Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Beginning of the Entrepreneur Years

My journey to financial independence was not so much chosen by me as it was thrust upon me. I remember it well. The day was Thursday. News was flying across the country. Like a rolling wave it started back east andended right here in the west ... at least that's the way it was for the company I was employed by. Employees were being ushered out the door faster than you can say Jimmy crack corn and I don't care. I knew my fate - it would be the same as the man who hired me. Usually is.

No one had done anything wrong. This was the era of multi-nationals buying other multi-nationals to become multi-more. Re-egineering. Redundancy. It seems like such a long time ago. It was. Today this same scenario is repeated time and time again. The reasons may be different, but the outcome is the same. No matter how they try to spin it, redundant, re-ingeneering, downsizing, streamlining; it still boils down to one thing: NO JOB.

I decided right then and then that I did not want another job. I understood at that time that business had just undergone a major shift and would never be the same again. The multi-national I was with was already exporting its call centers to third world countries. There were other changes blowing in the wind. I decided that I wanted a business of my own, one where I could control my own financial well being.

Off I went to meet with my accountant. I thought perhaps some of his clients might be selling their business and I was right. How much did I want to pay, my accountant asked ... hundred thousand? half a million?

As I picked my jaw up off the floor, he asked why I wanted to buy a business. We both laughed when I told him that he would be the first one to tell me not to start one. He then looked at me straight in the eyes and said something that I will never forget "Valentina, the reason a business is for sale is because it is not doing too well or if it is, its going to cost a lot of money. Either way, it will cost and no guarantee of success. Why don't you look at direct marketing?"

He didn't quite have the terminology right, but he did give me some criteria by which to judge such a business. I left feeling deflated, like someone just blew the wind right out of my sails. Oddly enough, several weeks later I was introduced to a business which I could work from home and it even met my accountant's criteria set. Aha! Said I to myself. This is what my accountant is talking about.

This was a business that gave me the best of both worlds: my own business without the risk of starting or owning one. I liked that it did not cost a hundred thousand, not even a thousand ... and, I thought, if this does not pan out, well I've spent more on bad dinners and clothes that didn't fit. Success was there for the grabbing and thus began a new chapter of my life: The Entrepreneur Years!

1 comment:

  1. We are all glad you decided to do this. I wish you great success.