Why the Heck Go Into Business!?
Why the heck go into business? Good question. A question however that lot’s of people never seriously ask. Maybe because they’ve heard how hard it is to run a business? Or how much money it might cost to get one started? Maybe they think it’d be to complicated or if it failed they’d be too embarrassed? The truth is that owning and running a business can and does involve all of the those fears and potential realities at times. But from where I sit owning your own business has so many more benefits the risks are totally worth taking.
All jobs have challenges, things that we need to learn and figure out or we may get fired. It’s also possible that you could be an excellent employee but outside unexpected circumstances cause your company to close and you loose your job. It’s the way life is. Stuff happens. So it’s important to remember that whether your a worker or the business owner you will face fears and challenges.
MY STORY: My first “real” job out of high school was as a laborer for a custom home builder, (“real” meaning I wasn’t working for a friend or family member). The job paid minimum wage and I worked there for about 6 months digging ditches, moving lumber and other medial tasks learning that being a Laborer wasn’t the career for me. But I also was learning how to show up on time, follow directions, and complete tasks correctly. How to be responsible. It was, again, my first job working for someone else. And working for someone else would be the job route I would take for years….but not forever.
Like most of us we start out our job journey helping other businesses do their thing, make stuff or serve people in some fashion. And then over time for some reason we continue trying out new jobs In fact the Department of Labor Statistics says that the average person will hold ten jobs before the age of 40. Forrester Research predicts that today’s youngest workers will have between 12 to 15 jobs in their lifetimes! So discovering what we want to do when we grow up ,it turns out, is a lifelong journey.
But what’s wrong with that picture? Truth is most of us have a hard time finding a job that we really like. Google “how many people hate their job” and you’ll find it’s around 85% or more. And a good portion hate their bosses too! Yuck!
WHAT TO DO? How about doing something you like or even love? Sound crazy? It shouldn’t. Now more than ever taking something you’re passionate about, something you really enjoy doing can be turned into a successful business. People are doing this every day. And even though you will face challenges and setbacks on your journey what you will learn through the process will be priceless. Because overcoming fears and working through all the various components of building a business will cause you to grow as a person. You will become more confident and self assured day by day. And ultimately, if you stick with it, you will be growing into more of your full potential.
But “I can’t afford to quite my job and just dive in right now” you might say. Yep. Got it. You don’t have to. Nor would that be wise. And that’s not what I did.
After my laborer job I got a job working in dental lab as a junior dental technician. A job I stayed at for 13+ years. By the end of that time I had risen to the top position as Senior Lab Tech. Was it my “perfect job”? No. It was however a job that did have parts I liked. And that was what kept me there for that long. However, and this is key, during that 13+ years I started a few businesses and took classes and workshops on things I was interested in during the whole time. I read books and took classes on motivation, success, human behavior and marketing. My first actual business was in photography. After that I bought a distributorship from Success Motivation Institute selling goal setting and other motivational programs to small businesses and people part time. I then became a sales rep for a sand sculpting company and began learning how to carve sand as a sculptor. Then finally I started my own sand sculpting business, (see the photo of an old add from a Fair Industry Directory above, number no good fyi). This was the business that I quit my dental tech job to run full time.
Was sand sculpting a passion of mine? You bet it was! Still is. I had turned my passion, something I loved, into a business. One that over the years generated over a million dollars in revenue and counting! Then after a number of years I started another business building waterfalls grotto’s ponds and pools using real and artificial rock. I started this company so I could stay home more. My wife and I had begun a family and I could see that being away so much was not a good thing. But again I did this while still running my sand sculpture company. I studied all I could on this new business and then began doing projects for clients. I also got my C27 Landscape Contractors license. One key difference compared to my dental tech days was I was the boss. I could coordinate my projects and work schedule to allow for my new pursuits.
THE BENEFITS: To sum up what have I gained by risking starting my own company? Tons! Personally, I have grown in areas I never could have imagined. I have way more confidence than before. I know I’m capable of “making things happen”. Of solving problems, creating and building things and increasing my income….dramatically. I’ve enjoyed the amazing process of taking an idea, a concept, and seeing it come alive before my eyes through the use of my mind and hands and heard the wonderful accolades of appreciation of happy and satisfied clients over and over. I’ve even saved on taxes because as a business owner you then have access to certain deductions and other tax saving strategies that employee type people just do not. And lastly I also can’t be fired! How cool is that? As long as I continue to provide a good quality and value product or service that people want and need I’ll be employed for as long as I want!
Now I know that owning a business isn’t for everyone. It does take a certain type of person to make that work. But how do you not know you’re that kind of a person until you try? And even then I think everyone should check it out. There’s just so much to be gained!
So the journey to making your passion a business takes steps. A process of growth and learning you can pursue while you’re still employed at that “other job”. But a journey that one day, if you work hard, could lead you to a job that you love and where you can’t even get fired from. Cuz you’re the boss!