Thursday, December 25, 2014

It's now or never

     Free daily tips, information, advice, and ideas
     from personal experience in small business.

     If you have been thinking about starting a business, stop second-guessing yourself and do it. No matter your situation, the time to start that business is now.

     It is never too early in life to start a business--consider the 10-year old boy next door who shovels snow for the neighbors. And it is never too late in life to begin--consider the lady in one of the examples that follow. 

     Example: A lady who worked in Corporate America left her job every day to hurry home. There, she pursued her first love--at her potter's wheel. When she thought she was ready, she took early retirement from her corporate position. She set up her own pottery operation. Her special glazes attracted early attention and her reputation spread. Today, her pottery commands high praise and high prices. And she's still in her 50s. 

     Adults are frequently locked in pursuits that they little enjoy. Some change career directions. Others start a business built around a compelling interest. They are looking for more fulfillment than that which they are leaving behind.

     Example: I once helped a retired woman in her late 70s start up a new business. She wanted to establish a bagel house. She bought used equipment, rented a high traffic space, and in less than a year, she had established a thriving operation, selling bagels retail as well as wholesale. The key here was her drive, her persistence, her belief in herself, and the excellence of her bagels. To her mind, age was of little consequence. 

     Seniors have gained much from life's experiences. They can turn a long-held interest into a small business, avoiding the setbacks younger people might experience. 

     Example: A teenager named Tom came to me once for advice on growing his business. He had spent time after school throughout his teens cutting grass, trimming shrubbery and doing yard clean-ups. He wanted to grow his business into a full landscaping operation after he graduated high school. I helped him do a business plan and he was on his way. It was an easy transition for him to grow his business based on the customers and reputation he already had. While his high school classmates went on to college and were trying to sort out their life's path, Tom was expanding his business and buying a house for his growing family. 

     Teenagers are good at starting businesses. They are quick learners and have the energy and attitude to see a project through. They have not yet learned all the excuses that hold back the rest of us. 

     Starting a small business is a now or never proposition. I'm fond of quoting the Good Witch of the North in the Wizard of Oz: "The place to begin is at the beginning." And, as all of us know, we make our own beginnings. 

     Like the lady who started the bagel shop, I'm now in my late 70s. I've started several businesses and I've retired several times. Retirements last about 10 days. 

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