Remember the last time you believed you could be anything you wanted?
Perhaps it was when you still colored with crayons. Maybe it was when you graduated. You were confidently outfitted with a piece of paper and an inspiring commencement speech. You were going to live an inspiring life, doing what you love and changing the world.
Then life hit and none of that happened, at least it didn’t if you were like me.
Here’s what I, and probably most of you, went through. I found a corporate office job. Then the recession hit and I was laid off. I scraped by juggling two part-time retail gigs during the holiday season. When that finished, I looked for full time employment for six months. I ended up getting hired to manage a video store.
I felt ...stuck. I was thankful to be employed but I left work every day feeling like there was just so much more I could be making out of life. Despite the economy my desire didn’t feel unreasonable.
“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” - George Bernard Shaw
Why do you work hard for someone else who hassles you when need time off for family?
Have you looked for work but found nothing that excites you? Or do you have a degree in something you love but can’t find a opportunity to use your best skills?
In 2009, I was fed up with pouring my life into a job that didn’t challenge me. That’s when I decided to do something unreasonable. I jumped full time into working for myself.
It was completely unreasonable. It was both physically and financially dangerous.
In hindsight, I would’ve done things differently.
But it worked. I became part of a duo that saved a condemned building. In four years I built a brick and mortar business that now puts $200k back into my community every year and I’ve created space for over two-dozen other aspiring entrepreneurs to succeed.
Let’s Get Started.
Your life has probably changed since you last dreamed of being anything you wanted. Family and financial obligations, physical limitations, and the sensibility of holding on to your 9 to 5 may be holding you back.
But, as George Bernard Shaw said, unreasonable people persist on finding ways to adapt the world to their passions.
Will 2018 finally be the year you turn your passion into your profession?
If you’re thinking of taking the leap and starting your own business, you have your reasons why. Entrepreneurs assume risk because we want flexible time for family and travel, a career we can control, and meaningful work.
But there are mental barriers that stop people from taking the first steps. These thoughts shouldn’t stop you:
1. I don’t have enough money.
You don’t need a $100k bank loan to start a small business. The Milton Schoolhouse is full of success stories that started on less than $10k.
In 2017, we watched as The Rogue Theatre built an entire entertainment opportunity and event center in our incubator with $5k in private investment and $2.5k in funds raised from the community. Two people and a tiny crew of volunteers built an entire theatre that can cover its operating expenses and pay its actors...all for less than $10k.
How did they do it? The Rogue Theatre became masters at collaborating, used their personal time as a substitute for capital, remained flexible with their plan, and rallied the community behind their vision.
(Coming soon! I’m currently writing a case study on the financial genius of this small and mighty non-profit.)
When you write the financials for your idea, you will be shocked by how little investment you need when you begin to think creatively. If financials frighten you, join us on February 11th for Build a Kick Ass Business Plan (link to page) and get access to the real 2014 start up financials for Maeva’s Coffee, as well as the new 2018 Guerilla Capital Guide.
2. I don’t have a business degree.
I have a business degree. It led to one thing: The corporate office job that convinced me to work for myself.
Most successful entrepreneurs, if they do have a degree, don’t have one in business. The degree isn’t important. What is important is knowing your industry, your market, and having a strong brand.
There’s proof of this all across the spectrum, even in big corporate- check out this month’s issue of Harvard Business Review. Only 29 of their top 100 ranked CEOs in the world in 2017 have MBAs.
A formal education opens doors, but entrepreneurs use drive, skill, and focus to create their own.
3. I don’t have enough time.
Everyone is busy- it’s not an excuse.
The Rogue Theatre, again, is an impressive example of what you can get done if you’re willing to make sacrifices. Jay and Chantel Harvey, the force behind The Rogue Theatre, not only have full-time day jobs teaching special needs students...they have nine children of their own! They paid for their dream with their nights and weekends. They gave up up six months of free time to build a theatre.
4. I don’t know where to start.
Getting started doesn’t need to be difficult or scary. No one expects you to go into work tomorrow and slap your two weeks on your boss’s desk.
The first step is getting things out of your head and down on paper. Even if you aren’t seeking outside investment, a business plan is essential to ensuring your success and personal well-being. Take a few weeks at night and create your own step-by-step guide for your business that will:
Give your dream structure
Allow you to wrap your head around the logistics
Keep your vision focused
Creating a business plan makes your business 16% more likely to succeed and gives you peace of mind that comes from clarity when embarking on this incredible life-changing event.
Let’s make 2018 the year you make real steps toward becoming an entrepreneur.
On Sunday, February 11th, we’re hosting the Kick Ass Business Plan Course at Maeva’s Coffee, inside The Milton Schoolhouse. This two hour session covers everything you need to know about creating a concept plan and financial strategy to start a small business- or to grow an existing business. You will learn how to
Bring clarity to your ideas and develop focus to create an actionable plan that makes them reality
Write a business plan that puts potential investors and collaborators on your side from page one
Understand your strengths and weaknesses in relation to your market so that you can launch with a solid strategy for success
Answer the most important questions about starting a small business, like how much capital you need and how to find it
Because of the continued lack of support for small business loans in the banking industry, I’ve written a new guide to Guerilla Capital that comes included with this course.
This guide is based on studies and strategies we’ve used with start-ups at The Milton Schoolhouse, as well as techniques I’ve learned working with clients this last year. The new Guerilla Capital Guide pulls back the curtain on how you can tailor your plan towards non-traditional start-up funding and how to save money by rethinking your business’ financial strategy.