It is a good time to be considering alterna-lifestyle scenarios. Given the fact that it is customary to be up against hundreds of other people when applying for a job, many people are getting creative about careers. And those with entrepreneurial inclinations are doing just that—starting their own businesses.
A recent CNN Money article by Chris Isidore entitled “The Great Recession’s Lost Generation” (yikes, forget Gen Y or Millennials–now it’s the Lost Generation…) discusses how difficult it is for new grads to find jobs. One interviewee started her own business designing custom interior fabrics and carpets. Pretty cool.
But like tales of people who buy fixer-upper farmhouses in foreign countries, I both love and hate these stories.
Love because they represent possibilities. I am totally in awe of the young owners of Mjölk, a lifestyle/decor store in Toronto. When I read about them in a House & Home article about their cottage reno, the store name was familiar. Sure enough, I have seen their offerings featured in H&H before. Their store is, in just over a year, a design destination in Toronto! Now, I don’t think that their reason for opening their own store was abysmal job prospects. Still, this example of what you can accomplish in so short a time is inspiring.
But I hate these stories for a few reasons. You never get the FULL story. Where do these people get the capital for their new business? Did they leave full-time jobs to get started, and how did they afford that, etc etc. And in many of these young entrepreneur stories, you hear about the initial leap, but not how successful (or unsuccessful) it has been for them.The practical details. One thing I’m sure of is that you can’t just wing it.
Nevertheless, the idea of bowing out of the job market to start something totally unique is … intoxicating. And it is a potentially logical step for someone like myself who has found the “standard” options less than appealing. Of course, it all depends on what the business idea is: some will offer lots of flexibility to take work as wanted/needed, while others could become an all-consuming commitment—fine if you love it, but not ideal if your goal in developing a self-styled life is gaining more time away from work. Again you teeter on that job-career paradox: do I need a fulfilling Career that reflects my passions, or just a job that pays the bills?
For me, a business of my own (maybe with occasional steady side-jobs) could be a great solution to build flexibility into a career that fulfills me but doesn’t own me. I am lucky to have a husband who is both an entrepreneurial dreamer and a very practical fellow–creativity and guts tempered by a mind for financial practicalities. We brainstorm constantly, thinking up ideas for one or both of us together. I think it’s just a matter of time…
Do you have your own awesome business, or dreams of one?