Monday, January 28, 2008

Hurdles to overcome

I have always wanted to work for myself. The issue with that is I am a colossal chicken. My risk tolerance for falling on my butt is quite below the threshold necessary for attempting to start my own business, mostly owing to the fact that I have a family for which I am responsible. If it was just me, I could live with the concept of strictly ramen noodles for weeks on end if I thought I had a chance. Now however I need to be far more convinced of a guaranteed nature of a business model before I subject my family to that possibility.

I am continuously scratching the surface of interesting business concepts that would require some work to bring justice to an attempted launch. My problem is that I can never bring myself to delve deep enough into the project to achieve the possibility of getting off the ground. (Do you like my conflicting metaphors?) Admittedly, some of the reasons that I don't seem to give it a full fledged attempt is that I am unsure of how much I like my own ideas. I have come up with so many ideas that seem great at first glance but the longer I look at them the less appealing they become. This has created a kind of gun-shy attitude toward my own concepts. However, the rest of the time I find myself unwilling to invest enough effort into a project is because it has such a propensity for failure.

Some failure I can live with, mostly the type that doesn't really leave any lasting consequences. The bigger issue comes with the fact that for a career level project to succeed, you must invest heavily to the point that a failure usually will hit rather hard. You have to pass the point of no return if you want to build up enough speed to jump the canyon. If you still don't manage to get going fast enough the results are disastrous. If you do, then you have an achievement to be proud of. My problem is I can't get past the possibility of the spectacular fireball.

Am I nothing more than incapable of beginning my own enterprise or am I just missing out on methods of not betting the farm. Maybe my uncertainty is just an indicator that it isn't going to work anyway and I just have to wait until I find the one that I know will be able to sustain it's own existence.


Dave J. said...


A little birdy suggested I stop by and read a bit of your blog.

The immediate response is "Hey, you are just normal," but that isn't particularly helpful, however comforting it may be. Yes, we all have dreams, but we shouldn't be resigned to forgetting them.

My best suggestion is to find a mentor. Not a guru telling you to live your dreams, but someone doing what you would like to do. In the blogoshere, you can find several to listen to. Then engage them--post frequent comments, ask questions, observe the subtly of their actions. Thru this engagement, you will find friends and people you would like to be like. People who you will start to be like as you learn from them.

This is what I did (unconsciously) that helped me weather a questioning-career time for me.

I hope this helps a little bit. I will continue to read you blog to see what thoughts you have. You are courageous to take on this struggle and not just let it beat you up inside.

David Sagus said...

Thanks for the kind words of encouragement. I appreciate getting outside viewpoints. I'm not necessarily going to be reliable keeping up with the blog but it will ever be on my thoughts.

One issue with trying to find a mentor doing what I want to do is figuring out not who but what that is.

Dave J. said...

David--A mentor shouldn't be someone doing what you want to do (as if you knew), but someone *being* who you want to be. Does that make sense.

Oh, and a book recommendation from my 'to read' list: The Dream Manager by Matthew Kelly.