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08 chapter 8: Getting Started

As you have doubtless noticed by now, this course is more about attitude and
mind-set than the nuts n bolts of running a business. That's the most
important factor. Humans are emotional beasts- everything is about feelings.
Everything. Yes, ev ree thing. There is no such thing as pure reason when it
comes to people. Personal satisfaction, fulfillment, being challenged,
finding joy- that's what it's all about. I suppose a person could find
emotional satisfaction in pure logic. A positive, can-do attitude will take
you far. Believe in yourself and what you want to do.

The second most important attribute needed to run a business is <drum roll>
the ability to make decisions. Right or wrong, you need to be able to decide,
then do. Endless dithering and over-analysis gets you nowhere but broke and
depressed. Over-worrying about 'being right' is paralyzing. Make your best
decision based on your best research and knowledge, then go for it. If you're
wrong, the skies will burst asunder and you will be punished.

No, really. if you're wrong, you make necessary corrections and keep going.
That's how you progress and learn. Persistence wins every time.

Getting started presents interesting challenges. If you are unemployed, heck,
go for it. If you are working, it is probably not a good idea to chuck
everything and go into business. Though it depends on your circumstances-
like having a supportive, income-earning spouse, and the self-discipline to
focus on work, and not goof off.

My world has always been some kind of consulting or service business- not
much cost to get started. Start small and slowly. Be choosy of the jobs you
accept- zero customers is a million billion times better than a crummy,
troublemaking customer. Forget all the dot-com nonsense about venture
capital, and rapid growth, and being first. Heck, those bozos didn't even
have real products to sell, or revenues! It was all a big investment capital
shell game.

Apple was first. Netscape was first. Prodigy was first. Being first counts
for nothing except bragging rights, something to bore the other oldtimers in
the retirement home with.

The best problem to have is when you come to the point where the decision has
to be made: quit the job and go full-time for yourself, or what?

Burn no bridges- former managers and co-workers can be valuable sources of
leads and contract work.

Carla Schroder, Bratgrrl Computing
Plain English Spoken Here
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