Call them micro businesses, lifestyle entrepreneurs or whatever you like. The shear act of creating your own 1 (or very few) person business that can sustain you and allow you to do the things you want to do, has inspired many people over the years. Now, with the advent of the Internet and software, it is within reach of many more people than it used to be. A few entrepreneurs share their experience on the net, to teach you what (not) to do (and probably show of a little).
Many people have undoubtedly tried to start their own small business on limited budget and limited time. I couldn’t find any numbers, but I’m pretty sure only a few have succeeded. Even fewer share their insights in an honest, no-nonsense way, that’s why I really value the following two businessmen I’ve been following:
- Patrik shares his MicroISV on a Shoestring experiences on Kalzumeus. A few key quotes I liked:
- “That is what scares me the most about this job. Like most people, I have lived an entire lifetime conforming to schedules. They exist like the Greek gods: you didn’t ask for them but they are there, there is no negotiating with them, and prolonged association means you are likely to get your dignity violated by a bovine.”
- “Let’s get this out of the way: are you a small company dependent on technology? You will have downtime. You will wear a communication device twenty four hours a day for the next several years, and respond with alacrity if it goes off. The purpose of the rest of this blog post is to minimize downtime and have that communication device do as little damage to your relationships and sanity as possible.”
- “Instead of doing either of these, build time assets: things which will save you time in the future. Code that actually does something useful is a very simple time asset for programmers to understand: you write it once today, then you can execute it tomorrow and every other day, saving you the effort of doing manually whatever it was the code does. Code is far from the only time asset, though: systems and processes for doing your work more efficiently, marketing which scales disproportionate to your time, documentation which answers customers’ questions before they ask you, all of these things are assets.”
- Brian Armstrong explains how to start a business on StartBreakingFree. And another 3 choice quotes:
- “But just like restaurants, there is a market for countries. You choose to pay money (taxes) to a government in exchange for some sort of services (military, roads, health care, etc). And if you aren’t happy with the service, you can always leave and choose to patronize another country with your business.”
- “This is one of the toughest moments for entrepreneurs (especially engineering types) when you realize that building the whole thing was the easy part. Now it’s actually marketing the damn thing that is going to take a while.”
- “If anybody wants to take a crack at making this thing [a gun] send me an email, I have all the CAD drawings which you can use for free. Twice I had a major manufacturer lined up that fell through. Ultimately, I had to let it go for a variety of reasons.”
What’s your favorite small business blog?