Have you ever had an idea you thought would be a great business venture? Though it seemed too impossible or just plain stupid. No one would find interest in it –I say SPAT! I’ve read articles and heard advice varying from ‘Why it’s Dumb to Work a 9-5 Job’ to ‘How to Make $500 in a day’ to ‘To Make it in Business You Have to Be Comfortable with Failure’. Before you write me off as just another head in the clouds, ask yourself if you know anyone who owns their own business. I’m sure you can name at least one person you know personally well. Have you ever chatted with them and asked them how they got to where they are now? I’m sure it started with a dream. Some sort of motivation had to be there…a passion if you will.
Anyway I’m not here to sell you the idea that it’s easy as bones to start a business, make money, become successful, or quit your day job. I really want to show you that you don’t have to live in a box. And you don’t have to live a life ruled by fear (that’s for another topic). BUT I also believe in rationalization. There needs to be a system to relinquish your dreams –hint: ask your business friend— otherwise, you do have your head in the clouds. Here is one kind of system:
1. Find your passions and talents. Use them.
What is your passion? Is it music? Art? Hell, it may be sci-fi movies. How could you leverage your passion to something that adds value? Regarding the sci-fi enthusiast…how about starting a blog that critiques classic or upcoming sci-fi movies? Also, talents. Talents can be skills. Skills can be honed –which is a good thing. If you’re skilled at making music, consider selling sheet music or accompaniment. Or perhaps you’re more of a techie. In that case, fine tune your talents and formulate your own software and/or customization services.
2. Experiment. Start out small.
Begin a small project with little investment. If it fails, the lesser the loss you will suffer. A friend of mine once started an online retail business. He imported cheaper inventory overseas and sold it locally (in the US) some percentage higher. Of course there’s overhead costs to consider, but the idea in general is simple. Ebay is perhaps more accustom to an amateur (mass online) retailer. They may take away a percentage of your profits but it eliminates a majority of the responsibilities associated with owning your own online store. Another example is selling your own creative work or software. However, there are some costs involved if you want a work to be copyrighted.
3. Create, create, create.
Small projects…many of them! Come up with as many ideas as you can and try recreating them. While you have a blogging business going, consider publishing a book or series about the subject (that’s if you love writing). If the site starts gaining a lot of traffic, network with other businesses and suggest selling their products/services on your site for a majority of their profits. You can have many business ideas linking together or ones you manage separately that are completely unrelated.
4. Trial and error…until you find your golden egg(s).
Some of your startups will fail. This should not come as a surprise to you. If it does, the entrepreneur thing was probably a trend. It’s good to be optimistic but as I said before, it may be wise to be realistic. Maybe a business wasn’t generating enough profit to make the ongoing effort worthwhile…or simply not generating enough income in the long run versus your other investments (i.e. selling T-shirts online may not generate as much return as selling hardware). Know when it’s time to close shop and begin another. Likewise, know when you’ve found the idea that sells! That is, the business or businesses that generate the most income for you after a period of time and investment.
I definitely thought one business was enough. My first business would be so awesomely great that I wouldn’t have to start over. I didn’t even think of starting out small to slowly ease into the experience of generating my own income. I am however, currently opening to the idea of creating other startups that I’m passionate about while I continue growing my current one. For now, I hope some of my own insights were useful. Good luck with your current and future business endeavors!