Starting Something New?!

How do you go about doing something about which you know very little?  Starting something new can be a daunting task.  How do I start? What do I do?  When do I do it?  I have been talking to various people I know about their jobs.  It is amazing how many dissatisfied people exist in Corporate America.  I would hardly say any stories I have heard are reflective of disgruntled employees; in fact, what I have heard are stories of exhaustion, stress and loss of motivation due to industry dynamics, corporate culture, layoffs and lack of resources.  Do more with less plagues most companies I would guess and I believe more often than not, executive management teams acts clueless, disinterested or in denial of how their decisions impact the people who truly support the business and a company’s customer base.

I was sitting next to a man in the airport this week and was eavesdropping on his telephone conversation.  Admittedly, I often eavesdrop as it amazes me how many people have public conversations with little awareness of who may be listening.  This man was talking about what it is like to be in sales for his company, a large cosmetics company, and how the culture has deteriorated and how invaluable his executive team makes the employee base feel.  He talked about a job interview earlier that day with a large pharmaceutical company and during the interview, the interviewer questioned his priorities.  When he said his wife and child were his the main priorities in his life, the interviewer told him that would be a problem in the sales job for which he was interviewing.  This man had to defend why his family matters to him and could not understand why anyone would question him.  I think he might be making mistake if he takes that job, if he is offered the job.  It is amazing what you can learn by eavesdropping and it is interesting to find similarities amongst strangers, friends, co-workers, acquaintances.  Most have feedback as relates to company expectations, attitude of management, pay grades, product performance and quality of life.  I will say there are some outliers as I have heard great things about a well known technology company, for example; though I am beginning to believe “good places” to work are becoming the outlier.  How many people wake up excited to go to work versus full of dread and stress?

 When I talk to someone about their experience and feelings about how their job, it is interesting to hear what a person would rather be doing. I have a friend who would like to work at Walmart rather than in his sales job.  I have another friend who would rather make donuts all day than go to the office.  It seems the rusty, sinking cruise ship that is the majority of Corporate America is struggling to understand what keeps employees happy and what matters to employees.  The outliers have it right yet the rest of Corporate America seems to be unwilling to flex.

 So what to do?  Every since the whole “we are in a Recession” period, the idea of small business elevating the economy has resonated with me.  Personally, I enjoy helping someone brainstorm what else they can do to earn money independently versus working for a large corporation. I find it fascinating to hear one’s ideas and interesting to help formulate a plan towards making ideas a reality. I realize not everyone can start a business and some people are happy as nurses or teachers or butchers or lawyers.  However, I believe there are many people out there who have something to offer the world of small business and consumers and hold back for reasons related to fear of failure, finances, change, and experience.

In conversations with people, I often find myself saying “Wow you would be really successful doing this or that as your own business.”  I have a friend who has an amazing eye for interior design.  She is on the Corporate Fast Track in her global company and is finally getting burnt out.  For years, I have believed when she gets sick of being uber successful in Corporate America, she will start her own business and have fun building a successful venture.  My friend recently bought a house to flip for fun and I have asked her to start a blog so others can see how she works and what amazing taste she has in color, fabric, and design.  I really believe this could be the start of a brand new direction for her and really look forward to seeing where she is in 5 years.

 Perhaps it time for many of us to take step back and really evaluate what we are doing with our time.  Understandably paychecks help us put food on the table and a roof over our heads.  However, how many people out there do something in their free time that may be a lucrative business opportunity? Would you like to do something you enjoy, something you can do daily and not feel like it is a grind to get through the day?  I have been thinking about how to help people I meet turn something enjoyable into something profitable.  Start your own business and see the business differently.  Lay down the ground work, start with a few steps, take a leap of faith.  Perhaps the best way to improve Corporate America is to find a new direction entirely.

 

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