On social media; in numerous conversations; nearly anywhere you look now; the idea of starting one’s own business is the “must have”, the key to unlocking your freedom. I must admit that while I’ve always had some random hustle (I sold cards – remember those? – in school – Valentine’s Day was always a hit hehehe) then I ran a mini tuck shop; it’s never been driven to have freedom. I was a teenager; the only way freedom was going to be reached was with passing high school. I was driven to keep busy and not be bored, and I did not find high school subjects entertaining so making things or fulfilling some need for others was always fun and passed time well.
I had not done anything for years after I started working. Then a strange thing happened last year. I had qualified as a Coach and had started practising it outside of my every day job a couple of years before. Because I had completed this qualification and had been practising this skill, I felt this inherent pressure to now make it an actual business; to make it something that I could own. So I did. And once the initial excitement passed, I did not feel any drive to pursue it. The way I had set it up was not what I wanted to keep me busy and when I started thinking about something else to study I realised that I needed to stop. So, I did. I left everything until the beginning of this year and as if there’s an Universe that throws us signs, I started reading this book – Zero to One, by Peter Thiel.
The biggest lesson in this book for me? “For the startup world, this means you should not necessarily start your own company, even if you are extraordinarily talented. If anything too many people are starting their own companies today. People who understand the power law will hesitate more than others when it comes to founding a new venture; they know how tremendously successful they could become by joining the very best company while it’s growing fast. The power law means that differences between companies will dwarf the differences in roles inside companies.”
It made me think about how much time I would have to spend on coaching since it is quite an active investment and whether it was what I wanted to do. Yes, it is. But not the way I’ve been doing it. This book made me think about the time, effort, resources, methods, ideas and most importantly the why. If I’m going to spend time doing anything then it’s going to be with something that resonates with me (linked to all areas in one’s life…not just your own business, but your day job, your personal life, your family and friends…all of it essentially). And this was the second most important lesson learnt from this book – understanding that You can’t be for everyone (emphasising the earlier point that I think this applies to all aspects of your life to be honest). And this led me to figuring out what would make my coaching different to others. And it 100 percent is not going to be for everyone. And that’s okay!
If you’re someone who has dreamt of owning your own business and doesn’t appreciate a “normal” job, I highly suggest reading this book. It will make you think twice, thrice and if you still continue, it will at least get you thinking differently about well, everything really.