Happy New Year my friends! 2019. It seems like it was just 1999 and the world was losing its mind over Y2K. I remember feeling a bit underwhelmed as the clock hit midnight and not even one light flickered indicating a massive power outage, let alone the end of the world. Reflecting back over the last 19 years, I wonder how much has changed and how much has stayed the same.
Are we working the same jobs, eating the same peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch? Are we living our best life? When we reach the winter season of our life and the majority of it is in the rear-view mirror, will we be happy with what we see?
Though it is not for everyone, I believe many of us harbor entrepreneurial dreams we’ve never had the courage to explore. Further, since “community development” is part of my job description, I thought now might be a good time to talk a few of you into creating some new jobs in Montrose…
Signs 2019 is the year to start your own business:
1. You’ve had a side hustle for a long time (and it brings in a little money too!): After belting out a particularly tone-deaf melody or drawing a barely discernible stick figure, you might hear, “Don’t quit your day job.” Laughable yes, but if you have a side hustle that is already bringing in income, it could actually be time to quit your day job.
What if you had full-time efforts dedicated to your part-time gig? Side hustlers such as Steve Wozniak (Apple), Phil Knight (Nike), and our very own Phil and Melanie Freismuth (Horsefly) worked double time nurturing their side games into the real deal before taking the leap.
2. You have an itch you cannot scratch: Have a need for a product or service, but cannot seem to find the right one? Maybe it is time you made your own. If there is a hole in your life due to the lack of this item, there are likely other people suffering the same shortcomings. Perhaps this is something that you wish existed locally or a product or service never before seen by the world. Either way, when you can’t quite find the thing you need and have the solution in your brain, a successful business is already in the making. Noteworthy itch scratchers who’ve come before you?
Yvon Chouinard (Patagonia) could not find a piton for climbing that was reusable (and not left in the rock after a climb)- so he made his own.
Lara Merriken (LÄRABAR) started making homemade energy bars in her kitchen with a Cuisinart and a rolling pin in an effort to fulfil her need for a snack that was not only made from whole foods, but also satisfied her need to refuel on the go.
3. Life is short: You know that thing you’ve always wanted to do? You should go do it. For real. Our lives speed before our eyes more quickly with every passing year. As my friend Melanie so smartly put it in last week’s column, “begin with the end in mind.” At your retirement party, when you reflect back on your life’s work, will you be proud? Will you have made a difference in a way that matters for you? Or, will you spend your life fulfilling someone else’s dream?
Pursuing the desires of your heart coupled with our healthy economy may be the perfect cocktail for your entrepreneurial success.
4. Your life calls for the adjustment: Maybe you’re now caring for ailing parents, your children, or your personality never quite fit the 9 to 5 mold. Design a life that works for you rather than working for a life that’s designed for others. There are millions of ways out there to make money not involving the traditional day job. It’s all about believing you can.
Before you go typing up your two weeks’ notice, there are a few things you should gather for your new journey:
• Business smarts. Knowing the basics of business as well as a business plan are essential.
• Hard work. It will not be easy. It will not be even close to easy. Being in business for yourself takes an immeasurable amount of grit and commitment. The silver lining of this being that all your hard work will now go toward your own bottom line.
• The confidence to know it will work out. There will be moments where the only one who believes in this is you. That moment could be the one where you tell your spouse you’re quitting your job, or that moment could be three years in when it looks like things are going to fall apart. Likely, both. I recommend watching Tim Ferriss’ TED Talk on Fearsetting for more on this.
This time of year, many of us are filled with hopes and dreams of making the current year our best one yet. We’ll lose the weight, drop the debt, get the promotion, or climb a mountain (literally or figuratively). If being in business for yourself is on this list, don’t let the shininess wear off of your motivated spirit.
“Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.” –Steve Jobs
Chelsea Rosty is the director of business innovation for The City of Montrose. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.