You’ve clicked on my article as I’ve just put a question to you that is something you’re entertaining, or maybe you’ve already started one and are now trying to figure out if you really should have done! I too was like you before founding Pixelfish and was tussling in my head whether or not it’s something I wanted to actually do.
For me I found asking myself these questions really got to the crux of whether I take the plunge or not. A simple yes/no is all the answer you need for most of them.
- Do I want to have control (even if an illusion half the time) of my time and how I spend it?
- Am I
deludedconfident enough to think I can make a success of it?
- Place in order of priority these things: Money, Freedom, Adulation/ego, Passion
- If it all goes tits up, am I royally screwed or do I have an escape route?
Answering the above questions will help give you an idea whether you feel you’re ready to start a Company and also what your core priorities are. These will help shape how and what sort of Company you want to create and build. I’ve also assumed you already have a fair idea of what you want this Company to be doing to earn the dosh.
A helpful guide to starting and running your Company mini-series
I’ve always found myself drawn to helping those that are in the early stages of starting or building their Company. In large part I think this is down to the fantastic help and support I’ve been afforded when in the same situation myself, so I feel like it’s my duty to give back to the great business community we find ourselves in. I must preface this by saying my personal experiences are all within the digital and creative sector, so whilst some of my thoughts and suggestions will apply to any type of Company, there will also be a fair amount that is specific to the sectors I’m familiar with. My hope is within this mini-series of articles there may be one or two practical suggestions you can take and implement successfully yourself.
After all, we live in an ever evolving world that makes it easier and easier to be the master of your own destiny, so why not make the most of it?
I’m by no means the most qualified or talented. Nor am I someone who’s built a multi-million pound business. But what I can confidently say is I’ve built businesses that sustain me, my family and those in my employment for over 10 years now. I always have and always will have more of a bent towards lifestyle over riches, so this mini-series may not be for you if you’re after creating the next Unicorn. There are far better qualified and erudite people to speak with on that front. (Speaking of which, if you’re in the agency space I highly recommend reading Gellan Watt’s recent articles on here.
Why did I start up Pixelfish?
It’s only fair I answer this isn’t it! The main drivers for me were the desire, scrap that, the need to have control over my own time, along with naively thinking it may be an easier way to make more money (Good one Dan!).
I’m on the more unusual side in that I co-founded Pixelfish with a fellow graduate straight out of Uni back in 2009. Something in hindsight I’m incredibly proud about and I’ll often wax lyrical about the pro’s of doing this. For a start, having just been a lowly student, I was perfectly accustomed to making a 20kg bag of potatoes last the term and living on, in technical terms, ‘fuck all’ money.
The thought of starting from scratch when you already have all the adult responsibilities of mortgages and small humans to look after, that prospect of uncertainty becomes all the bit more daunting. This is where having a clear and workable escape route there to help bail you out is very important. This could be as simple as having a nice wad of cash in the bank or going back into conventional employment or as my friends liked to call it ‘a real job’.
So, do you want to start a Company?
The fundamental question, as it’s highly unlikely you’ll be starting a Company if you’re feeling a bit ‘meh’ to it all! I can draw some parallels between starting and running a Company to that of raising children. Most of the time the actual daily tasks you have to do are simple, monotonous even, on their own no great challenge (well, sort of…). What is the challenge is the relentless nature of it all, there’s no rest-bite, continuous calls for your attention and a constant feeling of never being finished. If you can get your head around that prospect and turn it in to a positive motivation, you’ll have won half the battle.
Okay, I’m game for doing this.. now what?
Over the course of my mini-series I’ll hopefully answer some of these questions for you, so stick around and keep an eye out over the coming weeks for my new articles.
If you haven’t started a Company yet and want to, why haven’t you?
I’d love to hear in your comments why you haven’t felt ready to take the plunge and go it alone? What is stopping you from doing so?