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Making the leap..

TomTTomT subscriber Posts: 1
edited April 2007 in Selecting a Business
Hello Everyone!
This is the first time I`ve posted a message to the forum, though I`ve been
a regular visitor to the site and listener to the podcasts for a few weeks
now. The amount of valuable feedback being shared in this community is

For my first post, I`d like to ask those with experience in the start-up
world, who have made that transition from a secure career in the
corporate world to a life of pursuing a business idea, what it was that
convinced them to `make the leap`? Was it your desire to go at it solo
more so than one solid idea that you`ve been planning for years?   What
was that tipping point that moved you to go forward with it 110%?   For
those of us that dream of building our own business, not necessarily
around one specific idea but just ANY business (of course- one in which
we would be passionate about), how have others weeded out your good
ideas from the bad? My friends can only take so much, so I know this site
will be a great starting point!

I, like I`m sure many of you out there, work in a cube farm in corporate
america. I have plenty of ideas, just no experience running or working
with smaller companies. My last question on this post is in regards to
building experience, does any know of a mentorship program that exists
today that partners small/med. sized business owners in a community
with aspiring entrepreneurs?   This site could serve as that virtual mentor,
however, it would be a nice addition to the Startup Nation to create more
of a face to face mentorship network.

I know I`ve asked a lot of general questions that you`ve all probably heard
several times before, I`m just looking for a little inspiration to `make that
leap` out of my cube! I anxiously await your feedback!


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    EBizAlanEBizAlan subscriber Posts: 0 Member
    I used to work for an insurance company...AAA.  And just one stupid phrase made by the manager made me furious and made me realize that I have to take it from the "man" (or the woman in my case) if I were to work from someone else.So my sales quota was up that month, and here`s how the conversation went:ME:  "Bye! I`m headed off home!"Them:  "You ain`t going NOWHERE!"ME (furious):   "What?  my numbers are up and I finished with all my follow                            ups."Them:  "Well, it doesn`t matter.  Do you realize that my manager`s here right              now?  You don`t leave until he leaves!"Well, that made me realize I had to get outta there!After a few months of messing around with the internet I started to make some money....(not as much as my job of course)Once I knew I can make money by myself with only the internet...I QUIT!
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    RedRockChiliRedRockChili subscriber Posts: 0
    I think some people are born to want to be in business (i was) but others see working for someone most of the time does not get them anywhere.I was in management and various other positions but always wanted to open a business.Then on Dec 13 2003 a drunk driver hit me.Shattered my right leg and ripped my hip out of the socket.After multiple surgeries, metal rods through my leg, plate on my hip, pins in my knee and a very long and painful rehad im walking again.But throughout this process opening my business is what drove me.Everyone thinks it wont happen to them but it can so my advice to anyone is do your research and think about it a lot.If it makes sense and you can, then do it.Living a life of what if would be tough to swallow.
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    LilyloohooLilyloohoo subscriber Posts: 0
    Tom and Shane:
    I made the leap a few years ago.  I was laid off from a company that I loved (just hated the VC people and the CEO!!), and decided this was the opportunity I had been waiting for.  I had been planning to open a boutique at some point, so now was the time.  I had worked in retail for a great portion of my life, but had a lot of experience in other areas as well.  Its a good thing I had the other skills, because I`ve needed every bit of that knowledge.  What I didn`t have was direct experience in women`s clothing sales.  My retail experience was in other areas, but again, I needed all of that knowledge as well.  I really feel that every job I`ve ever had has added a piece to the puzzle of my small business.  But, if I hadn`t had some retail experience I would have been in big trouble.  Women`s clothing has the 2nd highest failure rate (after restaurants) so I was up against some stiff odds(50% failure rate after 12 months, and 50% of the remaining fail after 24 mo.).  Mistakes cost money, and even though they`re inevitable, in the begining you HAVE to minimize their financial impact.  The amount of money it takes to run this small business is amazing.  Its mostly from debt service at the moment, but unfortunately banks won`t wait until you`re making money to get paid back.
    Its great that you`re getting more education.  But if I were in your position, I would get some real experience in the restaurant or baking industry.  Even if it means taking another job at night and on the weekends.  You will be working that many hours when its your own place, so why not start to get used to it? There are so many things that you don`t even know you don`t know, and those are things that you can only understand by working in the field.  Hiring an experienced baker is a good idea, but how will you know if he/she is actually helping you make money if you don`t know anything about how the process works?  At the very least, do lots of investigational interviewing with people in the industry.  Business owners love to talk about their experiences, so you shouldn`t have any problem finding people to talk to (outside of your immediate community, of course). 
    I`ve owned my boutique for almost 4 years now and I learn how little I know every single day.  But I would never do anything else.  Going back to the corporate grind is no longer a possibility.  Once you are your own boss, you can never go back.  So hang on to the dream, and keep moving forward.  Just make sure you are as prepared as you can possibly be.
    Good Luck!
    LilyLilyloohoo2007-4-22 16:21:18
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