Monday, March 29, 2010

My Business Venture

Whether you are an employee or if you're self-employed, your income is dependent upon the number of hours you work. Given there is a limited amount of hours in a day and even less that anyone is capable of working, there is an obvious limit to the amount of income you can earn. Some occupations pay more than others, but they are all have the same time limitations.

Investors and business owners aren't limited in the same way. An investor makes money based on the amount of money invested regardless of what he or she does with his or her time. A business owner makes money based on the work done by their employees. While it seems obvious now, this concept was brought to mind only after reading Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki. Some of his ideas are sketchy, but I do owe my financial awakening to this book.

So when the opportunity to take over a painting business was presented, I decided to take it. I had no intention of leaving my current job, becoming a painter, or "toughing" it out. I knew it was going to be a lot of work, especially with keeping my existing job, but I knew I could do it. I wanted to bring a professionalism to the industry that I think it so desperately lacks. I created the plan, hired the worker, and worked hard at bringing in the customers.

I had assumed that by taking over an existing company I'd already have a customer base to draw from. One thing lead to another though and I was essentially creating the company by scratch. Although, more challenging, I wasn't deterred by this and I persisted. However, it wasn't long before my advertising budget was spent and the work wasn't coming. Probably not the best timing as the recession was basically just starting. Seeing as I wasn't doing the painting myself it was hard trying to keep my 1 painter around while I had zero prospects.

I'm sure I could have made a successful company given more time and money, I wasn't in a situation to give either. While I admire the entrepreneurs who stick with it, I wasn't able to make that same commitment. My family relies on the income that I bring in and I couldn't afford to keep going. I went into the business thinking of it as an investment and not as a replacement for my current job. I realized at that point though to make it successful would require me to tackle it full time. I went into it thinking it would work, or it wouldn't, but I wasn't going to get attached.

So, a year after I started it, I shut it down. It was very depressing for me to do so, but it was the best thing for my family. I'm sure I'll be a business owner again one day, but for now I'll concentrate on my schooling. Next time I'll be more prepared for a longer trip.

So what about your ventures? Any thoughts on mine?

1 comment:

  1. Your story has hit home in for me. I too took over an existing business thinking that I could turn it around but it exausted me before I could make it happen. Rich Dad is a good book. I have read it a few times. I like his "Don't quit your day job" philosophy. But if anyone thinks it is an easy thing to do they are going to take some lumps. Even Kyosoki went broke on his first business attempt and he had a billionaire mentor coaching him on the way (His rich dad). That has helped me to have the attitude that I can recover, dust off my pants and try again. I now have an MBA. I got it the hard and expensive way but it was hands on and that is how I learn.