack of milk (quasi joke)
4. product – designer shampoo bottles
5. product – interactive retail store map (could do on smartphone easy now)
6. Wizepoll – smartphone survey app
7. Flower subscription service
I still like my idea of the six pack of milk! It would be so much easier to store (you open each one as you need them) and grab on the go. Yes, they sell them individually in smaller bottles, but that’s not the point, I want a full six pack! This is just a few of the ideas on my longer list.
So, the question is, why have I never made any serious moves on any of these? Am I afraid of failure? Am I too lazy? Am I trapped in golden handcuffs?
One thing is certain… ideas are a dime a dozen but finding someone to actually follow through with an idea is the hard part. If you look at my friend Chris Fagan, CEO of Mobestream Media, who has his own mobile app business with millions of users, you’d probably think that he just got lucky with a good idea. Oh no, it was much more than that. Chris has worked hard on developing his business for 2-3 years and has sacrificed and incredible amount of money and energy to try and make it work. He’s still battling.
It hasn’t been easy. He spent two years living off of meager savings, spending every waking minute trying to bring this idea into fruition. He would call me in tears while I was living a cushy life at my corporate job (where he used to work). He said he longed for the days with minimal risk and guaranteed return.
He was battling the ever-changing market of smartphone application development while dealing with everyday issues like rent, patent and legal issues, managing a partnership, and trying to prove out his business. He has now received funding and has almost 10 people working for him. However, the hard work and angst hasn’t stopped. If he makes it big, he deserves it.
Man, that sounds just as rough now as it did when I was on the phone with him. Starting your own business isn’t easy, but I’ve had some pretty specific reasons holding me back.
Why haven’t I started a business?
1. I was too focused on the potential profit and cut the idea if the business case didn’t seemingly prove out to make me rich
2. I’ve only wanted to pursue ideas that I’m fully passionate for – rather than letting my passion transcend the idea and be “my own business”
3. I’m too comfortable where I’m at now (wearing my golden handcuffs)
For now, I’ll continue to use my job as a tool while I explore things on the side and prepare financially to start my own business. If I would’ve quit everything and tried to start my own business a few years ago, I probably now be broke because I didn’t have any money and didn’t have an idea worth pursuing.
The important part is to continue searching to find what you love to do. You may have found it already, and it’s perfectly fine if it is a corporate job or some other job where you’ll never get rich. Just make sure it’s something that’s worth your time.
Even if you do start a business, realize it might take a long time before your idea even starts to turn a profit. For an idea for how long, check out the timeline of an entrepreneur.