Writing from the perspective of my boss’s first employee, the idea of hiring myself to start up my own business seems on the one hand the only sensible choice to those who have ideas, but no opportunity to channel them passionately into a job they love. On the other, it seems an impossible task to those without the drive and ambition to see their ideas through to the end. And if they do that successfully, well, surely there shouldn’t be an end, right?
1. Discipline: Being Your Own Boss
Adam Smith, 22, Managing Director of his very own creative web design company in Hampshire. No university degree, no graduate job, just plodding along in a role that he did well in, but not necessarily thriving off. In the background he had a small circle of “clients” he was helping to make websites for, the very first being his driving instructor at 17, bargaining to swap lessons for a design. Then one day last year he threw it all in, barely any money to his name and went for it.
Working through the night to build up his idea, the business grew from his bedroom, to an office, to an employee, to another, to suddenly nine months later 215 clients in the bank.
OK, so it was never that simple and I won’t pretend to know the incredible energy that would have been put in every step of the way, but it was do-able. With years of working from his bedroom and then no job commitments to excuse his own personal daily grind, discipline to roll out of bed, then back to his bedroom desk, then back to bed every single day, which was what pushed him to success.
It wouldn’t be easy but could you do it?
2. Sacrifices: Goodbye Social Life
But most of us barely have one anyway, right? Scrimping and saving is hardly news to students pushing by on baked beans and rice for three years at a time. And for many, graduate jobs still only pay enough to manage food and rent anyway. Similar to those saving to travel, it might mean moving home, begging a minimum rent for your long-suffering parents and avoiding the pub trips at the weekend, but bit by bit your money builds up in your bank.
Or in this case, your time and energy starts to pay off. You are essentially making a long term investment with the aim for a fantastic return in the future.
Can you sacrifice in the short term?
3. Ideas: Finding What You’re Good At
Competition is fierce in every aspect of life but for business space this is stepped up a notch. How to choose a business market that will fly? First things first, work out what you’re good at. If you choose something half heartedly but think it’ll make money, that’s not good enough.
Remember – you have to eat, breathe, sleep this idea day in, day out, potentially even for years until it will start ticking over naturally. That’s not to put you off, simply a reality check. Stick to what you’re good at, what you enjoy and find a niche in that sector which puts an exciting twist on it. When you’re passionate about your work, it is no longer your job. How?
Get right back to basics. Why will your business exist? What’s the point of your company? What will make it different from the others? How will you make that difference? Who will it make a difference to? Will they want to invest money in it? Why?
Until you can answer these questions, your target market won’t be able to either. However, once you can and you wholeheartedly stand by those ideas, your drive to succeed will transform into the drive for your new company.
Can you find your niche?
I think so. Good luck!
Guest Post written by Charlee Owen, Marketing Executive at Damteq Solutions