Finding Your Path in the Business World

Entrepreneurship - Things I Would Do Differently

Nov 10, 2011 by

“I see you exploring,” my friend said about my business ventures.  “You’re doing a good job.”

That was nice to hear.  Sometimes, I feel like a kid playing at being an adult without taking on any real responsibility or getting any real results.

I started this experiment in entrepreneurship with one idea; an idea that seemed to expand as I asked people for advice and then change as opportunities came along.  I got advice from creative, knowledgeable people who had started businesses and knew what they were doing.  I wholeheartedly acknowledge that I would not have known where to start without them.  However, if I had to do it again, with everything I know now, I would change a few things.

1. For one, I wouldn’t spend so much money up front.

I wouldn’t spend so much money because I would know to focus on the networking first and let it evolve from there.  I met a lot of people in my new industry and they knew the market better than I did.

Once I had the benefit of perspective from the inside, I could figure out where my skills and knowledge fit in.  I had a clearer objective.

2. Second, I would spend more time just getting my name out there.  The hardest part for me has been marketing.  It takes a while to find the people who want what I have to sell.    I believe this is true no matter what the product is.  Building a following in a world of screaming sales messages simply takes time.

3. From a more personal perspective, I would be more honest with myself about what I really wanted. My business idea had not been done anywhere else and I did not have any experience working in its industry.  I climbed a steep learning curve.  It did not occur to me until much later that I have many well-developed skills that could bring in income more easily than a brand new business idea.

If you’re going to start a business and ask me for advice, the most important thing I have to tell you is this:  ask yourself about your motivation.  Yes, I believe in local food systems and want to support farms. I spent most of the summer making muffins and selling them at the farmers’ market, which brought me into the local foods network.

But what I really wanted was a chance to be creative, control my own time and spend more of my life in the home I love.  I could have done that in many ways, some of which would have come to fruition more quickly and cheaply.

It’s not for nothing I call this experiment my homemade MBA.  At least I’m getting a good grade and I believe it will all come together sooner or later. Patience makes a big difference, whether you’re learning in school or learning as you go.

Finding the right path in a thicket of ideas simply takes time.

About the Author

Bonnie Simon Has Written 35 Articles For Us!

I am an urban homesteader in Colorado Springs, CO where I raise chickens, make my own yogurt and am learning to grow some food, all within sight of downtown in a 1950s era neighborhood. I am starting a small business designed to fill the gap between local farms and local dinner tables.
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1 Comment

  1. Bonnie – I’m really enjoying your travels into entrepreneurship. I agree #3 is the real challenge. Now I’m off to rethink what it is I do really want!

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