If you have ever wanted to start a business or blog but didn’t know what, where or how to start than you should read this story.
I’ll share with you how after almost a decade of wandering from college to the corporate world, I’m finally getting some clarity and discovering how to turn my natural talents and interests into a viable way to support myself. I’m still not done but i finally feel i have a purpose and a path to follow that makes more sense.
The good news is there’s a quicker way for you to achieve your goal of sustainable and meaningful entrepreneurship. I’ll share with you how you can get from point A to point B faster and more efficiently.
Do You Dream Of Entrepreneurship and Self-Employment?
I have always had this entrepreneurial dream lurking, watching and waiting in the depths of my mind. Every once in a while it would slowly poke it’s fearful head out to stretch it’s legs for a bit but only because my more adventurous side cajoled and rattled the cage a bit.
Inevitably that entrepreneurial side returned back to the recesses of my mind waiting and lurking until another day.
We all have our own reasons why we want to hold the coveted title of ENTREPRENEUR.
Some reasons are noble, some not so noble. When I was younger, my reasons were simple and somewhat shallow. I wanted two things.
I’m older now and my reasons haven’t changed much but they have grown up a bit.
FORTUNE: I would still love to have the money that a successful business would bring but not for the sake of money itself.
What I really want is the potential freedom money brings. Freedom from worrying about bills. Freedom to control my own work schedule and hire help. Freedom to spend more time with my family and friends. Freedom to travel and do more activities.
If I could have these things without money than I wouldn’t care about money.
FAME:I still want fame, but I want to be famous for helping other people do something significant in their lives. I’ve learned that helping other people brings me a lot of satisfaction and I want to be known for that.
There are other reasons I want to pursue entrepreneurship such as, setting an example for my children and challenging myself to name a few.
I Have No Ideas: Sound Familiar?
I had the drive, desire and strong work ethics needed to succeed at business but I was missing one thing. It was a big thing too.
I had no idea how or what type of business to start. (SCREECH to a stop).
I did have my moments. I wasn’t completely lacking in ideas. In fact, every once in a while that entrepreneurial side came out and I would get an epiphany.
A BIG IDEA but……. it wasn’t enough.
- The ideas that I had were jumbled up in my head.
- I had no clarity.
- I had no idea how to execute any of my ideas
- I had no idea how to make my offer compelling to other people
Eventually my ideas died and that entrepreneurial side recoiled back into my head. Wave bye bye.
Lack Of Mentors
It didn’t help that I had no mentors or role models that could guide me on my entrepreneurial quest.
Growing up, everyone around me seemed to be happily working away at their very conventional jobs. They were all accountants, lawyers, doctors, stock brokers and real estate agents. My own father was an engineer. All good jobs, all sounded very unappealing to me.
Lost In College:
With no plan, no business idea and no role model to guide me, I decided to do the practical thing. Go to college and let my degree lead me down my eventual career path.
Unfortunately, even going to college was problematic. I still had no idea what I wanted to do which made it impossible to pick a major. I remember feeling lost like I was drifting aimlessly with no purpose. It was a horrible feeling and I was sure that I was the only one in the world who felt like that. I thought i was doomed to a career that would be at best a means to an end.
I was only partially right.
Don’t Ignore You Core Interests
In college, It came as no surprise that I gravitated towards classes and subjects that were centered around my childhood interests. I had a penchant for, linguistics and cultural anthropology which i thoroughly enjoyed and excelled at.
I attribute these interests directly back to my eclectic and somewhat unconventional upbringing.
I also discovered a new interest. I loved computer sciences, html, cgi and internet marketing.
( I didn’t know it at the time, but these interests would stay with me, they were part of my core being, of who I was and still am ).
eeny, meeny, miney MAJOR
I should have majored in one of those three things that i naturally gravitated towards but I didn’t. Not linguistics and not anthropology. Internet careers were relatively new back in 1992 so I didn’t even consider a career in a web related role.
Instead, I chose to major in economics. It seemed like the practical thing to do because I was good at at the subject matter and the job prospect for economic majors looked good.
I’ve had a good career thanks to my degree and I have a solid understanding of analytics, and business too. It just never made me completely happy and i always looked towards the horizon for something better.
The Dream Never Dies
A lot of time has passed since I first had that dream of entrepreneurship but one thing has remained the same. My dream of entrepreneurship never died.
To Succeed You Must First Fail
They say every failure takes you one step closer to success. I hope this is true because i have started two separate web based businesses. They didn’t exactly fail but my interest in them eventually fizzled out so i moved on to other things. I think i knew deep down that had i continued they might have failed because my heart was no longer into them.
The Missing Link
After a lot of reflection, I discovered that there was something missing. It wasn’t a small insignificant piece, it was a HUGE PIECE OF THE PUZZLE.. I’m convinced that this one missing piece is the main reason i have drifted with very little purpose in college, in life, in work and in my two web based businesses.
My True Self: My Natural Interests
I have been ignoring or rather neglecting the true person I was inside. I’ve been making decisions based on what I think I’m supposed to be and do and ignoring who I am.
In college I ignored my interests and chose economics.
In work I chose things based on money rather than what interested me.
It was in my web based businesses where I came the closest to finding that perfect balance of doing something that I love so that work hardly seems like work at all. Each time i try, i seem to to get closer and closer to finding that balance.
What Kind Of Business Can You Start?
So now i have to ask you, do you know the answer to these questions? Do you want to know the answer?
- How and what business do you start when you don’t know what that business should be?
- How do you keep the fire and momentum going so that you don’t lose interest in that business over time?
- How do you craft a compelling message that will make people want to buy form you?
Get Paid To Be You
The answer to those questions are clearer to me now than they ever were.
If you are struggling to answer them you have a choice. You can wait and hope to come up with a good idea someday.
OR, you could find your “sweet spot” NOW.
If you are unfamiliar with this term it simply means finding the intersection between your natural gifts (stuff you are good at already), you interests (hobbies, passions or dreams) and intersecting those with whether or not people will pay you for it (through a job or self employment).
Would you rather get paid to do something you love and are good at or something you don’t really enjoy but pays you well.
Most of us would choose the first but settle for the second.
When you are in your sweet spot you are choosing the first. It’s easier to exist. It’s you being who you were meant to be. It’s effortless and easier than trying to be something you are not.
My whole life I was putting less emphasis on what I love and more on what people will pay me because I was good at it.
That was then and this is now. Let me give you an example of how finding your sweet spot can translate into a business.
My Sweet Spot: I’ll show you mine if you show me yours!
WHAT I LOVE: I love to travel, I love linguistics, different cultures, customs. I also love to help people, I love my family and my kids.
WHAT I’M GOOD AT: I have a lot of experience travelling. I’ve lived abroad both as an adult, a child, with kids and without and finally both long term and short term.
I’m good at internet related marketing and analysis. My last 3 jobs were in fact working for internet based companies so i know i can get paid for these skills. If you look around at this site, I created it myself. It’s something I enjoy and hardly feels like work.
WILL PEOPLE PAY YOU: This is important. If I am creating value, than people should be willing to pay me. Will people pay me to be me? The answer is yes and no.
No one is going to pay me to tell them how i love to travel. But…I did a lot of research and I discovered that there are a lot of people out there, especially families that want to take a break from life to live abroad for a year or two.
These people are busy with family and work and need help sorting through all the red tape and advice on how to apply for visas, finance their tip abroad and how to deal with the kids. They have a goal and need advice from someone who can help them. Advice from someone who knows what they are talking about.
That would be me.
I never made the connection but now i see that i have something valuable to offer the world and so do you. You just have to doscover it and learn how to craft that compelling message to the world.
How To Find Your Gift
I didn’t just wake up and discover my sweet spot. It took me years to get to this point.
I worked with a coach, read a lot, networked and did a lot of research. The truth is, it could take you years to figure out what you have to offer the world..You may never find it. You may not even get it your first time out of the gates. But as i said earlier, each failure is a step closer towards success. There’s a compound effect of your efforts. Just be patient and don’t give up.