I remember when I first decided to get in business. I actually started off volunteering for an artist who sold greeting cards. It was so much fun to think of ways to assist with sales. I was an artist's agent representing professionals who had a side interest/hobby. Some made dolls, quilts, or crocheted. Some drew or painted. I recall how much it surprised me when a technical manager would share their love for sewing for example. The two seemed at odds with each other but they actually served as a source of pride and joy to balance out the stress of the day. Oftentimes the artists didn't have the time to promote their work; bingo, there's a niche that I decided to fill. At first I had people over for mini business expos to showcase the work. This then graduated to attending art/craft shows and setting up a booth. The experience was fun through it all while I was picking up valuable information about how to do business along the way. And all of this for free. In some instances it seemed I should be paying for this "free" education in business, but I was in turn sharing my valuable time as well; after all, I too was a professional engineer.
The main reason I'm sharing this story is because I know there are those out there thinking about starting their own business and I want them to get a different view of how they may start. You don't have to have an unlimited bank account. You just need to have a tenacious willing spirit to try. Don't over-think the situation and focus on the fun of it all. Believe me, those doing it for years STILL don't know what to do. If you keep an open mind, you will get the guidance you need from those who you come in contact with. The joy is in the journey and your growth along the way, I know I've grown alot, and will grow a lot more. You may have to think of it this way; once you try, at worst you'll just know what NOT to do the next time, brush yourself off and adjust. I thought at times, "what if I didn't start the business, would I regret it if I hadn't tried it?" My answer was always yer, It didn't matter my age (27), I just knew that it was worth a try. The company I was working for was considering me for a management position, why didn't I consider myself to manage my own business? This series of thoughts and questions and friends who kept me inspired helped to catapult me into the the watery abyss of business. Did I drown? No. I kicked my legs, and moved my arms and eventually figured it out. And since I was in the shallow end, I could always touch my feet to the ground and stand up,.
My suggestion is to start small and build up. You don't have to have it all figured out before you jump in. Give yourself a chance; put a toe in, then wade in up to your knees. Get used to the temperature of the water and adjust your game plan along the way. You don't have to jump off the deep end but you do have to get wet. You'll see,something's are easier than you think, and the hard things mainly require careful analysis and patience. Start somewhere and you will be see results in short order, then repeat the process at your own pace. Before you know it, it's time to open a storefront.!
My name is Nzingha Nommo, Owner/Founder of Afriware Books, Co. I've been in business over 27 years. Thought I could share a few things along the way that may be of use to others thinking about or currently in the book business. I also dabble in veganism, natural hair and other odds and ends.