Have you ever felt like your job is simply work? Are you looking for a way to feel fulfilled and happy while earning a living? Have you ever thought about starting your own company, and just didn’t know where or how to do it? Have you ever fantasized about being a CEO of a company you created?
I’m here to help. The Inception is part one of a five-part series that will impart to you tools on how to go about turning that great idea of yours into reality.
We are all taught from a very young age that life goes like this: get good grades, graduate high school, graduate college, get hired (and hopefully promoted), get married, and the beat goes on. This social formula has been pounded into our heads as one that will yield happiness and fulfillment. It has proven to be harder than it sounds. Sure, millions of people ascribe to this lifestyle and are perfectly happy, but if you feel like you would prefer something different other than working for someone else for the rest of your life, you, my friend, are not alone.
Especially in these difficult economic times, people are learning that the tried-and-true formula is no longer a guarantee for success. Now, more than ever before, we have master’s degree toting college graduates who can not land a job. They either remain unemployed or are taking menial, entry-level jobs after all those years of grueling studies. When the recession has hit those who have worked the hardest and the longest, many people are learning that the only way to be recession-proof is to create your own economy. How, you may ask? By starting your own business, of course!
Don’t even get me started about the glass ceiling in business that exists for us women; we earn roughly $0.77 to every $1.00 a man earns, according to numerous statistics and publications. But this isn’t about competition; it’s about innovation.
Think of one item or service you can not live without. I’m talking about your favorite coffee from a coffee shop, or that smart phone app you check constantly. What do these two totally random things have in common?
They both began as someone’s idea. One person, or a few people, conceptualized the products and services you use on a daily basis. As crazy as it sounds, for most of them, the ideas came to them from thin air. The founder of that coffee company or that social media enterprise (that you’re obsessed with) just happened to be brave enough to work toward manifesting their radical inception.
What would you say if I told you that you, too, are capable of catalyzing an amazing to contribution to the world? I’m sure you have great ideas about how to improve upon an existing product or service. Perhaps there is an invention waiting to be unleashed from your lovely brain.
If you have ever thought of an item or a service that doesn’t exist yet, or you’ve seen a product or an approach to a service and thought, “I can do better than that,” Then you’re already on to something.
“But I didn’t graduate from college,” you might think.
Well, neither did the cosmetics magnate, Florence Graham (nursing school dropout), founder of Elizabeth Arden, Inc.; nor did Muriel Siebert, the first woman to purchase a seat in the New York Stock Exchange (she now holds seventeen honorary degrees). Although she was noted to have attended some college, I can’t say with certainty if Ruth Handler, the founder of Mattel and inventor of the Barbie doll, graduated from a post-secondary institution. These lady innovators are a small fraction of others who have turned the ordinary into extraordinary by mixing ingenuity with lots of hard work.
Any more doubts? GET RID OF THEM.
Anyone who tells you that, “It’s a bad idea,” or, “Don’t you think that’s risky?” are probably working a job they hate, or are stuck in a career they want to get out of, and want you to be stuck in the same boat. Mind you, these questions are natural for people who are comfortable to remain within the structure they feel safe in. Also, a lot of people don’t know where or how to start. I have been told that on average, a person who does not get burned out has three or four careers in a lifetime.
Remember: Do not take advice from people whose lives you do not want to live.
If you have an idea that excites you, and you feel like your passion could ignite something great in the world, start exploring it. Begin by doing some research and development, or R&D as it’s more often called. R&D takes a lot of time and some effort, but it will prove to be invaluable when it comes to developing your product or service. Explore what’s already out there.
For example: If your idea involves selling merchandise online, check out your favorite online retailers and note the differences between them and what makes them unique. Then, write down a tentative plan regarding the steps to improve upon it by making it your own. Don’t become discouraged by the awesome products and services you find. Remember that you are exposed to greatness because it is supposed to serve to inspire you to do great things yourself.
If you have your own unique, genius idea, R&D may be easier because your business model does not exist. You get to be ultra-creative and make your own. Do your research. Create a vision board where you put together the parts that will comprise your future company. It could be as simple as what The Indie Chicks founders, Chiara and Renee, did. They put some markers to paper, and look at what they’ve created!
If there is a way for you to get paid to do something you would enjoy doing for free, wouldn’t you at least give it a try?
Part Two in the How to Become Your Own CEO Series will discuss the next necessary step, so stay tuned. For now, get that vision board in order, and the crazier the idea sounds, the better it probably is.
Disclaimer: I am neither a business, financial, nor legal expert. This is not meant to be legal advice. I am, however, a fledgling entrepreneur and I believe wholeheartedly in The Indie Chicks poster at the top of this piece. I’m writing this in order to empower you because if you are a fan of The Indie Chicks like I am, you might just be one of the brave few who can improve the way women in business run this world.