[Courses] chapter eight: Running A Business- Getting Started

Carla Schroder carla at bratgrrl.com
Tue Aug 27 15:07:53 EST 2002

As you have doubtless noticed by now, this course is more about attitude and 
mind-set than the nuts n bolts of running a business. That's the most 
important factor. Humans are emotional beasts- everything is about feelings. 
Everything. Yes, ev ree thing. There is no such thing as pure reason when it 
comes to people. Personal satisfaction, fulfillment, being challenged, 
finding joy- that's what it's all about. I suppose a person could find 
emotional satisfaction in pure logic. A positive, can-do attitude will take 
you far. Believe in yourself and what you want to do.

The second most important attribute needed to run a business is  <drum roll> 
the ability to make decisions. Right or wrong, you need to be able to decide, 
then do. Endless dithering and over-analysis gets you nowhere but broke and 
depressed. Over-worrying about 'being right' is paralyzing. Make your best 
decision based on your best research and knowledge, then go for it. If you're 
wrong, the skies will burst asunder and you will be punished. 

No, really. if you're wrong, you make necessary corrections and keep going. 
That's how you progress and learn. Persistence wins every time. 

Getting started presents interesting challenges. If you are unemployed, heck, 
go for it. If you are working, it is probably not a good idea to chuck 
everything and go into business. Though it depends on your circumstances- 
like having a supportive, income-earning spouse, and the self-discipline to 
focus on work, and not goof off.

My world has always been some kind of consulting or service business- not 
much cost to get started. Start small and slowly. Be choosy of the jobs you 
accept- zero customers is a million billion times better than a crummy, 
troublemaking customer. Forget all the dot-com nonsense about venture 
capital, and rapid growth, and being first. Heck, those bozos didn't even 
have real products to sell, or revenues! It was all a big investment capital 
shell game.

Apple was first. Netscape was first. Prodigy was first. Being first counts 
for nothing except bragging rights, something to bore the other oldtimers in 
the retirement home with.

The best problem to have is when you come to the point where the decision has 
to be made: quit the job and go full-time for yourself, or what?

Burn no bridges- former managers and co-workers can be valuable sources of 
leads and contract work.

Carla Schroder, Bratgrrl Computing
Plain English Spoken Here
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