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Starting Your Own Business - Inspiration/Turning Or Breaking Point

post #1 of 36
Thread Starter 
I know there are a few threads scattered here on the forums about some advice and tips on starting your own business or work from home. What I am curious about is what drove you to take the initiative to make the leap and do it.

Trying to avoid the generic responses of "Tired of workin' for the man".

Was there a breaking point? An epiphany? Good level of confidence or scared as sh*t? This applies to any and all industries, not just clothing.
post #2 of 36

I know this is old, but no reason to create my own thread for it. I have an entirely similar interest here. Things I'd like to know: what gave you the idea for the business? Did you have all the money to start? Was it worth it a year later and did you have a business degree or anything relevant pertaining to your business?

post #3 of 36
I was working at a big law firm as a junior associate. A couple years in, the senior associate who was my mentor made partner. It took him about ten years or so to make partner and he was stellar associate. After making partner, he was working even more hours than he worked as an associate, and now, on top of doing legal work, if he wanted to make more money, he had to go out and get his own clients. I figured, I could either stick around here for another 7 or 8 years and make partner so that I can work more, or, I could spend the next ten years building my own firm and getting my own clients. I chose the latter.

I had some money to start my business, but not nearly enough. In some sense, that was good because it taught me how to get things done when you don't have a lot of budget room.

During the first year, I finished in the red. However, business has grown tremendously since then (with some snags along the way). I do not have a business degree, but I read whatever I can about marketing, networking, sociology, etc.
post #4 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by odoreater View Post

I was working at a big law firm as a junior associate. A couple years in, the senior associate who was my mentor made partner. It took him about ten years or so to make partner and he was stellar associate. After making partner, he was working even more hours than he worked as an associate, and now, on top of doing legal work, if he wanted to make more money, he had to go out and get his own clients. I figured, I could either stick around here for another 7 or 8 years and make partner so that I can work more, or, I could spend the next ten years building my own firm and getting my own clients. I chose the latter.
I had some money to start my business, but not nearly enough. In some sense, that was good because it taught me how to get things done when you don't have a lot of budget room.
During the first year, I finished in the red. However, business has grown tremendously since then (with some snags along the way). I do not have a business degree, but I read whatever I can about marketing, networking, sociology, etc.

Congratulations.
post #5 of 36
For me the inspiration has always been there. Growing up with both parents constantly lamenting the behaviour of the boss, having sales targets of £15m and only bring home £50k.

I simply didn't want to work to make someone else rich. my business is by no means successful (though first year and we're in the black), my main realisation has been that you need to be honest about your skills.

I am charismatic, outgoing and great at sales, but if you gave me 100 reports, and asked me to spot the errors, I just couldn't. In contrast my business partner hates speaking to anyone he doesn't know, but if I ask him for a list of potential clients, within 24 hours he will give me a vetted 200-strong list of names, phone numbers and email addresses that is flawless.

It wasn't until I sat down and mapped out my weaknesses that I was ready to make a proper go of it. Due diligence is one thing, and you should never neglect the work that needs doing, but making a living from something you actively suck at isn't easy.
post #6 of 36
Thread Starter 
Glad you are all sharing your experiences. biggrin.gif

To those who have responded, did you do your research/due diligence before deciding to go into business yourself? What was going through your head(scared/confident)?
post #7 of 36
Yeah I always knew I would start my own practice. Then I had a really frustrating couple of weeks at my old job and came home, started doing the math, and realized that I could feasibly start my own practice. Never looked back.
post #8 of 36
Mybreaking point came when I imagined myself as a fat 60 year old who has done nothing but spent decades of my life living like a drone and watched television being told what to do especially with the size of the world the way it is

I was bored with the same conversations about television brain dead media and lack of excitement in the corporate sector

I would rather be broke than be someone elses bitch for 40 years

I failed again and again and built up such knowledge and and an aura that no matter what I pursue in the future in terms of international business I will prevail
post #9 of 36

After working and interning at various media marketing and music biz jobs, I have come to a point where I am seriously contemplating starting my own business with an old coworker whom I really get along with and she is in a similar position as me career wise. We are both incredible compatible but good at different things. I'm meeting with her tomorrow to have a pretty elementary conversation about what we could do for and with each other. 

 

Thanks for everyone sharing their experiences. It's not a matter of if I'll start my own business, but what it will be and when it will begin. 

 

 

One question for business owners in the red, or just barely in the black: how do you budget how you will afford to live while you build your business to a point where money is actually coming in. I have savings and I know I'll need a small business loan to start, but does my living expenses come from that loan? I know that may sound like an absurd question, but its something I was just thinking of. 

post #10 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by dgonsh View Post




One question for business owners in the red, or just barely in the black: how do you budget how you will afford to live while you build your business to a point where money is actually coming in. I have savings and I know I'll need a small business loan to start, but does my living expenses come from that loan? I know that may sound like an absurd question, but its something I was just thinking of. 

Figure out what you really need to live, including taxes, and then add 10% or so and make that your salary. DO NOT spend anything in the business account on anything other than business. If you are in a bind, you can loan yourself some money but pay it back and don't make a habit of it. Think of your accounts and the business accounts as two completely different entities. It takes discipline but you can do it.
post #11 of 36

I own my own Fencing Academy, have for just about 2 years now.

 

I graduated college in 3.5 years, and took a job as a full time fencing coach (moved across the country to take said job).  After 4 months, it became clear the previous owner needed to sell it, so me and my business partner bought him out.  I was just 21 at the time, and had a BS in Criminal Justice, and absolutely no business training.

 

We decided to go ahead with it, even though my business partner also had zero business training.  Since taking over, we've grown by just under 100% in 18 months, and our students have started to perform significantly better than they ever had under previous ownership.

 

It was a crazy risk to take, but so far (18 months in) it has been a dream come true. :)

post #12 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elusive View Post

Mybreaking point came when I imagined myself as a fat 60 year old who has done nothing but spent decades of my life living like a drone and watched television being told what to do especially with the size of the world the way it is
I was bored with the same conversations about television brain dead media and lack of excitement in the corporate sector
I would rather be broke than be someone elses bitch for 40 years
I failed again and again and built up such knowledge and and an aura that no matter what I pursue in the future in terms of international business I will prevail

This is exactly one of my greatest fears in life, and a reason why I am trying to get into entrepreneurship and building my own business so much. There is a ton to learn, and it seems like you have figured out that you will not get very far working under someone else so they can instead be the one who gets far.

Also, this thread has been great. Any other suggestions for a Psych major with business experience to get going?
post #13 of 36
Personally I do it for the excitement, and the money it has made me over the years is good as well. The first business I set up went spectacularly bankrupt and I was completely wiped out for a few years but it taught me an awful lot of lessons that helped me subsequently. The biggest lesson was was manage your cashflow obsessively, you can have a huge paper profit and still be dead if you don't have cash. Applying that lesson in later startups made sure they worked. I am an adrenaline junkie, I actually enjoy the startup phase, once the business is running happily I get bored and move on to the next one. The startup is about surviving until the first big break and praying it comes before the money runs out!

The only other things I would say is never set up a business that relies on the weather (although the skiing business was fun), and if you are in the UK use the Small Firms Loan Guarantee Scheme - it's the cheapest insurance you will ever buy.
post #14 of 36

I'm thinking about making the jump sometime soon for all of the reasons above. Naturally I'm a bit frightened by the uncertainty of it all.  But I like the idea of having my own office where I can snort coke whenever I want.
 

post #15 of 36
As someone who's both worked for the man and had my own business what's most important is- DO WHAT YOU LOVE. The money will follow.
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