I was on my way to Wales via Easyjet. Flying at 30,000 feet, with nothing to do but look out at the clouds, helps you to daydream. Now I have been accused of having my head in the clouds anyway, but looking out at the sky at 30,000 feet, does help you to focus on the task at hand…. Three things struck me on the flight:
1. Money pays the bills
(If only) Money pays the bills, and bills need paying! Three months redundant, you start to think that redundancy money can only last so long. So, if you are like me, trying to set up a business, the immediate concerns become focused around “where the cash is going to come from?” Therefore my advice is; if you have an idea, and you are currently still employed, do something about it NOW! Now I am not suggesting you should quit your job, but I am suggesting you should prepare. Do your research now, do your homework now, work out how your money can generate money and when. Treat every day as a blessing, because you are still being paid and if you can only commit 10 hours per week to your ‘own’ idea, well that is 10 hours less you will have to do when you decide to commit full-time. As I sit here on the plane, I am thinking “if only” I had taken that advice on board, before I had been made redundant.
2. Innovation Tax
Not trying to get Political, but what is the point of taxing big business more, if all it is going to achieve is that it will end up in a big pot and shared out to pay off debt. Now I am certainly not an expert, but that money / extra tax, could be better used to generate extra cash. Here’s how; why not have a ‘Big Business Innovation Tax’ and this money goes specifically towards Regional Innovation Funds, to help fund new business startups, creative thinking and entrepreneurialism. Yes, some of this money may be wasted, but what if this ‘tax’ created the next Steve Jobs, the next Facebook, the next scientific discovery or the next Artist movement. Would that not be the best way for big businesses to contribute to the bigger picture and have a ‘real’ social responsibility?
3. Weddings are like starting a business
I was on a plane on my way over to Wales for a Wedding. It struck me that a Wedding day and all it represents, is very much like starting a new business and everything you will have to commit to.
When you get married, you need to have two (hopefully willing!) partners. In the case of a business, this is also the case. You need the business itself and you need the partnership of an active audience. You cannot really have one without the other, and this is certainly true of any relationship, marriage or otherwise.
When you get married, you commit to some core values and beliefs that both partners agree to follow. As a startup, if your core values are not clearly defined from day one, then prepare yourself for a rocky road ahead…
Lastly, on the day of the wedding, you generally share your big day with your close friends and family. This must also be true of your business startup. If you can get the buy-in and support of your friends and family, be it monetary, emotionally, offering advice, or ideas, you will need a shoulder to lean on from time to time. For a marriage to work, you must understand there will be bad times, as well as the good times, and this is the same of any business too!
Flying at 30,000 feet certainly does help you think all deep and meaningful…
More from Alastair over at http://www.theemployable.com