Monday, October 28, 2002

Children crawl before they walk, walk before they run—each generally a precondition for the other. And with each step they take toward more independence, more mastery of the environment, their mothers take a step away—each a small separation, a small distancing.

-- Lillian Breslow Rubin, Women of a Certain Age, ch. 2 (1979).

When do you know that you're ready to work for yourself? At what moment do you reach an epiphany that you have the skills, the knowledge, and the motivation to succeed without having to rely upon a paycheck from an employer? When are you ready?

Some of the things that help:

  • Enough money to allow you to put bread on the table, buy inventory and supplies, and pay utilities and other bills until the business is able to cover those costs.

  • Education, skills, and experience that will enable you take advantage of the opportunities that present themselves to you.

  • The identification of goods or a service or both that might be needed within the market that you're aiming to make your customers.

  • The desire to take some risks; hopefully educated ones.
Even more important than any of those is finding something that you like to do. Self knowledge is an necessary aspect of finding a business you like and having success in that business. I came across Jorn Barger's essay An Internet Way of Self-Knowledge yesterday, and it confirmed my decision to start this blog focusing on starting and running a business.

If blogging is a way of "reading in public" and possibly even "learning in public," then keeping notes and considering lessons learned on a blog may be a good approach to this Nasty Bit of Business.

Give me a couple of months, and I'll let you know. During that time, we'll focus on some of the topics I've listed above, and look for ways to stop crawling and learn to walk.