I was chatting with my 17 year old cat-sitter yesterday. While telling her about my new business, she asked me two important questions that made me think out loud. They were (modified for clarity):
- Was this new business my career going forward, or just a side hustle or temporary thing?
- How is this business different than the other three I’ve had before?
I’m sure others have had similar questions when they hear my story – especially if they know that I’ve never made it to five years in previous jobs and businesses.
However, I do feel that this business is very different from previous ones, and I thought it might be useful for you to know my answers in case it helps with your own dreams and future plans.
My answer to Question #1:
Yes, I do see my new business as something I can do for the rest of my career. When I looked at other job opportunities, I realised that if I said yes, none of them would keep me interested for more than five years again (if that). Then I would be looking for another job and possibly industry again when I’ll be in my 50s and its even harder.
Because I don’t want to go through another job search any time soon, I’ve spent months trying to figure out what I really wanted to do for work. As I’ve done so many interesting things already, I had a huge list of what I didn’t want to do – a starting point. Then it was a matter of finding the tugs on my heart and interests, and then finding matches to a market need or opportunity.
My answer to Question #2:
The difference between this business and my previous ones is that I think my “Why” is much bigger. Previous business were more about what I wanted – mostly wanting to be my own boss.
My new business is about trying to solve problems in two areas of my own passions regarding plastic waste and pets. I think this makes all the difference in the world. That’s because when you are starting a business, things often don’t work out the way you plan. And because cashflow is so tight, you can’t just throw money at a problem to make it go away. Instead, you have to find the mental fortitude to creatively solve challenges to keep moving forward.
Now that my “Why” is beyond my own needs, I have a bigger reason to make this business successful rather than just taking another job that pays the bills. Furthermore, I’ve burned a lot of bridges behind me by using my savings to fund this venture. I have no choice now, but to go full throttle.