I have an entrepreneurial streak running through me, but I never had an abundance of capital to pursue all of my dreams. I did, however, start a publication and related desktop publishing business once, but I did not do any market research. The week I began my business, a free weekly newspaper debuted in the area. My publication was a free newsletter geared toward families and supported by advertising. The town could not support all of the newspapers, shoppers and newsletters.
I calculated that my endeavor cost me (and my wife) about $16,000 in equipment, supplies, expenses and wages lost from the job I left. It took us years to pay off the debt. I have been blessed with a wonderful wife, and she has never complained about me doing what I did. In fact, she told me she was glad I had the opportunity to try. What a woman.
Even though I tried and failed, I have not been able to shake that entrepreneurial spirit. In my job as a journalist, I love talking to entrepreneurs, small business owners and others who have taken risks to pursue their passions and dreams. I like being around those kind of people.
It\’s been more than a decade since I tried my hand at a business, and I still am hungry for the action. One of the reasons I love my job, I am a reporter for The Daily Record in Wooster, Ohio, is because the news editor and managing editor allow me to work my beat as I see fit. They give me great autonomy. Now, they have to reel me in at times and hold me accountable, but I get to live the life of a freelance writer while at the same time enjoying a steady paycheck. So, it has been the best of both worlds for me. One might say, it is a win-win situation (though don\’t tell that to @OhioCapitalBlog).
I have talked to a lot of business owners, managers, venture capitalists, high-tech start-up guys, artists and dreamers, and I still have a yearning to make my own mark. This is why I enjoy this blog; it provides an outlet for me to express myself in ways I cannot as a journalist.
While I am not likely to start a business any time soon, I still read up on starting businesses, growing businesses, product development and idea generation. Lately, I have been reading about how to publish on Kindle, how to create a platform and how to start a business.
In the books I am reading, I have been paying attention to the reviews. A common theme I am running into is that those who give a book a low rating do so because they believe the author has not provided anything new. In their opinion, the information is out there and available for free, so why did we have to pay the author $2.99, $5.99 or more for access to the information.
I can relate to this. It is frustrating to read an article or book promising something is the latest and greatest and best, only to discover it is a rehash of some basic principles packaged in a new way and hyped to the hilt. Compelling ad copy leads to increased sales.
For this reason, I was very excited to read in Chris Guillebeau\’s The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future these words: \”You already have the skills you need — you just have to know where to look.\”
I believe all of us have potential to shine and succeed because we are all different with different skill sets with different experiences and different backgrounds that make us uniquely qualified to do something unique that no one else can do. The Bible talks about each of us having different gifts (consider them talents or abilities, not miraculous powers), and I believe it is this way because we have something to offer our church, our family, our community.
The tough part is discovering that gift and putting it to use. We figure this out, and we just might unlock the mystery to life. What gift do you have that is waiting to be unleashed on the world to make it a better place?