BYOB: Be Your Own Boss

Posted by Judy Anne Cavey on Dec 30, 2010 in , , | No Comments

Create That Job!

Do you know someone who has an adventurous spirit? The type that ventured out on their own and created a successful business?

It seemed as if they did this effortlessly, yet if the truth be told, they worked 18 hour days, 7 days a week in order to bring their business into the winners arena. Is this the norm for all independents? Certainly not, there are many who began businesses while keeping their 9-5 job, or during a time when they opted to stay home and raise children. In those instances, choices were made by them to limit the time and energy devoted to their vision.  Some may have waited until they were laid off (or retired) to bring their business to fruition. Others were students, newly graduated from college, who struck out on their own to begin a business.

Whatever their scenario, all of these people have one thing in common; they had a dream and worked towards it.

Is It For You?

Researching your idea is one of the most valuable activities you can do in the beginning. Speaking with those who are experts in the field brings insight that could help you stay out of trouble, steering clear of costly mistakes.

But how will you know it’s for you until you give it a try?  That’s the bottom line when it comes to following a dream of owning your own business–you have to take the first step. Experts suggest you keep the day job, while researching and planning in your spare time at nights and on weekends. If you are currently unemployed, you can do your planning around your job search, or decide to jump in feet first and devote all your time to your idea. Just be prepared for the financial end–not having a paycheck coming in for a while, or on a regular basis–until your company if fully functioning.

What Can You Do?

In a recent article by Elaine Pofeldt, My Brilliant (New) Career, she highlights three people from diverse backgrounds and needs who followed their dream.

One woman, turned a hobby into a job and it all started with homemade lip balms for Christmas gifts. She marketed her products on Indie Beauty Network and created a website to sell her items too. She works 30 hours a week, has time for her husband and kids, but will be aiming for sales of $30,000 by the end of 2010.

Another woman, noticing downsizing in her field of IT, decided to get herself a side business. She has helped friends and co-workers revamp their resumes for free. But after her sister was quoted a $400 price tag for this service, Wendy decided to go professional herself. Smart lady. About a year later, she was laid off and had established her business enough by then that she was able to fully pursue it as a full-time endeavor. She now has a staff of seven part-time people and makes more than she did working for a telecommunications company.

And the last woman highlighted, who was in a desperate financial situation while going through a lengthy divorce, decided to put her experience to good use. Being an RN, she noticed families seeking out more home health care for loved ones as a cost effective alternative. These families needed an agency that could supply excellent help at reasonable rates and while teaching part-time, she began her home health care business. Lke the others, she found a niche in a field she knew well and capitalized on that knowledge. Her company grosses a whopping $1.4 million annually, which means she pays herself $85,000 in salary. Not bad for someone who was concerned how she’d provide adequately for herself and her children.

What They All Had In Common

All of these people believed what they had was a great idea, researched their competition, talked to experts, understood what it would take, and used their experience to find a niche others valued (and would pay for) to make their dream a reality.

What do you have in common with these successful business people? Do you have an idea worth money? If so, do the research, talk to the right people who are experts in their field, know what it will take to turn your idea into a working business and use your past experience or interests to fill a niche. Be realistic, but also don’t let fear kill your idea. The economic downturn should not stop smart entrepreneurs.

Is today the day you become your own boss?

©2009 Judy Anne Cavey, who resides in the S.F. Bay Area of California, is a credentialed, certified, higher education instructor who taught Work Experience/Cooperative Education and ESL at three community colleges. She is also a freelance writer and grant writer currently authoring a textbook, has designed other learning programs, and worked with several nonprofits. Her Edublog, “Work Experience”, is a not-for-profit endeavor designed to assist job seekers of all ages.