Sales and Marketing

I attended a networking event last week where entrepreneurs can pitch to a good size audience for whatever they need. It was interesting to see how many businesses were looking for sales and marketing help, though I suppose it shouldn’t be too surprising.

Most of the companies requesting this support or to hire these types of employees had software businesses. The founders were coders – not business people. And all they wanted to do was code, not sell their own product.

At the same event, I heard a social enterprise accelerator saying that they too needed sales and marketing mentors.

It’s funny how people sometimes question my ability to get into the manufacturing business when truthfully, just about anyone can make a product. From my experience and the examples above, the hard part is selling it once it’s made. And it’s the lack of sales that can make a business insolvent.

Sales and marketing is the one thing that I do know how to do.

So, I offered that accelerator my skills in exchange for getting to know some of their investors. They liked this “out of the box” idea and offered to also pay me a fee for presenting at a workshop.

This is great since my company isn’t going to generate any income until closer to Christmas, and who knows when it can really pay me. Maybe I can supplement my income by helping others this way? It would be far more fun than taking a part-time job (if I can get one).

To be or not to be an entrepreneur (again)

I’m thinking about starting another business. After being unemployed for six months and travelling the world, my savings account is dwindling.  Still, I haven’t found the kind of work that I’m looking for next – something challenging, creative, purposeful and where I have a great deal of control.  It doesn’t seem to exist. Or if it does, recruiters don’t think I’m qualified.

At forty-six, I’m taking bigger risks if I do start another business now. My retirement savings isn’t that big after following my ex-husband’s career around the world for nearly fifteen years.  While I have saved a bit during my last few jobs, it’s funny how fast you can go through it when you’re not bringing in any income.

And what if I get injured or seriously ill during this business start-up phase?  I don’t have a safety net to bail me out.  Is it really worth taking this kind of risk now – at a time that everyone says is the prime of my career if I keep moving up the same path?

At least I don’t have kids to consider. Otherwise my risk appetite may be different.

Fear of starting another business has its place especially with my entrepreneurial track record – this will be business #4 if I go for it. Still, I keep telling myself that if I only put in the kind of consistent hard work into my own business that I have put into others in the past I should have a decent chance of success. 

While I could spend a lot of time thinking about the ramifications if I fail – loss of my entire savings, loss of my home, loss of my reputation. What if I never find a job again afterwards and become homeless? Ugh!

It’s scary and some days that is all I can’t think about.  But other days, I asked myself – what if I did succeed?  I could do a lot of good for the environment and community if I choose the right business.

Furthermore, wouldn’t it be amazing to have work where I am enjoying the process, not just an end goal? That is…

Work filled with growth, of purpose, of a diverse range of activities and opportunities for creativity.

Work where I see no need to make such dramatic career changes in the future because I never quit learning and enjoying the ride.

Work were I can set the purpose and values of the organisation and share that journey with others that align with them.

Because in five years’ time, I could be either doing the exact same work that recruiters expect of me.  Or I could finally be making a living with an entity that I literally took from an idea to a life of it’s own.

My decision point is coming very soon.  I admit that I’m scared.