PICTURED - A FEW PHOTOS FROM MY RECENT TRIP TO KISHIWADA CASTLE
A couple of days ago I recorded a little talk about choosing the right business for you. It got me thinking about people I know who are in business or whom I have spoken to about going into business.
I have a good friend who is an expert travel planner. She takes her family on mini-vacays several times a year and always manages to find the best deals and have the best time. I asked her how she does it and she replied that it's no special skill. She just knows the right websites to visit and the right times to book. The right times? Yes, there are secret times when companies will offer exclusive deals or first-come, first-served deals that you have to be in the know about, and perhaps be prepared to sit on the site hitting the refresh button at 3am!
Of course my business mind starts ticking into overtime when I hear this news - not that it's so great that she's able to save her family money and have great holidays (which is cool) but that she is the holder of sacred knowledge that other people might pay to have.
Most people have a priority system that controls the various aspects of their lives - time, money, sleep are the big ones. You can save time or money but maybe not both at the same time. The same goes for sleep or exercise or eating well. At times it will all be in balance and other times not.
If you're a person who is short on time then you sometimes have to accept that you may not be getting the best deal financially since you don't have the hours to spend doing the research and cost comparisons. My friend places a higher priority on saving money and she enjoys using her time to stay on top of happenings in the domestic travel industry.
Which leads to my next point.
Should you go into business?
I asked her: Why not start a business, a travel advisory? Share all your insider tips? To which she promptly replied, no. She loves doing it for herself, she'd be prepared to help me and one or two other friends but the pressure of providing an accurate and valuable service to strangers seems like too much responsibility. She went on to say that she didn't think she was entrepreneurial and she prefers to have tasks given to her by a boss of some kind. She doesn't want to be the one with whom "the buck stops here".
In another conversation with another friend I asked why she wanted to set up her own business. For her it was a case of having complete creative control over her work. She finds working for a boss constraining and frustrating.
Thinking back now to the audio recording about choosing the right business for you. I'd also add to that to make sure that you have an understanding about what it means to be in business for yourself. Do you have a passion for what you're undertaking? Do you have the drive to be able to see it through? Are you willing to do the less-fun tasks that are necessary in any business? Or if not, are you prepared to pay someone else to do those tasks for you? Are you comfortable with the idea of being a boss yourself? In other words, should you be in business for yourself at all?
Something to consider
Is there a way to still explore your interests fully but not have to go it alone? A joint-venture or a collaboration or a partnership? An arrangement which lessens the risk for you might be attractive. You may wish to combine forces with someone who complements your skills and talents. Or maybe, at the end of the day it's meant to stay a hobby and you will pursue an income from other means (ie. a job) that will still allow you to indulge your passion in your free time. You never know, the timing might be right down the line and you will decide to go for it afterall.
Of course I always say Nothing Ventured Nothing Gained so I will be the last person to try to discourage you from starting your own business but it's my duty to advise you to be realistic and think it through carefully. Talk it through with as many people as you can, preferably those who can offer an unbiased opinion. You know where to find me!
(I secretly wanted to share with you my own little-known travel destination - Kishiwada Castle is awesome! Pictured above - it offers just enough castle to be fun and interesting, not boring and never-ending. It's really easy to get to, has inexpensive parking all around it, is only 300 yen to enter, is never crowded and is so pretty! Plus I highly recommend the Danjiri Museum around the corner).