There seems to be a lot of buzz these days about new businesses and startups. Perhaps it has something to do with the negative economy and poor prospects in the job market. Perhaps it has something to do with a growing disinterest in the "corporate life". It could also be due in part to the growing number of tools and support networks that are geared towards helping people realise that they don't have to be stuck in an unfulfilling career path.
Either way, I proudly support this movement, as I myself have embraced my passions and launched Find A Photographer last year. I spotted a large gap in the market: providing people with professional photos to capture their memories - no matter what the event or where in the world they wanted to be.
But this isn't about me. Or Find A Photographer.
This is about all of you aspiring entrepreneurs out there, or people who want to make that leap. The inspiration for this post is coming directly from the Start Something You Love event I attended last night in London, hosted by the amazing guys at Escape the City.
It was an absolutely fantastic event with inspirational speakers that have escaped their drudgery to do something they loved - some started successful businesses, others did some pretty amazing travel adventures. What they did wasn't as important as the fact that they did it.
I was struck as I soaked in the lively atmosphere of the 600 attendees who were listening rapt to the speakers, that there were a lot of people who were in similar frames of mind.
So if you're not happy with what you're doing, know that you're not alone, and that there is a great support network out there.
Here is some advice I have for someone who is thinking about doing something they love - part of this is from what I heard and learned at this event, some of it is from my own experiences:
- Find something you're passionate about. If you're passionate, success is more likely to follow
- Get out and network. Meet people. Talking with other people can be inspirational
- Try to get a mentor (or several)
- Analyse your risk - is there a way that you can do what you love while mitigating your risk?
- Be prepared to work hard - it's rare to hit easy street from the start. Very rare.
- Make sure people in your life understand what you want to do and support you
- Use the (many) resources that are available to you
- Most importantly. DO IT. Get out of your own way. Think to yourself "what's the the worst that will happen?". You will often find it's not as bad as you're making it out to be
There are a lot of other things you can think about when you're at that stage, but these are the ones that resonate the most with me. Please feel free to add your suggestions below! We'd love to hear from people who have made the leap and/or people who want to!