Starting Your Own Small Business? Be Practical, Not Creative
Be practical and the odds are far better that the business you start will succeed. Forget being creative. That's the advice from Scott Gerber, serial entrepreneur and leader of the "Death to the resume" movement.
Gerber really means "practical" -- as in not trying to innovate. Instead of aiming to launch competition for Facebook, set up a dry cleaner or a deli on the corner. From those small seeds can come success. Big dreams usually lead to big failure.
Experience confirms the wisdom of the practical approach. Waves and waves of immigrants came to America. They started up restaurants, bakeries, laundries, and, yes, dry cleaners. They didn't write business plans for a patented process for refining oil. It was the next generation, their children, which moved on to that level of sophistication.
When you are pushed against the wall, as were the immigrants and as are many unemployed and underemployed, it makes sense to go with what you know, what's simple to operate, and what can produce immediate revenue. Eventually, sure, with the wolf not at the door, you can become more original. Or, you can stick with the dry cleaning, open more stores, and maybe down the road, franchise the concept.
Jane Genova http://janegenova.com began focusing on transitions when the academic market collapsed as she was writing her dissertation in linguistics and literature at the University of Michigan. After re-establishing herself in the public relations industry, she gradually published on the subject. Her first piece was on The Professional Woman in THE WALL STREET JOURNAL. Since then, she co-authored the book THE CRITICAL 14 YEARS OF YOUR PROFESSIONAL LIFE and myriad e-books and articles on career subjects ranging from emotional intelligence to aging. In the 1980s she attempted another change by attending Harvard Law School. She didn’t complete the degree but channeled that experience into maintaining a legal blog [http://lawandmore.typepad.com] housed at the Library of Congress.