The biggest problem for most wannabe entrepreneurs is that they don’t know what sort of business they ought to set up.
A friend, JS, was asking me this question not too long ago. I then told him what I always tell my other friends who want to emulate my lifestyle (that is, become my own boss).
I said, “Do what you love.”
He looked at me like I was mad. JS had this incredulous look on his face which said, you have to be joking.
After a moment, he replied, “I’ll never make money by doing what I like.”
End of discussion.
I forgot to tell him that I am enjoying what I do and I make a decent living from it too.
After he’d gone home, I sat down to think about his question and my answer. JS is just one of the many people I’ve met who’ve often thought long and hard about starting a business but not knowing how.
Maybe we Malaysians have been conditioned not to become entrepreneurs. It’s not something you wanted to become, right? Everyone in my class back in the 80s wanted to be a doctor, engineer or lawyer. Whoever heard of being an entrepreneur?
Maybe we have not been taught how to start businesses. Clearly, to start a business, you need an idea. And creative thinking and expression have not been taught in Malaysian schools, at least not when I was in school. We mugged, we regurgitated and we passed exams. Along the way, the A’s indicated if you were doing well or flunking hard.
How do we find real opportunities for business? Do ideas just pop out from nowhere while you’re in the shower? (Actually it has happened to me. I’ll be in the middle of soaping myself and then suddenly get a brainwave.)
Janet Attard offers 12 ways to start a business in her insightful article. It’s somewhat long but it’s inspirational and most of all, it shows that everyday people can turn everyday ideas into successful businesses (one guy sold his dog poo removal business for quarter of a million dollars! Definitely no s**t about this!).
Read Attard’s article here.