How much risk do I take when my learning curve is already high?

Spoke to a friend about my idea of creating a recycled plastic manufacturing capability here in Canberra. He suggested that I look at leasing machines rather than buying them. I had already looked at used machines, but not leasing yet as prices aren’t readily available on websites.

There’s so much I don’t know about this industry. I think the learning curve is too high and risky to try to do manufacturing myself at this stage. It would be smarter to design something and outsource the manufacturing to someone else. I can always reevaluate building this capability later when I know more.

Finding my Tribe

Met with a friend who works with social enterprises today. I told her what I wanted to do (stake in the ground), but I wasn’t sure where to start. She suggested that I needed to find my “tribe.” It so happens that there is an environmentally focussed hackathon coming up, and they are looking for mentors. She suggested that I apply to help out.

I applied for the hackathon mentor role tonight. I also started doing some research on the ACT Goverment’s Waste Management Strategy. Seems like I should first understand what’s going into the local landfill right now and expand my knowledge from there

Putting a stake in the ground

I met with my executive recruiter contact today, and he advice was really useful. He asked me what I wanted to do, and I gave him a few ideas about the areas I was most interested in, but told him that I was afraid to close off job options. He said that I needed to put a stake in the ground, and that once I declared my direction it was more likely that these types of opportunities would come to me.

For months, I have been posting articles on LinkedIn that have to do with the circular economy and environment concerns with waste. In fact, in December I even organised the clean-up of our local lake. At Christmas time, I was chatting with my brothers about business ideas for plastic alternatives. Yet, I had not decided to work in this space.

I admit that I also feel like no one will hire me because of my lack of industry experience. Regardless – if this is where I want to be, I should just go for it rather than waiting for some other miracle opportunity to come to me. So… here I go. Stake in the ground.