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Thread: Taking A Huge Leap--- need help

  1. #11
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    Owen, you now have a bunch of advice from a variety of experienced folks. I'm sure the common theme is obvious. Heed the advice.

    I'll add just a bit more. Accept the disadvantage of youth and inexperience. You can fix that with time. As it relates to employment, don't have the typical "worker" mentality, blaming bosses and co-workers for your disappointments. Treat your employers business as your own, learn, learn, learn, pay attention. Treat yourself as a business even when employed by another. You are contracting your time, skills and abilities to your employer. think of it as opportunity, not a burden. To follow up on Fulcrum regarding your tough boss, don't be wimp! If you can't deal with a boss you can't deal with business. Learn how to manage the boss, don't make yourself miserable begrudging your position.

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    You are in Maine, so here's an example of a networking group that might be of interest: E2Tech - Home -- I think most of their events are in the Portland area, though.

    Do you watch "Greenlight Maine" on TV? Sort of Maine's version of Shark Tank, in a way -- Greenlight Maine Season 3

    A couple other resources (which might lead you to other B2B networking opportunities):

    Maine Small Business Advising & Training | Maine SBDC

    https://newventuresmaine.org/

    Maine State Chamber of Commerce | Local/Regional Chambers of Commerce

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul View Post
    Treat your employers business as your own, learn, learn, learn, pay attention. Treat yourself as a business even when employed by another. You are contracting your time, skills and abilities to your employer. think of it as opportunity, not a burden. To follow up on Fulcrum regarding your tough boss, don't be wimp! If you can't deal with a boss you can't deal with business. Learn how to manage the boss, don't make yourself miserable begrudging your position.
    I should clarify that I ran into a nepotism issue as well as a hot-headed owner who held everyone in contempt if he felt they were below him (I was a country boy college dropout who had worked on farms, construction and an abattoir).
    Brad Miedema
    Fulcrum Saw & Tool

  4. #14
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    So much to agree with here.

    I definitely agree that if you can't handle a bad boss for a while to pay the bills and get where you want to be, you will never be able to handle a bad customer.
    Trust me, i'm dealing with 2 now. I haven't had 1 bad customers in 8 years, now I have 2 back to back and they are far worse than a bad boss.
    And this is on top of dealing with a failed business partnership that went very, very badly.

    When you work somewhere you have ways of dealing with bad bosses. First and foremost you get to go home everyday.
    There's his boss, human resources or you can just keep your head down and make your check so that you can pay your bills.

    I've had quite a few jobs that I've hated, and we've all had bad bosses. (When I say all, I mean humanity.) But I needed the money to do something like pay the bills, buy a car, or start my business. When you have a goal, the temporary inconvenience for the short time you'll be there is manageable.

    When you have a bad customer, or bad business partner or a project goes badly there is no escape. No one's head to go over. You can't just quit because it's too stressful or because you don't like it. It's all you and you alone and you have to deal with it without letting it affect the rest of your money and other clients. And you have to do it professionally every step of the way.

  5. #15
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    Not to pile on, because I think you have a ton of great potential, but I think you need to get another paying job so you can pay your bills while you work out how to make your business a success. I'll be blunt, but I don't mean to be offensive: how can you convince me you're a great marketer when you can't seem to market yourself successfully? Seriously, since you're trying to sell marketing services, the way you market yourself is going to be the number one thing that closes contracts for you.

    One other reason for having a paying "day job" while you launch your business, is a lesson that I inadvertently learned. The business you try to start may organically pivot to something else a year or two down the line. I launched my online retail shop to sell pet products. The niche I had in mind were intellectual toys; "things that promote the mental and physical well-being of pets". I also carried greyhound muzzles because I own greyhounds and know that greyhound owners often muzzle their dogs in the yard or in the car. But I truly assumed that would be such a niche product that I'd be lucky to sell a couple a year.

    Turned into my best selling product, and the toys? Collossal failure. So, following my (actual) market, early this year I liquidated the toys and stuff that weren't selling, and stocked up on greyhound muzzles. I'm adding some muzzle accessories and other "safety products for dogs". If I quit my day job when I launched three years ago, I'd now be living under a bridge. I got very valuable lessons in how to run my business, but I could not afford to do that without another source of income.

  6. #16
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    I jumped into the fire too, and was about to be homeless. Amazing how fast the end of the month comes when you have no customers. I had to find a job to pay the bills, regroup, start learning something about marketing, get some jobs and some momentum under my belt and then I set out again to do it full time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SumpinSpecial View Post
    If I quit my day job when I launched three years ago, I'd now be living under a bridge.
    I hear they got some nice new bridges now though.
    Brad Miedema
    Fulcrum Saw & Tool

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fulcrum View Post
    I hear they got some nice new bridges now though.
    LOL! Yes! I left out the part about also being divorced because there's no way my husband would have lived under a bridge.

    But for Owen, I wanted to also commiserate with the crappy day job issue. I hate my current day job. It's full of backstabbing drama queens - both coworkers and managers - who get offended at the least little thing anyone says. So I'm job hunting again. I still need a full time salary for another 2-8 years, so... as much as I'd MUCH rather quit that bullcrap completely and work full time on my shop, I can't.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Owen View Post
    My dad referred me to a few small businesses and I have a meeting on Friday. Something tells me it's not going to work out once prices come around.
    So, how'd it go?
    Brad Miedema
    Fulcrum Saw & Tool

  10. #20
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    In my quest of clients, I eventually was talking to a family friend who knows a guy who runs his own digital marketing firm. I met the guy, started talking to him, and was offered a junior web designer job. I told him about my plan to eventually start my own in California, and he agreed to show me the ways of the road. The first step is to do well on my first project. Next, finish college, spend a few years at this company, then start the company

    Thanks everyone!

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