Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Reflecting on Career Choice

One of the most frequent questions I am asked and that I still often ask myself is, "why/how did you decide to go into business for yourself?".

My usual response is something like "I fell into it" and refers to starting the Dynamic Creations in December of 1998 as a side business while working full time. The side business eventually landed two large clients and became the full time gig.

However the complete answer is not that simple, especially when you consider how difficult it has been for me to sustain, support and stabilize this business over the last eight years. In actuality running my own business has been a desire throughout my life. An article this morning on ( prompted me to expand on this answer.

The article, Are Entrepreneurs Born or Made?, highlights a survey that seems to really show that entrepreneurs are born and not made through education or upbringing, which I certainly feel personally is very true.

From the fourth grade in elementary school when a friend and I envisioned a leave raking business through high school when I worked for my uncles' business during the summers I was always interested in being a "business man" when I grew up.

My first job after highschool lasted a year and a half before my uncle put me at the helm of a restaurant as manager. The venture did not last but six months; but the experience had sunk in deep.

It would be under two years before the "side business" of Dynamic Creations was born and exactly 30 months before I was "self employed" independently for the first time in my life at the age of 22 in November 1999.

So does this explain that it is a born in trait?

Not really; at that point I had literally "fallen into" the business in many ways. I was 22 with fear of failure, the Internet bubble was still expanding and the web design industry was so new that it would be easy to be successful.

I rode a nice wave from that point forward until 2001 when a failed personal relationship, the dot com bust and September 11th all combined with my complete inexperience forced me by the end of 2002 to reconsider what I was doing.

For the first half of 2003 I worked at a Bernini in Ybor City and finally completed my associates degree. For the later half I sold TV advertising for WMOR TV 32.

It was at WMOR that I realized the strength of my desire to be an entrepreneur. After only a few months I began to realize that if I was going to do direct sales that I would prefer it was for my own services. As much as I tried to justify the fact that this would be more stable and could potential earn me as much money I just could not replace the feeling I had previously of owning a business.

So in January 2004 I took the plunge again.

Three years later I am still going and while I have had some very difficult periods I have become very aware of how important this venture's success is to my future. I have had a few very serious employment offers that would pay me very well, provide great benefits and even a pension, but could not bring myself to take them.

It has taken great deal of heartache and I am by no means where I want to be yet, but this business of being in business is my life and where I need to be to be happy.