Getting started, all in or gradual?

A two-part post for you today, a few more thoughts on getting started and some feedback on an enjoyable, positive event that I was fortunate to attend.


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The previous post explored reasons why it is very much easier to get stuck in the “Getting Started” trap in the Internet Age than in the ancient era of “real” businesses. Another huge factor for many would be entrepreneurs getting stuck in the trap is the choice between:

  • Burning the bridges, and diving full-time into a new business.
  • Starting it as a sideline and building it up while continuing to earn an income from an existing source.

Which is the best choice? 

It depends.

I have done both, had times when both went well and not so well.

What does it depend on?

  • The nature of the business, investment and cash flow.
  • Resources & Financial reserves.
  • Family commitments & dependants.
  • Circumstances & options.
  • Risk
  • Personal strengths & weaknesses, resilience, perseverance, determination.

Many personal development and positive thinking gurus advocate making a decision and going for it by burning the bridges to the old.

That is fine if the entrepreneur has done the research, has created an effective strategy, a workable business plan and there is a realistic prospect of  income in the short-term. Or if sufficient capital is available, can be raised or borrowed. It is an easier route to follow for a single operator or one whose partner has a separate income.

It was the only way for an off-line business like a fast food franchise. It may be the only way for some on-line businesses.

It can be a risky choice for the primary breadwinner in a family with young children and no savings.

Sometimes we have no choice, we have to jump and make a go of it. I wrote about how I became a commission only salesman after losing my job in a new country and having to pawn my wife’s engagement ring to feed the children.

That sort of desperation is a huge motivator, but it severely tests your reserves of resilience and is not always the most enjoyable experience.

The choice is yours alone to make, depending on the factors in your life. But if you want to start your own business it’s one you have to make.

Do the research, make the plans and take action, don’t stay stuck in the “Getting Started” trap until circumstances force you into a decision that may not be the best way forward for you and your family.

My MoMonday experience.

Two weeks ago, at a Public Speakers Association meeting, I met Renate Donnovan who is the co-host of the Guelph chapter of MoMondays. She suggested I attend a meeting to experience 6 people sharing their stories.

Yesterday in the late afternoon, I travelled to Guelph, an apparently simple journey of less than an hour. Despite road works rendering my Google Maps printout useless and my never having visited that city before, I found both a parking space and the venue quite easily.

It was a rewarding experience, 6 men telling their totally different stories of overcoming adversity and achievement in various fields including music and athletics. Only one was an experienced public speaker, all spoke from the heart without notes for between 10 to 15 minutes.

The star of the show was a man of 83, who despite being told as a child that he would never amount to anything because of a serious speech impediment, became an entertaining public speaker despite the handicap of stuttering.

A supportive audience showed enthusiastic appreciation with rounds of applause for each speaker.

The event is a safe environment for aspiring speakers to gain experience and for anyone to share their stories.

The MoMonday events were started by Michel Neray in Toronto, there are now MoLocations in over 12 Canadian and 2 USA cities.

Check the site to find more information and see if there is an event near you, give it a visit, you will find it inspiring.


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  3 comments for “Getting started, all in or gradual?

  1. Roberta
    July 30, 2014 at 4:24 pm

    I have little personal or real experience or knowledge about the topic of the last couple of posts. However, I kinda, sorta understand what you are saying/asking here.

    When I was under employed in the late 1980’s I was asked to do a ‘job’ as she called it for a friend who had a small business. She asked me to call a competitor to find out how she priced her product and other similar questions. My friend paid me an obscene amount of money to do this.

    Long story short I turned that one time ‘job’ into being a free-lancer. I advertised on Craig’s List and looked for businesses who wanted to hire independent contracts to do one time – project work.

    I turned that one time opportunity into a job that I did for two years and made good money doing so. At the time I did not considered it a job, I considered making money to pay my bills till I found full time employment. It was serendipity.

    I did no planning. I just seized the day, so to speak.

    • July 30, 2014 at 6:01 pm

      You seized the day, took action, that’s what counts.

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