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  • #964119
    exstatic
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    Hey All,

    I have been an avid follower of this site for a few years now and been very interested in Entrepreneurship and business for about the same time, and run a number of small part time projects/businesses over this time as well.. but never jumped fully into the deep end.

    So it is the new year now, and as like everyone myself and my fiancee are questioning what we are doing right now and if we are really happy in what we are doing, and the answers aren’t great! We don’t seem to have time for ourselves or each other, aren’t getting any satisfaction from our jobs and seem to be just existing.. there has to be more to life than this!

    We both have full time Jobs, I work in IT, she works in Beauty Therapy and we are getting married at the end of this year.

    We have decided that we need a massive drastic change, we don’t want to be going down this dreaded path for ever, so we have decided that this is the year to make our lives better and the wedding is going to be the crunch time.

    So we have started looking into going it alone, running our own business, and deciding our own destiny.. but we are not sure where to start and what to look into. Do we leverage off our existing skill set? Do we buy an existing business, do we learn something new? Do we work together, or do something each?

    We have until we get married, and after our honey moon we want to jump head first into our new life.. the wedding is in November, so we have 10months to plan how we are going to change…

    So where do we start, can someone point us in the right direction?

    #1003324
    LeelaCosgrove
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    Okay, the first thing you need to do is sit down and talk about the rules.

    My partner and I get on like a house on fire – we are so good at egging each other on and lifting each other up … we’re really good at being the reasonable one when the other person needs that …

    We worked together for 3 months and that all went out the window. We thought it would be fine working together, because we had so much experience in doing it in a non-official capacity … but it doesn’t work that way.

    Running a business is hard work. It is smart for one of you to keep a day job – both from a financial and from a moral support point of view. I was lucky that through the first 12 months of my business, my partner supported me. Financially, I just couldn’t have done it otherwise.

    If you HAVE to do it together, make sure you sit down and discuss how things need to be …

    How will you handle it if you have a HUGE argument first thing in the morning – then have to get in a car together and go to work?

    How will you handle NEVER being alone – ALWAYS being around the other person?

    How will you deliniate home and work life? It’s very easy, when you’re both in business, to get so caught up in it that you never talk about or do anything else …

    What kind of a business you go into depends on what you want.

    Do you just want to buy jobs in which you can work together? Then you might want to look at Franchise options.

    Do you want a lifestyle business? Then one of you probably has to work … I don’t know many people with lifestyle businesses where both people can afford not to work … but either way, you’re probably best off looking at doing something online.

    Do you want an empire? Then you are better off going with what you already know and developing a unique concept around it …

    #1003325
    Anonymous
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    Hi Exstatic,

    I did draw some similarities to some of your comments. As a first step, suggest buying the flying solo book as a start… It has helped me. Also the Dept of State Development in your respective state has a lot of good resources.

    Cheers

    Seachange

    #1003326
    gregpritchard.virtualcio
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    Hi exstatic,

    Best of luck and congratulations on the upcoming wedding.

    As usual, Leela is on the money.

    In line with that, I would strongly consider working through your idea with a business/exec/personal coach. Coaches are able to provide a structured process of working out what is important to you, what you see as the end goal, how you might get there, etc. This is how Dedication Group was born. By understanding your strengths/weaknesses and what you’re passionate about; you will be able to not only start/buy/experience a business that you enjoy, but also the drive to get you through the inevitable tough times that one experiences in a small, and growing business.

    Robert Gerrish & Kate James (Total Balance) are two awesome coaches to consider.

    Also, you have 10 months – make a commitment to change a little bit every day. Nothing major. Make almost imperceptible changes. You’ll be amazed at where you are at the end of the year.

    #1003327
    exstatic
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    Thanks guys for the quick responses.

    We still haven’t really work shopped what we really want out of this change, so that will be our first step.. identify what our goals are together, ask each other the questions and see what prevails. I think that will help us really define the best plan of attack.

    It could possibly be a lifestyle choice, one of us still working while the other starts the ball rolling. Other options have been buying a franchise of some sort, but I do want flexibility to make my own decisions. So maybe an existing business could be an idea.

    A small cafe has always been an idea of ours, as I am sure many husband and wife teams have tried and failed,and I know its often spoken that it is lots of hard work for little return, so not sure about that direction. Although, my partner has worked in a Cafe as a manager for a number of years and really enjoyed it, so she has experience and my family has been part of the hospitality industry for years – so could be an idea.

    The whole spending 100% of our time together thing.. well we have done it before, we travelled the world together for 12 months and were never apart for more than 10mins, and we loved it, I know working together can be different, but hey you dont know until you try?

    Greg, cheers for the advice, you suggested changing one minuscule thing per day.. I like that idea.. what sort of changes can you suggest to get us started?

    #1003328
    LeelaCosgrove
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    It is different …

    My partner and I had done the same thing – traveled a bit, spent a lot of time together – however, when you’re stressed from working 18 hour days … when the money isn’t flowing in and you don’t know how you are going to make rent / mortgage /bill payments … when you are both tired, cranky and snappy … things are REALLY different!

    Doesn’t mean it can’t be done – it just means you need to plan for it. KNOW how you’re going to deal with hard situations when they come up … like, what happens if you decide one thing would be good for the business and she disagrees? How will you resolved these issues? They’re the issues you have to look at when going into any business partnership – you just have the added benefit of living together, as well – that can make things better, and it can make things harder.

    I would say you definitely need to reverse engineer the whole situation.

    That is … sit down and decide where you want to be in 5 years time. Do you want to be running the business? Or do you want a chain of businesses that run themselves?

    The second is a LOT more work in the short term, but the pay off is much larger … the first is fine if you just want to buy yourselves jobs …

    Either way, do let us know how you get on … I love hearing stories of people getting into business, I find them very inspiring!

    #1003329
    peppie
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    Hey exstatic, since you are in IT and your fiance has Cafe experience,,, then why not an Internet Cafe, ta ta.

    Still, it may not be what you want and an IT Cafe may not be any more profitable than renting videos, but that is where you need to be thinking. Spend a while practicing some lateral thinking, because in business you are going to be forced to do it all the time. Very little I find actually works to a formula. Even everyones “expert” advice needs to be adapted to some extent to fit your needs and situation.

    #1003330
    exstatic
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    peppie, post: 2285 wrote:
    Hey exstatic, since you are in IT and your fiance has Cafe experience,,, then why not an Internet Cafe, ta ta.

    Haha.. I think internet cafe’s are slowly dying in this country.. so maybe not a great idea.. although you could be on to something…

    I did have an idea a few years back that they launched in the US, called Seamlessweb.com and already have a draft business plan and site design ready to be developed, I just haven’t had the chance to do any market research and see how feasible an idea like that would be in Australia.

    #1003331
    gregpritchard.virtualcio
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    Lots of things….

    Go to a few networking events or seminars. Have a chat to people there – you’ll not only be surprised at what you learn, but also how much people are interested in helping you find your path. You will need to network when you’re in business – may as well start now without the pressure.
    Initial commitment: 10 minutes search for entrepreneur events on the internet.

    Education is key. Read lots of books on the topic. Start reading books on marketing, sales, networking, business finance, business ideas.
    Initial commitment: 30 minutes. You were on the bus anyway

    Spend Sunday night with your fiance planning out the coming week. You may not have anything new to plan per se at the moment, but getting into the habit/discipline is what’s important. (there’s nothing decent on TV on Sunday night anymore anyway!)
    Initial commitment: 20 minutes for review, 40 minutes for planning.

    This next one sounds counter-productive, but its not. Plan for the worst. Be your biggest devil’s advocate. Make a list and plan of everything that could go wrong (bad contracts, run out of money, demand dries up, etc), then add a few unrealistic ones. Now, brainstorm how you’re going to deal with each and every one. By doing this, you lower the risk to yourself of making such a drastic change to your life. By the time you get to execute your plans, you will have a strategy to deal with all the things that could go wrong.
    Initial commitment: One catastrophe per week – 15 minutes

    Start looking at people in your extended network as possible mentors. Are there a couple of key people whom you respect, that you could tap for business/professional guidance a little later on. Are there people outside your network? Start putting the wheels in motion to get in contact with them.
    Initial commitment: 5 minutes of mental energy

    Another strange one, but critical – practice getting rejected. Be imaginative. At this stage, you’re not going to care about the result. Build that rejection muscle. Buying an iron at Harvey Norman? Ask for a discount. Flying somewhere? Ask to be let into the business lounge (try another airline’s lounge if already a member). Whatever you choose – feel the feeling, study how it reasonates with you, and find your own ways of dealing with it and bouncing back. You will need this muscle in business.
    Initial commitment: 30 seconds each time + 5 minutes mental review

    At the end of the year you’ll be more educated, better connected, and more confident.

    Hope these help.

    #1003332
    LeelaCosgrove
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    gregpritchard.virtualcio, post: 2299 wrote:
    Another strange one, but critical – practice getting rejected. Be imaginative. At this stage, you’re not going to care about the result. Build that rejection muscle. Buying an iron at Harvey Norman? Ask for a discount. Flying somewhere? Ask to be let into the business lounge (try another airline’s lounge if already a member). Whatever you choose – feel the feeling, study how it reasonates with you, and find your own ways of dealing with it and bouncing back. You will need this muscle in business.
    Initial commitment: 30 seconds each time + 5 minutes mental review

    This one is BRILLIANT Greg – I’ve not heard it before! What an outstanding idea … especially if you’re going to do ANYTHING in the sales area (and as we know – all business are -first and foremost – sales and marketing businesses. Without the sales, nothing moves.).

    #1003333
    ActiveCounselling
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    That is a great way to start. You know you want to change but you don’t know what to. So many people get to the point you are at and then don’t take the next step.

    I will dot point some of the items I think you should consider, some come from personal experience, some from working with others:

    • What sort of human interaction do you want eg. cafe style with new customers every few minutes, long term relationship where you get a number of clients who you deal with regularly, limited where you only deal with people when needed
    • What other things do you want in your life that your business may need to work around. eg. are you looking for long weekends to go bush walking, do you have social or sport commitments etc.. Some people go into a 6 day business and then struggle because the hours prevent them seeing their kids sport on Saturdays. Other people like business that work the weekends but have Monday, Tuesday off
    • How will the two of you resolve conflicts? Having a plan for this in advance is critical. A mentor/coach can fill this role if you don’t have a trusted friend, relative or colleague
    • What skills are you lacking that you may need to learn or outsource
    • Decide on your goals in all areas of your life. Do this at four levels: you, your fiancee, your relationship and the business. Cover things like financial, time, social, family, your definition of success.

    I could prattle on forever but going too much further would start taking business away from the variety of mentors and coaches out there.

    Even if at the end of all of this you decide to stay as you are at least it is an informed decision and not just keeping the status-quo through laziness or fear.

    I wish you the best of luck and hopefully you will keep us informed of where you decide to head.

    Regards,

    David

    #1003334
    The Cafe Ninja
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    Hi, I’m currently writing a book about how to buy and run a successful cafe – so if you need some free advice I’m happy to help in exchange for some feedback on my (ongoing) book.

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