04 July 2012

My Independence Day

If you'd have told me two years ago that I'd be sitting at a loaned computer in the spare room of my home, after having lost pretty much everything that "makes me who I am", I'd have tied you up, covered you in syrup and rolled you down a gravel pathway because I'm spiteful like that. But here I am: no job, single and nursing the fragments of an idea that I'd like to lovingly turn into a legacy project that I can be proud of -- and that turns a profit.

I left a job that I loved at the end of May 2012 -- I've been in the consumer magazine industry in South Africa for the last 18 years. It was a rash, instantaneous decision but the absolute perfect one for me: my independence day. So, I've spent the last month setting up a home office and trying to dream up a strategy that I can use to market my skills set and turn them into a viable business that pays the bills and allows me to live a comfortable lifestyle. Which is not as easy as it sounds.

I've limited capital and loads of confidence in my abilities in the print media and digital space; the only challenge is that I have absolutely no working knowledge of being an entrepreneur. And that's where this blog comes into its own. I hope to put my skills as a journalist and writer into play, and interview those amazing local business owners and entrepreneurs who have done all the hard work before me in setting up their companies. The practical, hands-on wisdom they share, I hope, will be worth far more than spending cash I don't have on courses and tutorials that could turn out to be a waste of time. I see it more as knowledge-sharing and paying it forward.

With the economy being in the sad state that it's in, I have three friends who are struggling entrepreneurs, who need to make some very serious decisions in the next few months on whether to abandon their own-business dreams or to seek out gainful (yet very junior) employment. They seem to think I have a magic business 8-ball on my desk that I can consult on their behalf, to give them ideas on how to breathe life into their own ventures. I don't. I don't even know what to do for my own struggling start-up, except trial and error. But that, for me, is not a very positive or proactive point to start from. So I'm going to do what I do best: interrogate the crap out of this "going on my own" lark in the hopes that it helps other people out there who are in a similar situation to turn their business dream into a reality. It'll be done in my own way and I hope you enjoy coming with me on this adventure into entrepreneurship!

And to the universe: thank you for this -- and something better!

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