27 September 2011, by A. Cedilla
- You possess a skill — or more likely a particular set of skills — that came easily to you and you’ve refined your control of it after long, focused practice. It’s a skill-set people will pay you to exercise on their behalf. You can do something very well, and people will pay you enough to make a living wage. Using your skill-set in alignment with your goals, you found the sweet spot where your strengths and other people’s needs meet, and you’re busy making sure you get to stay there and have a good time working it out.
- Life is too short to pass thing up for fear of what might happen, you reason, so why not choose to see what happens next by making the leap? Whatever you do, time will pass anyway, so might as well do things your way instead of waiting for someone to make your life for you.
- You don’t quite fit anywhere else, and corporate culture gives you hives, literally. You found that out the hard way.
- From everything you’ve experienced, you learned that there’s no security out there except for what you make yourself. (Yahoo Finance link)
Face it, there has to be something that keeps you going at work, work that in its most thankless and frazzling moments can leave you wishing you were back in kindergarten, where all you had to think about was what color crayon to use, and whether it was nap-time yet — and if there were cookies after.
In its best moments, however, you realize that it’s all of you working in alignment to make something happen — your knowledge, your skill, your mastery and your choices — and while people are paying you for it, you get to live life on your own terms. Continue reading Why Run Your Own Business?
18 September 2011, by A. Cedilla
One of the dangers of running a business of your own is that it can end up owning you.
It happens a lot. You break out of the corporate world, say, to follow your own dreams — then find out that you should have spent less time thinking about being finally free of The Man — live the dream! Carpe diem!— and more time on what it means to run things entirely on your own. Like, you know, by yourself.
You’re not only on the top of the ladder, you’re the whole thing, including the bottom rung.
Following your passion doesn’t mean happy-happy joy-joy all the live-long day. That’s a side effect, and it doesn’t stay for long.
Following your passion doesn’t even mean running your own business by default, come to think of it. Many people still work at what you’d consider boring jobs, but they save their ‘passions’ for outside the office, and indulge on their own time. And they want it that way. They build structure in their life to support their choices. But running a business?
And take note that the root word of passion is passio — “suffering”. That in itself should give you a clue where I’m going with this.
Let’s go with watching soap operas. Yeah, sure, they’re way out there, the story lines are unbelievably byzantine, but for sheer escapism, they can’t be beat. And you can always change the channel. You can’t do that with a business. Continue reading Getting Out From Under Your Own Business
11 September 2011, by A. Cedilla
Set aside the get-rich-quick promises you get spammed on, and what you’ve already seen on the news about “overnight” success.
The Internet, while giving us an unprecedented gateway to publicize ourselves and connect to other people on a world-wide platform, also makes it easy to promote whatever would grab our attention — thus the many promises of making easy money online, or the doom-patrol ringing bells about the moribund world economy.
It’s hard to find your way between the extremes, since the extremes get the most attention and dominate the ‘front pages’, whether online or in print. Now “may be the best time to start a business” fights with the exact opposite advice.
You have to be able to separate the hype from solid information when it comes to trawling the internet for information. Discernment, from the Latin discernere (“to distinguish between, divide”) is one very good trait to practice. It helps save you from wasting time on fruitless pursuits, trains you to have an eye for value, and is a very good BS filter. Continue reading What Does It Take To Run Your Own Business?