Today I am going to write more of an inspirational post to those who are sitting on the fence wondering if they should go ahead and start a business.
I am from a family of six brothers and sisters. The other day, my baby sister was the last to get started with her own business. When thinking upon my whole family and the fields that we are in and how we got here, I thought it would be nice to take some time and share it with you so you may feel encouraged and motivated.
Let’s start with my parents.
My dad was an elementary teacher for over thirty years. While he enjoyed the job for the most part, he found as he got older that his hearing was slowly fading and so was his patience level. So, at 55, he took early retirement.
My dad is not the type of guy though to just sit around. He has always loved to build and renovate things. We lived in three homes, each of which he took the time to do renovations, adding bedrooms, bathrooms, garages and more. So, when he retired, he found out that many of the people from his church were in need of help around their homes. In time, my dad was working here, there, and everywhere.
Now, when he’s not helping other people fix their homes, he is out in the garage or down in the basement making bookshelves, cabinets and any other thing he can think of with wood.He built a beautiful deck for their home, and a shed. He just got his own website started and is going to see about selling online for the first time.
Now my Mom:
My mom has always been a busy beaver. Even when she was at home raising us kids, she was still running a home day care and watching two or three other kids. When she finally did go back to work, she worked as a librarian’s assistant for 11 years. Finally, feeling unfulfilled, she decided to go back to school and get a college degree. At the age of 45, she graduated and opened up her own computer cafe business.
It was a bad location and the business was shut down after a year, but the experience had enforced the fact that she knew she wanted to have her own business still. So she started getting into learning about blogging, selling online, creating information products, affiliate marketing, and anything else she could learn about.
She started teaching others offline about how to sell on eBay(I was her partner in that), and she realized how much she loved to teach and consult. So, she took things further and started to consult with others who wanted to get started online. This year, she has set up a membership site and is working on helping those who are 50+ get a book written, published and selling online. If you would like to learn more, you can visit her at http://fromknowledgetoprofit.com
The Oldest Sister:
My sister Bridget has been helping run her husband’s office and do the bookkeeping for 25 years. Her husband has a successful construction company and their oldest son helps with the day to day of the work end of it.
This year, my sister felt a yearning to do something of her own. She has always loved photography, and set up a studio in her home. She started taking pictures of her grandchildren, her children and anyone who wanted a picture done. She loves taking pictures of nature and has accumulated many beautiful shots over the years while on vacation. She started her own website http://photosbybridget.net and now blogs away every day and sells affiliate products and photos.
The Next Sister(Me)
I quit high school, got married too young and started a family too young. When my first marriage ended after nine years, I was in debt from going back to school, but had a college diploma in Small Business Management.
I spent several years working in factories, offices, and call centers as a tech rep. I have always known I wanted to work for myself. I do not like working with a lot of people and do much better on my own and with my own direction and schedule.
Five years ago, I re-married and decided to have another family. So, while on unemployment, I set about getting an online business running. Over the years, I have created over 10 websites, written more than a dozen how-to reports for internet marketing related topics, and have become a proficient ghostwriter and Virtual Assistant.
I had no start up capital, so everything I learned was through time, patience and trial and error. I love what I do, and have no plans for quitting in the near future. My husband started a graphic design business last year and he is much happier not having to worry about breaking his back doing the moving jobs he was used to. You can check out his work here http://mclarenwebdesign.com
While our income is not as stable as it used to be when we both worked(some months we have a lot of work, other months almost none), we are both able to stay at home and watch our 2 little ones, and have the freedom and peace of mind we never had before.
The Oldest Brother
The oldest brother Dan went to college for Import and Export. After trying it out for a year, he decided he was not impressed. He had been working as a stock clerk for a grocery store part time since he was 15 and talked to the boss about getting hired on for full time.
Within 5 years my brother had worked his way up to assistant manager. After another 5 years or so of being an assistant manager, he then became a manager of his own store. He has now been a manager for almost 6 years and was recently brought into a situation where he had to opportunity to buy into his own franchise grocery store. After much deliberation, he signed the papers and got started on his way.
He has always loved to work with people, and is the shining example of what you can do if you want to be a success and have the drive to work your way up from the bottom. Now that he has reached the top, the next logical step is to take his knowledge and experience and open up his own store being his own boss. I wish him great success, and I know he will do well.
Middle Brother Tim:
Tim has always been the quiet one. He decided to go to school for Digital Animation. After years of schooling, working at the same grocery store as his brother(as night supervisor), he finally decided he had had enough when he hurt his back on the job one day and was unable to work anymore.
He put his mind to work and came up with a product that he is now ready to sell. I helped him set up his first website and he is going to be adding his first items to sell within the next week or so. If you are interested in checking out some of his videos and want to check out the animated screen savers he will be selling, you can visit his site at http://bremnerproductions.com
Baby Brother Matt
Matt has been a go getter from when he was young. When he was 10 he was the one out there making the most money selling chocolates for school activities, and whatever else he could get himself into.
He learned how to paint and set himself up with his own painting business which did quite well for awhile. But he longed to make more money.He got started selling computers and ipods on eBay and was soon a Power Seller but he wanted to do even more than that.
One day when he was out on a snowboarding trip, he fell and had a nasty accident. He broke his leg in like 3 places and was on crutches in a cast for months on end. It was during this time that he broke his iPod. Playing around with it, he fixed it. He knew that there were no repair shops around for iPods and decided that he would open up a shop to do them himself. He opened up the first ipod repair shop in Canada and it took off like wildfire. Over the following years he opened up several more shops across the country and now lives in Vancouver where he can ski and snowboard whenever he wants(although he doesn’t seem to have much free time running so many businesses).
As the youngest boy in our family, who at times when he was young seemed to be the least disciplined, he has become a raving success in our family.
My Baby Sister Kathleen
After graduating school with a degree in Hospitality, my sister went on to work at one of the nicest hotel chains in Canada. While she was good at her job, it became more and more demanding and less and less appealing as time went by.
When she had her second child last January, she realized that she did not want to be going back to work and would prefer to stay at home or be with her children. She thought of Real Estate, but knew that she needed something that could provide a steady income and not just commissions.
This month, she has finally found her opportunity. She just signed for ownership of a second hand children’s clothing shop. It has a big back room where her 5 year old and almost 2 year old can play while she works. She loves clothes, shopping and people. This is the ideal job for her. She knows what brands are good quality and she knows the styles that are popular so she has the ability to provide excellent merchandise for her customers.
I know this was a long post and I am glad you stayed with me until the end! My intention for writing this post was to show you that it doesn’t matter where you came from, how much education you have, if you want to start a business, you can.
Do your research, write up a business plan, talk to some experts, go on forums and talk to others who are in that field, get some pointers on the dos and don’ts and just DO IT! Even if it is only part time for now because you need to keep your regular steady job. You only fail if you do not take the steps to follow your dreams and do something.
You never know where life will take you. But sitting ideally by and watching the rest of the world go by is doing a dis-service to yourself.