Is It Time for You To Become An Entrepreneur?

Have you thought about starting a business?

Now is a good time to start a business. What? Why?

Let me explain.

I received a call from a friend recently. We caught up regarding family matters, sports and life, in general.

Then, he sprang one on me!

He mentioned his 24-year son, who was doing very well, decided to quit his first job out of college, pack up and move to San Francisco to start a technology company.

After picking my jaw off the floor, I asked, “What and how do you feel about his decision?”

His response was simple, “I totally support his decision”.

And my friend’s rationale was simple, “He’s doing what he wants to do, wants to take a chance and will be employing himself, family and friends…”

Think about it his last statement. I did—employing himself, family and friends.

His son, who was born in Detroit, pitched his technology business concept to venture capitalists, received funding for 12 months and will be put up with other entrepreneurs for a set period of time to focus on his start-up business.

Regarding talent, he’s hired his brother as Chief Marketing officer and is subcontracting work to people he’s known from his days at U-M and beyond–so, he’s employing people he already knows and trusts. Thus, he will be contributing to economic growth.

So with start-up funding, he has enough time to start and grow his business. At 24, if it doesn’t work, he will venture back into corporate–but, not right now. But, I doubt it because this young man built a pc from scratch and there’s no doubt in his father’s mind, he will be successful.

I share this story because, many times, we don’t think outside the box, we’re uncomfortable taking risks and we think we know how to control our careers, but we always don’t.

So, why is now a good time to start a business?

1. Timing: the time is right. There are many incubator programs ready and willing to offer training programs to the underemployed and unemployed. In Detroit and beyond, the universities offer various programs and in mid-town, there’s BizDom University and TechTown, to name a few.

2. Funding: While access to capital remains a challenge for aspiring entrepreneurs, there are public and private funding sources. From traditional sources (financial institutions) to angel investors (venture capitalists) to your network (family and friends), there are options. You have to do your homework and talk and network with others.
Regardless, ensure you have a sound business plan which offers clear business objectives, strategies and expected results.

3. Talent: There are good people ready and willing to help who have good ideas. As in the example above, have you thought about leveraging other’s talents by networking and simply, asking questions? People want to be valued and contribute–what better way to brainstorm and exchange ideas.

4. Corporate instability: Yes, companies are cautiously hiring, but having a life-long job with the same company, is generally a thing of the past. Now, unless you are the person in charge, you are in jeopardy. Even if you are an asset to your employer, there may come a time when you are cut out of the picture—with or without reason.
In a cyclical business environment and economy, hiring is the same—up and down. Rather than take the risk of being let go, take charge, do your homework and starting your own business.

5. Affordable Prices: If you haven’t already, check out prices for office space, land, equipment, et. al. and notice prices are relatively inexpensive when compared to a stronger economy. However, as the economy slowly regains its luster, so will prices. This is a good time to negotiate best deals for you and your business which will result in overall savings to your business and its bottom line.

6. Passion: Do what you love and love what you do. Do you have a burning desire deep down inside to live your dream and your passion? Then, go for it—if you can.

I recently came across this quote from Steve Jobs: “We don’t get a chance to do that many things, and everyone should be really excellent. Because this is our life. Life is brief, and then you die, you know? And we’ve all chosen to do this with our lives. So it better be damn good. It better be worth it.”

Like my friend’s son, he’s moved on to live his dream and decided to pursue his passion. What about you?