Lockdown 3.0 and the entrepreneurial answer to economic hardship
Back in 2017, one of the key drivers that led me to become an #entrepreneur was that I wanted to spend a little more time at home.
Careful what you wish for.
One advantage to owning the business that you work in is that your worth and the value that you add is decided by your customers and not an HR department or a boss.
It has been truly gut wrenching to see the green #opentowork profile pictures pop up all over Linkedin during the last 9 months. Talented, hard working people that I admire have been placed into really difficult circumstances through no fault of their own. The virus doesn't take any prisoners, nor do the economic consequences.
Now might just be the time for people to begin their own entrepreneurial journey. Bored, furloughed, redundant or looking for work can be replaced with excited, busy and creating jobs.
As a former Risk Underwriter, I didn't take the plunge lightly. Every single risk likely to occur when starting up a business was written down and mitigated and I spent the majority of my free time reading business books or listening to entrepreneurial podcasts. People say that entrepreneurs are risk takers, the successful ones are quite the opposite.
People say that entrepreneurs are risk takers, the successful ones are quite the opposite.
During my entrepreneurial research, the main issue that I had with the "Wantrepreneurial" material available is that the tips for starting up your own business are only readily available from billionaires and the absolute rock stars in their respective field. These tips and books are practically of no use to the average person but people still lap this stuff up.
This process is akin to standing at the bottom of a mountain range in shorts and flip flops, squinting at the top of the mountain whilst the fully kitted out professional climbers at the top of the mountain radio down pithy platitudes and climbing tips to you in exchange for £6.99 per tip. A budding climber wouldn't say "Sir Edmund says that it is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves so I'm just going to start climbing and see how I go". Equally, would be business owners shouldn't quote Bill Gates and then quit their job on hope alone.
The ideal process in this imagined scenario might be to gain a base level of fitness and some essential kit. Partner up with another budding climber and then find someone that has made it to Base Camp 1, kindly ask them for advice on how they got there and then see if they have any feedback on your ideas of how you might make that initial climb. Once at Base Camp 1, you can review your decision and see if you want to carry on climbing. Camp 1 might be really nice, maybe you would be happy to stay there, maybe you could hangout there for a while, find some more climbers to join you and then start speaking to people that have made it to Base Camp 2.
I am not a rock star but I have built a seven figure business on my own. This means that over £1,000,000 but less than £9,999,999 is sent into the current account of my business during a single financial year. I've certainly made it to Base Camp 1 and I could live a very happy and comfortable life here unless a storm arrived.
I'm open to giving fully confidential advice to others that would like to start out on the journey. I'd be happy to give them feedback on their ideas. Point out any risk factors that they might have overlooked. Recommend books to read or other things to do in advance of setting up or just provide my opinion on the feasibility of their ideas. I really did read a lot of material on the subject and know the key ingredients required for success in any sector.
You don't need to invent a new consumer product to own a successful business, improving an existing product or service by as little as 10% could be enough to create a sustainable business.
Subject to numbers but regardless of if we are already connected, please DM me on linkedin if you'd like some free help in getting going. Otherwise, if you know someone that keeps talking about starting a business but never does, then please tag them in my initial linkedin post or send them a link to this blog.
Rick Phillips - Managing Director - Phillips Schroeder Surety