At the age of 50 I started my own company. It has been an exciting, nerve racking adventure. My daughter was about to leave for college and my wife was working part time for a non-profit organization. I had doubts, anxiety and fear. I wondered if I made the correct choice. I had considered other options like staying with my large corporate employer forever or retiring early to join the mission field. In the end, I decided to launch may own company because it had been a lifelong dream to own my own company.
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. ~ 2 Timothy 1:7
I had some case history and a path to follow. My maternal-grandfather started his own company when he was fifty. Instead of having one daughter in college he had three and his wife didn’t work. He decided to start his own company after a meeting with his boss, the owner of the company. His boss was upset because my grandfather was making more money than he was so he quit and followed his dream. He had a successful business career and a better one as a philanthropist. If you’ve ever munched a bag of chips or eaten at a fast food restaurant, you’ve benefited from his handiwork.
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. ~ Deuteronomy 31:6
In college, I majored in Business Administration a degree best suited for those who want to spend a life wallowing in middle management. While in college, two of my friends and I bought the rights to a company that produced calendars. We were business owners! I learned more about business by owning our little company than all the business courses I took combined. We had to deal with printers, photographers, models, retail outlets, customers, suppliers, etc. I loved it! I knew I wanted my own business but didn’t realize it would be another thirty years before my dream would come true. Oh well, better late than never!
Yet we urge you, brothers and sisters, to do so more and more, and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody. ~ 1 Thessalonians 4:10-13
If you’re ready to burn the boats and start your own company, be prepared for a mountain of negativity and threats. Most people will not have your courage, wisdom or vision to start a company. Don’t listen to the naysayers. You may receive threats from your current employer but trudge on and concentrate on your goal. Others will think you’re crazy for starting your own company. They’ll say your too young or too old. They’ll wonder how you’ll support yourself or how you’ll obtain clients. The list of negatives will grow proportionally to the number of people you talk to. Regardless, do it any way!
They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord. Their hearts are secure, they will have no fear; in the end, they will look in triumph on their foes. They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor, their righteousness endures forever; their horn will be lifted high in honor. ~ Psalm 112:7-9
If you have had visions of starting your own company or on the brink of launching your new adventure, here are a few tips.
- There is no perfect plan or perfect time to start your business. A good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow. If you wait for all the stars to align, you’ll never start your own business.
- There has never been a better time in the history of the world to start your own business. The technology today gives you the power to reach billions of people with the click of mouse. The barriers to entry for most businesses are extremely low and access to capital tremendously high.
- If you’re young, take advantage of your youth and enthusiasm. An ideal time to start a business is when you don’t have other commitments like a spouse, children or a mortgage. You’re free and nimble to pursue your dream.
- If you work for a large corporation, honor your employment contract and employment agreement (as I did). If you’re not sure about the big legal words in your contract, hire an attorney who specializes in contract law to help guide you in your decision. Despite your best efforts, it’s possible your former employer will still sue you anyways so be prepared to spend a few dollars defending your good name.
- Hire others to help you launch your vision. Focus on what you do best and hire others to fill in the gaps.
- Enjoy your journey. Listen to the words of A.A. Milne, “Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day.”
- Have fun. You’ll experience trials and tribulations but at the end of the day it’s your business with your name on the door and what could be better than that?
Therefore, I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? ~ Matthew 6:25-27.
Bill Parrott is the President and CEO of Parrott Wealth Management and is a believer in reaping what you sow. For more information on financial planning and investment management, please visit www.parrottwealth.com.
April 1, 2017