owning my own business

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I want to have my own company, but I really don't know what type of business to focus on. I have lot's of interest, but none that spark a deep burning desire to go off on my own.

Any suggestions?

-- jacqueline crawley (jcrawley@ixl.com), October 09, 2000


Jacqueline, there is a fine line between being a employee and being a partner in business and that line is called perception. A business doesn't have to be fully yours in order to start a business but at the same time you do need desire and passion because unlike an employee you won't have the satisfaction of knowing when you are finished or facing a crummy assignment. That's why desire is important in business, not because you desire to do something fun but in doing what you want to do you realize that it is accompanied by a lot of things you probably would not like to do. When a business is shared some of those tasks can be delegated. In my business guess who does the accounting.

At the same time while the reality may make you wince, the perception that it is your business can provide a wonderful satisfaction and sense of control. Even though in reality an employee works for one employer and having clients is actually the same thing as working for lots of employers.

So if you are a jack of all trades and master of none that can be an advantage when it comes to running your business but when it comes to what type of business you want to run, the answer goes well beyond desire. For me it is engaging in a business that has the potential to be something more than what it was when it started. Of course there is the option of running a corner store where this rule does not apply and where the ability to revolve consistently around the same business model day after day is the hallmark of its success.

IMHO, if you don't have the desire for anything in particular then do not start anything in particular. Business has far more commitments than even marriage does especially when you consider the number of engagements business requires.

So where do you start? The best point is to treat your business decisions as fidelity. Channel your desires like a laser beam and let momentum do the rest but if you think you are going end up being a run away bride, hold your options until you feel in your bones that you have a found a business opportunity that feels right for your bones. Until then keep dating with business ideas and have conversations that move you closer to decisions and closer to dreams.

-- Mark Zorro (zorromark@consultant.com), October 09, 2000.

Jacqueline, I have two answers. The first one is sort of the thing that popped into my head, and it's this: If you don't have a burning desire, don't do it until you do. The burning desire is what will let you persist through all the challenges and give the extra time and energy that will be necessary to change potential failure into success.

The second answer is kind of an extension of the first: If you don't have the burning desire yet, do research and explore your own interests and (especially) passions to find something that will be a burning desire for you, and then pursue that as your own company.

Anthony (Gone solo, and preparing to start my own business within three years)

-- Anthony R. Thompson (athomps@adf.org), October 26, 2000.

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