View Full Version : Do you question the business you are in?

08-22-2008, 01:22 AM
Hi All,

Just something i thought might be an interesting discussion topic, after another post i just made.

Do you ever question if the business you are in is the right business for you? Or is it just a business you fell into and seems to work for you at the moment?

Look forward to hearing you point of views.

Steve B
08-22-2008, 07:12 AM
I don't. I may add another aspect or two to it over the years, but, hopefully I'll be able to keep doing what I'm doing.

08-22-2008, 08:06 AM
I sometimes wonder if I might not be better off having my own business rather than working for someone else. I still weigh the pros and cons of that one. I like what I do, I just wonder if I could do it better if I had my own business.

08-22-2008, 11:15 AM
I think I question my self all the time. I guess that helps me too adapt the best possible way I can and think of ways too better myself and my business.

Some times maybe I might question what I do mor times then I should, partly because I'm a perfectionist in my work, and most of the time what I do isn't good enough. Even though most people would say different.

08-22-2008, 12:23 PM
I never question the business I'm in, but strangely enough, I did fall into it. I had a sign business several years ago, and when I got out of it, I really was not planning on going into business again. In 2001, I started school with the intention of improving my situation. I was even planning a career change as a network admin/manager (my major) because I was tired of the crap of being an "employee" in graphics trades. It required a lot of skill and knowledge, but didn't (and still doesn't IMO) have the pay that goes with the required skills.

Shortly after starting school, I lost the full time job I had. It wasn't a great loss, but I found after much searching and effort, I was getting nowhere with trying to get a new job. I was even overqualified for the ones in my field which only reinforced my belief that some of these "sign shops" are not really servicing their customers all that well.

Anyway, I came to the conclusion that I was spending a lot of time and effort trying to find a "job" and getting nothing in return for the efforts. I knew I could do better than that starting a business and trying to find clients instead. I started this company in March of 2002. That was the best decision I could have made, and I have never regretted it.

Even though I had this company, I still stayed in school until 2 years ago because I was able to put that education into immediate use to improve my business. I've found also that this is an excellent way to retain what you learn.

And the fact that I get to help other businesses succeed is especially rewarding.

08-22-2008, 01:56 PM
I questioned what I was doing about a year after I started doing website development at 13. That was one of the best things to happen to me. It led to my interest in management and accounting, both of which are my majors and what I'll spend (many) more years doing.

08-22-2008, 05:16 PM
Sure- I question it all the time. But I do well at it, and I'm not a very good employee. But when my employee's mess up, or billing and collections are poor- then yes, the WhaddamIdoin' question might take flight, along with a choice word or two....:D

08-22-2008, 05:25 PM
If I had it to do over again, I'd be a postal employee. A high school friend out of college went to work for the postal service. Bought a house. No stress. He said he would have to park his truck and wait to deliver mail because it was so easy to get ahead of the schedule and the union employees didn't like it if you finished your route early. No pressure, and in todays world, it would provide ample time to build a business on the side with no pressure.

08-22-2008, 06:22 PM
Not at all. I did ask the question with many things I did in the past, though I already knew the answer. With this business I don't question that I'm doing the right thing.

It took me awhile to figure out what I wanted to do, but I love what I'm doing now. I may at times question how to run the business. Should I offer a certain service? Am I charging the right price? But the overall business I don't question. I know I'm doing what I'm supposed to be be doing.

08-23-2008, 04:04 AM
Wow, many great responses, I don't think that i really fully question the business i am. Beyond the point that why am i not making this work to the level it should be able to.

What i question more is why i cannot apply the dedication and giving that bit extra at work, to my business. I put in so much more effort, and tend to work so much harder at the job i have but then just cannot find the motivation to do the same in my own business, even though i know that if i did i could probably be making 5 to 10 times the money i am now, and still not be working as hard as i am now. that is really my biggest question why do i put myself doing something that i marginally like, making a normal wage, when i could be doing something that i pretty much enjoy making much more money for less effort??? Wish i knew the answer.

08-23-2008, 01:25 PM
Joel try committing a small time each day to your business. Even 15 minutes will do. Just make sure you absolutely spend at least 15 minutes a day on it. In time you'll find yourself spending a little more than 15 minutes so up your daily commitment to a half hour.

Little by little the whole thing becomes habit.

08-24-2008, 09:35 AM
Hmm, i probably already spend more then 15 minutes on something that i do associate with my business. The problem is that i do not usually get the feeling that i achieve anything. I spend time doing things, but really get to the end of the week and look back and may have spent 5 or 10 hours in the week and i just go i achieved nothing.

It just really makes me question why i spend the time. Maybe it all comes down to i do not have a plan that shows me achieving anything. I don't really know.

08-24-2008, 12:12 PM
Maybe it's more about better planning then. I've definitely had weeks where I know I put in the time, but didn't feel like I'd been productive at week's end.

What I started doing more this year is first set up the big goals for my business. For example goal number one was redesigning my site and moving it to it's new domain. At first I just started thinking through what would be involved until I had a decent plan for making the move.

Then each week I set myself one or more tasks within the overall goal and even scheduled in daily tasks to get done.

At the end of the week I could look back and see I had made progress in the overall goal. One week I created the design, the next week I developed the basic template, another week I ran through old blog posts fixing links and making minor changes, etc.

Little by little I kept making progress toward the goal. Some weeks were more productive than others, but still I could see I was moving closer and closer to the larger goal.

At some points I also looked over my progress and looked at what was left to do and readjusted where needed.

the goat
08-25-2008, 01:53 PM
I question my main business (skate ramp construction) only because it is a really finicky market.

Lately I have been scaling it back and starting to make some money with affiliate stores (I have 8 so far) and freelance writing. I love every minute of building sites and writing, so hopefully "the money will follow".

08-25-2008, 04:17 PM
Do you question it because it's hard to make money with it or because you feel less passionate about the subject. I'm guessing the former. As long as you feel passionate about it, I think you'll find a way to make it work.

08-26-2008, 01:12 AM
I can imagine that skate ramps would be a fairly small industry as well, unless there is something i have missed? I would assume that it would also include a lot of safety requirements and such as well, plus i would expect some fairly tough competition from the major brands.

the goat
08-26-2008, 06:15 AM
Skate ramps in general are actually a huge market. Believe it or not in the 6-18 year old demographic skateboarding is the third most popular sport in the U.S. Unfortunately for me though the northeast is the least popular area for it.

Also the bulk of our business is high end custom residential halfpipe installations. As you can imagine when the economy lags, people tend to balk at spending 3k-10k for a skateboard ramp in the backyard.

So it is a combination of that and the fact that I have outgrown the sport. I used to enjoy riding every ramp we build, now it just hurts too much (and for too long) when I fall. I do enjoy the travel though.

Hopefully soon my other interests will pay the bills.

08-26-2008, 12:17 PM
I can understand the hurt. I was never much of a skateboarder, but I play enough sports to know the feeling.

Everything you say makes sense. I know skateboarding is big. I watched the X games a few weeks ago and I'm always amazed at some of the things I see.

Keep in mind that the economy is going to change at some point and people will be willing to pay $3k - $10k again. Maybe you hold onto the business till then, even if you focus on other things.