Do What You Did and Keep Getting What You Got

By: Michael Harrison

When I started my consultancy business I was struck by the reaction of people who knew me and knew my experiences and background. The reaction of my wife was totally supportive and my children were neutral. (they were going thro' college at the time!)

Many friends were not surprised because as an independently minded person with my own views and thoughts I was a bit of a free wheeler.

However, one friend was askance and a conversation on the golf course explaining what was going on created the comment "I could not do it, I need the support of a corporation around me".

Having left employment in the corporate world behind his comments stayed with me. About six months later he called to ask what he should do as the secure corporate world had just decided to dispense with his services.

Discussing his alternatives with him - employment or independence, I advised that to secure further employment could take a while so he may as well get busy on his own account as well. He was/is a talented electronic engineer with vast commercial and training experience, which could be commercially exploited.

Helping him through this phase was rewarding because he never went back to employment. He became confident in his abilities and consulted successfully. Specialising in management training. Now he and his wife spend a good part of the year in their house in Mediterranean, even though they still work together in the business the rest of the time.

Another downsized accountant friend now has a thriving business helping small business owners with their accounts and tax matters.

When discussing our corporate backgrounds and subsequent good fortune in being able to set our own agenda he made the observation that we would not have been able to succeed so well without our home computers.

This is so true because the computer as a business tool has revolutionised the opportunities for so many all around the globe. Knowledge based service businesses are particularly suited to the use of computers.

Having said all of that how about these true successful ventures? I recently read of a 21year student who needed new spectacles but was astounded by the cost. He decided to see if he could do better and is now a millionaire. How? He ventured to believe that he could and would do something to reduce the high cost of what is an essential for most people.

Using the internet to source spectacles he found he could supply direct at about 20% of the cost on the high street stores. His new venture was spawned when he founded Glasses Direct. With the support of student friends he set up a web site and supplied his customers from a spare room in his parents' house. He still lives at home.

The business now has more than 8,000 customers and sells more than 300 pairs a day. The venture has had it's problems from the established industry but if it continues to grow at the present rate this young man will become even more wealthy as someone buys him out.

Another great venture is the housewife who wanted to buy her husband a present. He is a model train enthusiast. She found some difficulty in getting advice and sourcing the present. So she spotted a niche and set up a web based business. It now employs twelve people and she has a supply for her husband who works in his job while she runs her new venture.

This article entitled ‘venture nothing - gain nothing' came very much on the spur of the momentFeature Articles, I guess my thinking is ‘lets get on with it'. If we keep doing what we did we will get what we got. The opportunities are out there even in the most unlikely places.

Tip
I try to use tips as a prompt to our thinking and applicable to this weeks' bulletin is ‘if you never begin you will never win'. All of the true cases mentioned won because they started. Some in adversity went on to win.

Motivation
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