Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Working on the side: Pt.1

I am a key & inventory management support specialist. This means that I install and support these systems in-person, over the phone, and with remote access on my PC.

It's a pretty decent job - I don't have to travel away from my family much, and the money is decent. I work at a small company, so I see the owner several times, every day. This can up the stress level a bit, but inside, he really is a decent guy, even if he tends to get overcome with some of the daily challenges of running the business.

My side work is what tends to 'drive' me more.

My first business is fixing computers, that is, laptops, desktops, and most consumer electronics. It makes good money, when there is work!

My second business is a store on e-bay. I am in the process of handing this over to my parents, as my mother has nothing to do with her days (she is retired), and my dad can generally get through any technical stuff that she gets caught on.

Between these these two side businesses, I am kept pretty busy. I tend to have some computer repair work a few times a week, so I'll spend my evenings working on laptops, taking them apart (which satisfies the part of me that is creative and curious), and when I'm not doing that, I'm writing here on my blog.

My suggestion to anyone that is looking at starting a side business?

Do it.

But my grandpa once told me (being self-employed for over 25 years now), in order to make it, you have to be excellent at what you do. You have to have to be one of the best, confident to a fault, and strong in your convictions.

Most of all, you have to have patience.

You won't make it in a week. Or a month. Or a year. Maybe not even ever.

You have to accept that you will have months without a single 'call' or 'order' or 'sale'. Maybe even a string of many months.

When I was first starting out, I couldn't even beg people to give me work, even for pennies on the dollar of what I wanted to charge. People didn't trust me, didn't see me as a professional.

And really, they were right.

I hadn't realized what one of the most powerful forces is when you are starting a business.

Tune in tommorrow, and I'll let you know ;-).

Have you ever run a business?
What are your thoughts about how to start?
When did you realize it was 'for you' or not?
Let me know! :).

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