Q: I’ve just turned 30 and I am married with six children. I have been an engineering recruiter for the last seven years with the same firm. Now I want to branch out on my own, but I run into the same problem every time I think about being independent: funding. I recently purchased a home so I have no money saved, but I know my ideas are cash cows [that can generate] huge financial gains. I don’t want another job; I want to run my own company.
K. Jackson, Houston
A: The impatience of too many would-be entrepreneurs makes them want to do things out of order. They think “Go! Ready! Set!” instead of “Ready! Set! Go!” Right now, you are not prepared for the risks of starting a business, no matter how great the financial potential of your ideas.
This does not mean, however, that you can’t immediately pursue your entrepreneurial goals. You’re not ready to go, but you are ready to get ready. Starting now, make the necessary changes in your spending to rebuild your savings, as cushion for after you launch your business (when you may have little or no income to rely on).
Now is also the time to research your ideas—but don’t do this alone. You will only tell yourself what you want to hear: that your business ideas can’t fail to make you rich. Check out the University of Houston Small Business Development Centers (www.sbdc.uh.edu) and the Service Corps. of Retired Executives (www.score.org).
Every business idea seems like a cash cow to the one who dreamed it up. Verify the potential of yours before putting your family’s security —and the roof over your heads—at risk.
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