I think the time has come for me to change the name of this blog from "What the &%^$! Did I Do" to "WHAT THE &%^$! AM I DOING????!!!" Because it is possible that after several false starts, misguided attempts and "ha ha I was just kidding" moments, I have finally, officially, lost my damn mind.
In other words, I've decided to start my own business.
Starting my own business is nothing I've ever considered doing before. I've always been perfectly content to work under the seemingly safe umbrella of someone else's rules and regulations. Show up at this time, leave at this time, make this much an hour, work here, park here, file this, do that, don't do that: working for another person's company has always provided me with the type of structure that my little OCD mind can comfortably curl up into and excel. This is not to say that I couldn't work for myself - but I've always had this fear in the back of my head that if I were in the position of owner, supervisor and grunt of my own company that I'd be able to rationalize a daily increase in productivity from the beach, complete with a margarita meetings, and...well...you can see how I would not be in business for very long.
So needless to say, when I had the sudden epiphany a few weeks back to get into business for myself, the rationalization and practicality merry-go-round started right up (complete with music). It goes something like this (please feel free to hum along...)
I can make my own money.
I could lose a crap-load of money
I could start something that could grow and develop into something significant and awesome
Am I really going to want to spend every free moment I have in my life on this new company
I'm going to be happy and successful
This is going to fail miserably
I'm going to love the challenge of working for myself and new experiences
I'm going to be bored after the first month
It's going to be a business that's all mine - my decisions, my product, my company
This is going to fail miserably (oh wait, I used that one already...)
After three days of the painted horses of doubt and encouragement going around and around in my head, I finally decided to leave the amusement park and head back to "Reality Land". If I was going to actually do this, I had to quit contemplating the maybes and consider the facts.
Fact 1: Yes, initially this is going to cost me some money. But I'm going to aim for a $0.10 profit by the end of 2013. How unreasonable can that be?
Fact 2: If I get bored, it's still my own company. Back to the $0.10 profit; that's all I need to make. Once I hit that mark, if I'm bored, I board up the shop and retire back to my full time job.
Fact 3: Truthfully, I was already contemplating a part-time job anyway. At least this way, I can work from home and whatever hours I want.
Fact 4: UPS was started by 2 teenagers, a bicycle and $100. Dell was started by a 19 year old a $1000. So why the hell not.
Starting a company, I am learning, is complicatedly easy. There are a lot of layers to it; and although each layer in and of itself is easy to get through - there's an order to everything that can throw you out of whack if you miss a step somewhere along the way. Having not gone through business school and mostly learning about what I need to do from the power of the Internet, I'm about 90% confident that I've got it all under control (which really means I'm about 10% certain I'll get busted for something my first day of business, having forgotten some crucial permit, license, card, stamp or secret handshake). So far I have my EIN from the federal government (so they can get their fair share) and a seller's permit (so the state can take their fair share). Of my expected $0.10 profit, I'm already down $0.06 for both state and fed for taxes; what part of free enterprise is free? On the other hand, I have created my company name and logo; and I have to say, the fears and doubts about doing this every time I start filling out another form fades a little when I see my company name show up on the new permit or certificate.
I still have quite a ways to go before "opening day" - which, at this time is tentatively set for early September - but I'm sure you'll hear more about my progress as the weeks go by. Of course, any thoughts or advice you have for me are always welcome. Now, there's always the chance that I'll completely chicken out of this whole venture and continue to hang out in the nice, safe confines of my company-owned cubicle. But I figured if I actually wrote it here, for anyone to read, then at least I was making some type of commitment and I would be less compelled to bail out before I hit my goal for the year.
And who knows, maybe if I double my profits before the end of the year, I'll treat myself to a congratulatory margarita-meeting at the beach after all....