Before I had the guts to launch my own business, I used to read stories like this and dream. Dreaming is healthy. Jumping in the deep end, borrowing a ton of money, all without a back up plan, isn't. That's what I did, and I don't recommend it.
But I also don't recommend working a terrible job and not dreaming about fulfilling your dreams and possibly launching something on the side -- or from the shallow end, using my lame analogy.
So, articles like this can, and should, inspire, but if you're even starting to get serious about launching something, relax. Take your time. If you have to borrow a lot of money or take a big risk, see if you can't find another way.
There's no question that working for yourself is one of the most enjoyable and fulfilling things in the world when it works. And there's no question it's a disaster when it doesn't and you've gone all in amateurishly. If you're halfway serious about launching something, begin by listening to Dave Ramsey religiously. And then, read like crazy and plan as much as you can on the front end.
And if you're a local, shoot me an e-mail. I'll share with you some painful lessons learned and help you as much as I can.
Our country, and certainly our city, needs more dreamers. And it needs more folks who have made it warning those dreamers to be careful about the level of risks they take. Most dreams fail, unfortunately...
Onward and upward,
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Stan Mitchell is Editor and Publisher of The Oak Ridge Observer. He started the paper in 2004 and writes generally on his blog about business practices. Given how many mistakes he made, and how much he continues to learn about business, he hopes these writings will help others avoid similar pitfalls and perhaps over time improve the local and area economy.