This year marks Connect to HR’s 10th anniversary. As I mentioned in my first blog last month, throughout the year I’ll be sharing tips and lessons learned on my journey as a small business owner.
This month I share how I turned an idea into action.
On a random December day in 2009, an idea to start my own business suddenly popped into my mind. It came out of the blue. I had just wrapped up a second consulting project for Apple. I found myself thinking that it was the right time for me to consider starting my own business. I was enjoying consulting under another group, yet it occurred to me that I could do it on my own (little did I know how much work starting a business would take).
The idea of starting a business stayed with me. I couldn’t get it out of my mind. It kept me up a couple of nights. It was both exciting and terrifying. I didn’t know anything about running a business. I had no idea how to even get started. Could I really make money and contribute to my family income from my business? I had so many reservations about charting my own path. However, the idea wouldn’t go away.
After thinking about starting my own consulting practice for about a month, I decided in January of 2010 to do some research to see if I could turn my idea into something real. I attended a class at SCORE. I spoke to many business owners to learn as much as I could about running a business. I also decided to hire a successful business coach who had made a similar transition from corporate employee to owning her own business. Lastly, I joined the Santa Clara Chamber of Commerce where I started to attend a weekly networking group that helped me get my business off the ground.
Looking back, I still don’t know what prompted the idea of starting Connect to HR. It was such a risky step to take, and I typically played it safe when it came to my career moves.
There were two motivations that got me going and have become my “why.” The first was the need for flexibility and work-life balance in my life. My son was 3 at the time and I wanted to spend as much time as possible with him while also pursuing my career ambitions. The second was the variety consulting provided. These two motivations have been my guiding principles over the past decade.
My tip for anyone looking to start their own business is to do your research. Make sure you are grounded in your “why.” Also, don’t do it alone! Learn as much as you can from others. If possible, invest in a good business coach who can guide you as you get up and running. A good coach will save you time and money in the long run. They can help you avoid costly mistakes.
You don’t have to do it alone. There are so many great resources for those looking to start a business. Visit your local SBA (Small Business Administration) or SCORE office. Chambers of Commerce are also very helpful and supportive of small businesses.
Lastly, as Barbara Corcoran from Shark Tank said, “Don’t let today turn into tomorrow. You don’t have to get it right, you just have to get it going!”