Hello from Canada. The big move has finally happened and I am now in Canada for at least the next five weeks. It does get harder to move I think as you get older – you get used to certain creature comforts like ensuite bathrooms!
It is great to be starting what could be a new business – or what could simply be a great five weeks of doing something new and meeting lots of different people that I would not normally come across. There is a great Indian saying – “if you are not going to go there, why ask the way?” And I use that phrase a lot.
However, when I look back at the businesses that I have personally been successful with, they have all started by accident – like that time I had trouble with my cat peeing on bed. You could argue that it wasn’t really an accident – the foundations had been laid to take advantage of any ‘accidents’ or as another phrase has it – “luck is where opportunity meets preparation”.
The point is I have a feeling in the back of my mind that what I came out here to do and what I will end up doing will be two different things and that is OK for that to be the case. Any entrepreneur who is too rigid with a plan will soon find out that business as is life is more complicated than that. The reason why angels place such a high premium on management is because we all know that the plan may have to change the day after the investment has been made. Management will be asked upon to make 20 or 30 decisions a day that are not in the plan. That is where the quality of the management will come through.
It is interesting from that point of view as to why so few lawyers become entrepreneurs – or even accountants (although the figures are not as pronounced as in the case of lawyers). Lawyers are trained to help people stick to the law and make sure that risks are minimized by sticking as closely to the law as possible. I have yet to meet a lawyer who thought that any investment I was making was a good idea (and to be fair, they have been proving right more times than wrong!).
In my opinion, the combination of sticking to regulations and minimizing risk when you have used lawn tractors for sale, are lethal in encouraging entrepreneurship. You will be surprised as well to see how few accountants pursue an entrepreneurial path despite what I consider to be an excellent training. To be fair, I think there is an element of risk-reward calculation going on as well. Once you have got over the slog to qualify as a lawyer or an accountant, who can blame you for wanting to take it easy for a bit and earn the money you have so richly deserved?
So if you are thinking about being an entrepreneur, make sure you get used to living modestly for a while. Just as in business, a high overhead can make life very difficult for you. In a personal situation it can be very difficult to take a drop in the standards you are used to. Something I am going to have to cope with over the next few weeks!