I often find myself in conversations with individuals who have an interest in starting their own business. I am always amazed by the innovative and creative ideas people have and the broad skill set they possess. I feel what holds most people back from acting on their ideas is a lack of faith in their abilities and a fear of failure. Many of us get caught up in the "what ifs." What if this doesn't work? What if I fail? What if there isn't an audience for what I have to offer? These "what ifs" have to be addressed. They deserve reflection and consideration but leading a fear-based life is rarely rewarding.
I grew up with a father who had a strong entrepreneurial spirit and an instinct for business. I also believe his impulsive nature and titanium balls served him well. He built a successful business from the ground up and reaped the rewards of hard work and sacrifice. His journey was not an easy one. His path was filled with ups and downs, unknowns and failures, but his perseverance and unwillingness to be held back helped him through the difficult times. This man was my hero. Although, as a child, I could not always understand his choices or appreciate his sacrifice, as an adult, I have a clearer picture and a deep appreciation for all he did as a businessman and father.
I believe his example has helped me to take the leap into small business ownership. Although I spent six years studying education and ten years of my life in the classroom, I have always had a secret desire to have my own business. As a high school student, I can remember walking around festivals and markets thinking how wonderful it would be to create something people love and make a living doing so. However, the fear and "common sense" side of me took charge, and I took a more traditional approach to life. I do not regret my education, nor do I regret my time in the classroom. This experience has helped me become who I am and has offered vast life lessons. Experience is never a bad thing.
If you have a desire, a talent, or a skill you feel compelled to share with the world, I encourage you to do it. Yes, one must take a practical approach to a lifestyle change. Many of us do not do well with change, and that is okay. My advice is to create a plan, explore all options, research your audience, keep your overhead low and start small. Speaking from experience, creative people often have grandiose ideas. Don't get caught up in the bigger is better mindset. Find the thing that you are good at, master it, put all your focus on that and when the time is right, build upon that foundation. The Bibbed Wonder often tells me I have "the focus of a disco ball." He is my laser focus. Yes, I make wisecracks about him stifling my creativity and him being a huge naysayer, but he keeps me grounded and focused. If you don't have your own bib overall wearing laser, create a focused business plan and stick to it. We have all been granted gifts and talents. Being brave enough to share those gifts and talents is a leap of faith. I encourage you to take the leap.
If I become half the business person and half as successful as my dad, I will consider that a win. In the meantime, I will enjoy the ride and the people who come into my life because of this leap. It is you that makes what I do fun and worthwhile. As always, stay safe, be smart, take the leap, and wash your hands.