What makes you start your own business?

by Peter Crocker

I always had a desire to work for myself one day. If you’re reading this, you probably did too. But for me, when it came to taking the plunge, it was a total knee-jerk reaction with no inkling of a business plan. Is that the norm or the exception?

A few years ago I argued that, there’s never a ‘right’ time to start your own business. It’s a dream that will always be ‘one day’ until something makes it become ‘today’. So what pushes people over the edge?

In that article I explained how the birth of my first daughter gave me the shove I needed. “After three months of leaving for work before my newborn daughter woke up and getting back after her bedtime, I had one of those 100 watt light bulb moments where you understand that there just has to be a better way. I gave four weeks’ notice and that was that.”

With no clients, no business plan, no website, very little experience, no spare room and a screaming alien life-form to look after, it’s not really the smartest way to go about setting up. But that was almost eight years ago and both the child and business are still pottering along, so all is well.

Although it goes against all the ‘rules’ of business planning, research and financial forecasts, I think it was the best, and possibly only way it would have happened for me. Without an extra push I’d quite likely still be polishing my business plan today.

On the other hand, I have a friend who strategically planned her business a few years in advance so they could run it from home when they had children, which they are now doing. But I suspect this is unusual.

I’m always fascinated to hear what made people actually chuck in their day job and chase their dream.

If you are planning to start your own business but are yet to take the plunge, what sort of things are you waiting for? If you already run your own business, was yours a carefully planned development or a ‘let’s see what happens’ sort of beginning.

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