The steps to starting a business are not as difficult as you think: 1) pick a product/service; 2) pick a name and file DBA; 3) make a plan; 4) execute; 5) PROFIT! Just kidding! It’s quite tough and you must be prepared to “fail”. Notice how I placed “fail” in quotations; there is no such thing as failure if you always find the strength to get back up and try again (RIP Aaliyah).
If you are looking for a get rich quick, step by step scheme on starting a business all in one convenient blog post—like yesterday—this is not that. Perhaps you are born wealthy and have all the capital necessary to hire a team of experts to transform your inkling into inception, and that’s awesome for you. On the other hand, if you have a similar upbringing as me, you’ve probably struggled and in that journey you may have felt helpless, possibly unworthy, unable, and all those damn un-words other people, media, religion, etc, have placed on you without your explicit consent.
I present, for your consideration, the not so quick get rich plan, however, this alternate long-winded journey includes a treasure trove that is infinitely priceless. It starts with you and finding out what truly makes you happy—like warm inside, elation, good vibrations happy. This is deceiving difficult for most to discover and it’s more of an inward expedition.
For me, and probably a lot of folks out there, I had long forgotten what truly made me happy because I got so wrapped up in being an adult that very little was fun anymore. We feel the societal pressures to be “successful”, checking these boxes off a list that was given to us and not created by us…the anti-FUBU:
- 9–5 job that provides insurance and some PTO
- New shiny car with all the bells and whistles
- A perfect partner whose goals are the same as yours
- A mortgage on a house that will take decades to pay off, and even then you have to keep up with taxes
- Vacation photos displaying all said success in an easily digestible way via social media
- A large following along with “likes” as reassurance
- DEBT from all these beautiful things that are the objects of our affection and success
One does not have to have all these material things to be happy. In fact, sometimes the most “successful” people are still the most miserable (i.e. the late great Antony Bourdain and Kate Spade, to name a few). Happiness has to come from being content doing what you love everyday. This is not an end to struggle, because without struggle we can’t fully appreciate joy in its contrast. We all need a little struggle to make us resilient, to evolve into something even stronger than before. Life is in a constant flux and one must be adaptable to these ebbs and flows that may come our way. First, we must seek what truly makes us happy.
Make a list of any and every single thing you have dreamed of being if money, time, skill did not matter. Think of what you wanted to be as a kid, as a teen, in college, and the now and really consider what it is about that certain profession that stirs intrigue and excitement. The number of options on this list is not important. You can have 5 or 20 things listed just write it out. Now, narrow in on one item from this list and think of ways you could maybe make baby steps towards this experience.
For me, it was taking baby steps (see Goals post) toward becoming more involved. Also try to see if there are programs in your city that offer classes and workshops for free or if there is a scholarship available. Example: I wrote, “Do comedy”…what the hell does that even mean? I started by signing up for a free improv workshop which most institutions use as bait to get people to pay for their actual classes. I definitely bailed a few time previous, using excuses such as, I’m tired, I’m not in the mood to socialize, I’ve got too much work, I have to clean my house, etc. It’s way easier to not than to DO, and no one is going to DO it for you. This is when you have to be your own cheerleader and force yourself into situations that aren’t familiar and may be a bit uncomfortable, but the effort is so very worth it because YOU are so very worthy.