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Archive for March, 2009

Calculating risk

Roaching or starting up your company the old way: pros and cons
  Quitting your day job now Roaching your startup
 
Time You have more time on your hands. However, you’ll probably work day and night to grow your business as soon as possible, creating a big dent in your personal life. You can’t do it all during work hours, but you can do most of it. Sure, you’ll work some evenings, but you can distribute the available free time evenly between your startup and your personal life.
 
Freedom Ah, the freedom of not having a boss anymore… Yeah, it sucks having to work your day job longer. But trust me, you can face the criticism of your boss a whole lot better knowing you’re working on your dream in his time…
 
Money Money is tight. Maybe you got the loan from the bank, but these times banks aren’t too happy lending out cash without any form of security. And without the steady flow of income, getting groceries or paying the vet gets kinda, well, anxious. On the plus side, the best money in the world is the money you’ve earned with your own business. Steady flow of income, securing your lifestyle until the point your startup can take over. Downside: it’ll take longer. Plus side: you won’t have a (big) debt.
 
Security Virtually nonexistent. No security of income and, unless you’re willing to pay big bucks for it, no insurance whatsoever. Security of income and insurance

Which one would you choose?

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Roaching it

roachWhat exactly is ‘roaching your startup’?

You’ll find a ton of websites out there that teach you how to start up a business. Usually, they follow the same steps:

  1. Think about the type of business you want to start
  2. Write a business plan
  3. Raise enough money to start
  4. Execute the business plan
  5. Make money

That’s just grand, if you’re a genius grad student who still lives with his parents. Real people have jobs first, and decide somewhere along the way to start up a business of their own. At that time, you probably have a real life: a job, a mortgage to pay, maybe a family to provide for. Starting up a business isn’t exactly easy.

Calculated risks
Any arrived entrepeneur will tell you that taking risks is part of the business. I totally agree: taking risks and being fully responsible is one of the things that attracts me so much. But, it’s all about taking calculated risks. Now let’s suppose you follow the 5 steps above, and let’s just suppose the bank says ‘yes sir, here’s $ 200,000 for your plan’. You’d have to quit your job, losing not only your monthly source of income, but also your 401(k), medical insurance, dental plan, etcetera. All this without knowing if your plan is going to work out. If it does, good for you. If it doesn’t, you’re in trouble. Not only will you have a giant debt, you don’t have a job to pay back the debt, and chances are your wife has filed for a divorce and a restraining order as well.

Roaching it
My idea is to start up a business during my day job. Now my day job isn’t particulary demanding, so if I work a little harder, I have enough time on my hands to accomplish this. I’ve somewhat amended the 5 steps I mentioned earlier:

  1. Think about the type of business you want to start
  2. Write a business plan during work hours
  3. Save my earnings to pay for expenses
  4. Execute the business plan during work hours
  5. Make enough money to quit day job

I’m using my own money to pay for expenses. This is called bootstrapping, something I’ll write about later on. The process of creating a business during your day job I call ‘roaching’.

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bored

I’m bored. In fact, I’m bored beyond recognition.  I have this pesky day job that does not offer me any kind of challenge. My boss keeps shoving more boring stuff up my desk. Nobody recognizes my talents for what they are. I’ve had several jobs, and while they all start out great, after a while the gloss wears off and they are exposed for what they are: day jobs. It doesn’t matter what kind of job, it all boils down to this: somebody tells you to do something you don’t really want to do. At least, not for someone else. 

Since you’re visiting this blog, I’m sure you’re having the same thoughts. Not only do you feel discontent with having a boss, you’re also having these great ideas about customer service, quality, human resources, marketing. You’re confident that you’d do so much better when you’d be in charge…  I was having these same thoughts. It just hit me: I want to be an entrepeneur. And, since I need the money and securtiy of my day job, I’m going to do it during work hours. And blog about it!

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