The biggest barrier to starting your own micro-business

The biggest barrier to starting your own micro-business is not capital, it is your own mindset. Let me give you some ideas to chew on in the hope that it will let you examine your present mindset and adjust it to your liking.

First off, starting a micro-business is a life-changing activity. You are choosing to embark on a business venture where you make the decisions, you find the customers and you strike up a business relationship with them where you provide them with a product or service at a price that will allow you to continue doing business with them or others.

You have almost unlimited freedom to improvise, but you are the driving force in this enterprise and you have no safety net, except for your own wits and good sense.

This is a complete antithesis to working in a large corporation.

A big corporation is a powerful machine with a lot of moving parts and very little tolerance for parts that are not able to contribute to the motion. Your decisions are limited, even at the highest levels, and your actions require coordination with those around you even when this doesn’t seem to make sense.

There is a great deal of momentum in a corporation and it takes forever to make any changes in direction or speed. Your praiseworthy attempts to develop a social conscience in the corporation, or to improve customer support to an acceptable level do not fall on deaf ears, they are an unacceptable irritant to those who are keeping the giant machine going.

In a successful corporation, you are surrounded by people who have figured out how to keep the corporate machine running so that it provides them with money, power, and security. Results vary with your position in the organization, of course. Like a Roman galley, you are all going somewhere at great speed, but some of you are working harder than others.

You may resent the conditions of your employment, but you stay because it is easier than striking out for yourself. For modern professionals, the regular paychecks and the benefits generally outweigh the frequent humiliations and the pervading sense of unease that comes with working in a business that has lost touch with customer needs and employee concerns.

I am not picking on your company, I am merely stating the obvious. It takes a lot of work to get a large corporation to the point where it is profitable. The actions that seemed to make this happen become mandatory. Frivolous concepts like corporate culture, employee trust, and meeting customer expectations are often discarded in order to make the quarterly results look good and keep the stock price up.

You see this around you and yet you hesitate to leave. The kids are in school, you live in a great neighborhood, and you have a position that you fought hard to get. You think, maybe I can work this out somehow… Besides, I don’t have enough money to start a business on my own!

Funny thing, but when Mega-Corp finally shoves you overboard in a last desperate attempt to lighten ship, you will often find the means to start your own micro-business, even though you don’t have the capital you thought you needed.

The barriers didn’t get lower. Your necessity level increased to the point where you were finally able to surmount the barriers and start a micro-business rather than return to the corporate fold.

Don’t flog yourself if you can’t see your way to starting your own business right now. Just recognize that the time will come when you will need to make a change and improve your quality of life. Keep your eyes peeled for the right opportunity and be prepared to move when it appears. Read my earlier micro-business posts for more information on taking control of your life.

By doing this, you will have started to dismantle the biggest barrier between you and a better future.

If you are giving your job everything you’ve got and you still feel
like the axe is about to fall, you need to read my book, Danger
Quicksand – Have A Nice Day
, which is an unconventional guide to
surviving corporate employment.

It contains advice you have never seen
elsewhere about recognizing dangerous situations and what you can do to
avoid them. It also contains time-tested advice about starting over,
from people who have actually been there and survived.

Good luck!

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0 Responses to The biggest barrier to starting your own micro-business

  1. Powerful article David. It really does come down to nothing more than mindset, doesn’t it? And yet how often people forget that simple fact. We externalize everything and think that it should happen if only I had more money, more time, more luck. Pausing to reflect and realize we need more belief in oneself is a good lesson, and your book is helpful for that. Thanks for the reminder of what’s REALLY important.

  2. Girish says:

    Right on spot with the post. Along with having the right mindset, there is some amount of passion to ‘be on your own’ that makes a big difference. I’ve been driving myself crazy in trying to walk away from corporate insanity, I’ve failed a number of times, but each time that passion grows stronger and I try to learn from failure. Right now, I know that I’m not far from the day.

  3. bofus says:

    David, I have two friends who are good people, but in polite words are not very capable. They are now trying to start a “business”. I never say any thing, though it looks like a pure fantasy without a real base. No one of the friends give a real advice cause we are all ‘good friends’ or just to ‘polite’.

  4. Linda says:

    David .. ? ! Is this the only book you’ve written? Your way of thinking is phenomenally refreshing! Publish MORE! 😀
    Cheers, pal!
    ~Linda

  5. Reader says:

    Great article. Just going through this thought process and action myself.
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    TITLE: Finally, Its Friday!
    URL: http://www.maryschmidt.com/2006/04/28/finally-its-friday/
    IP: 216.118.97.164
    BLOG NAME: Mary’s Blog
    DATE: 04/28/2006 07:32:11 PM
    Another week, another TGIF post and its past my martini starting time. So lets go for a quick ramble through reality and surreality. Olives are waiting!

    Why I love blogging. I dont write much about blogging since that can ge…
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    PING:
    TITLE: David St Lawrence – A cool guy
    URL: http://www.exec-comms.com/blog/?p=57
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    BLOG NAME: Executive Communications
    DATE: 04/23/2006 05:57:31 PM
    Wonderful blog by David St Lawrence, an ex-Sun Microsystems staffer who was RIFd by the company a few months before I was. He has a ton of common sense to share on surviving and thriving as a micro business outside the walls of la…

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