You hate your job. Going into the office is something you dread more than a root canal. You really want to work for yourself and be one of those success story entrepreneurs, but you have bills to pay, a family counting on you and you just can’t see how it will ever work. Maybe when you retire, you can start that business, right?
“Follow your dreams. They know the way.” — Kobi Yamada
None of us knows how much time we have in this world. Each person could live to be 100 or might die tomorrow. There are no guarantees. Giving on up your dreams shouldn’t even be a consideration for you. If you die tomorrow, will people say you went after what you wanted and made an impact or will your co-workers cry for a day or two but then the company will go about business as usual? It’s something to really think about. What change do you want to make in this world? Do you want to spend your life making money for someone else or building something you believe in?
Paying the Bills While Following Your Dreams
Of course, I’m not advocating that you quit a well paying job. You have to have somewhere to live, transportation and food. Those things are not free, so if you have a job that pays those bills, keep it – for now. If you can squirrel away a little bit here and there, start saving so that when you do walk away and pursue your dream, you have a buffer of money to get you through that first really rough year or two of starting a new business.
While you are working, you need an exit strategy. Will you work until you can take a buy out or are vested or tenured and can take early retirement? Or, perhaps you want to start your business in the evenings and work your current job during the day until the business can support you? That is a good way to get started. It is exhausting at first, but the payoff is worth it if you can get your family to support you and just put your head down and focus on your overall goal.
Consider Teaming Up
If you need to stay in your current job, you could also team up with another person with a complimentary, but not identical skill set and the two of you could work on building a business together. With two people working on building the business, you won’t have to invest as much time. Just make sure the division of work load is fair.
I was listening to Dave Ramsey on the radio the other day. He was chatting with a woman who had a business partner. She felt she was doing most of the work and wanted to buy out her partner but not lose the friendship. Dave said something brilliant that stayed with me as really good advice for anyone considering a partnership.
He told her that when they started the business they should have planned for how it could be divided later. They should have gone in with a plan for the partnership to end at some point. This was good advice because most partnerships don’t work out. One person has life changes, doesn’t do enough work, does too much work, they have creative differences, you name it and there is a reason. Partnerships can work, but it is unusual for one to last, especially in a very small business.
So, team up, but do so with a plan for the beginning about how the two of you can divide the business when it is making enough money to sustain you both as two separate businesses.
Stop the Excuses
Seriously, I really don’t want to hear any excuses about why you can’t get started today. I know men and women who have started businesses and eventually made them thrive who have:
- Been blind and unable to see a computer screen when typing
- Had 8 children between the ages of 2 months and 13 years
- Been single moms with two children to raise and no support from anywhere
- Worked 60 hours a week at his “regular job”
- Been 13 years old and involved in two school sports and getting As and Bs
- Suffered the loss of her husband in a horrible automobile accident, on the brink of financial ruin because they never thought he’d die at 34, no skills or resources to find a job that paid enough to keep them afloat and three small children to raise and up to eyeballs in debt.
I can tell you numerous other stories about people who didn’t think they could do it that I was able to coach through the process and encourage and eventually they made a go of it. The truth is that if the people above could start a business and make enough money to survive, so can you. It doesn’t matter if you start slow, work your current job and build the business slowly. It doesn’t even matter if you retire from your current job, but build your business on the side. The important thing is that you follow your dream and don’t let anything discourage you from it. Will you leave your imprint on this world or will you fade away with a defeated whisper when your time comes to leave this earthly realm?