Today I saw a great special on Fine Living TV called Quit Your Job!. Five little companies were featured to showcase the owner’s decision to leave their daily rat dace of a life behind and dive into the uncertainty of following their dreams. Here’s the kicker: These 5 companies are some of the most mundane, normal, average little companies out there.
These companies aren’t going to beat Google, they aren’t building a better iPod or bread slicer. There’s no “the next Facebook” and not a mention of angel funding. These entrepreneurs are doing simple things they love and making a pretty decent living from it. A cool daycare for pets. An artist who markets her own work to local wineries and restaurants. A movie and dinner theater. They didn’t leave their careers to make millions, they just made a lateral change to a job that is more fulfilling and makes them happier.
Becoming the next big thing is a dream harbored in the hearts of just about everyone I know. But what about that other dream to do something simple, something known, something that doesn’t take $20 million in VC funding? Small steps towards those simple dreams are more rewarding in the long run than jumping the rungs on the corporate ladder any day. In my opinion, a VC is just a creditor, and should never be what you dream of obtaining one day.
You can start your own design shop. You can write a book on programming. You can create a web-based application and make money off it. You can even open your own pet daycare. Is the only thing stopping you this idea that you need a bunch of money first?
There’s a lot of talk of billion dollar acquisitions in the media and in blogs, but the truth is those are the minority of businesses. Profitable small businesses exist in every city, owned by people who love what they do. Some of them will make millions of dollars each year – doing what they love, waking up each morning happy to go to work – regardless of which tech blogger ever notices.
Life is too short not to love what you do, and it’s much, much too short to wait around until someone hands you a billion dollars.