I always wanted to start my own business, but I kept postponing it because it was never good "timing." I thought that I needed to learn more or make some extra money to put aside before I started. Now I realize that the "right time" never comes. This expression is more of a distraction to justify one's indecision and lack of courage. If you strongly disagree with me, I can assure you that the right time can be invented with creativity.
If I had to consider the parameters that matter, they would be talent (for sure), persistence (most important), leadership skills (to inspire your followers) and passion for what you're doing. Can you imagine what would have happened if the person who invented the wheel had waited for the "right time"? Another person would have invented it! Hmm, bad example, because we don't know who that person was, although he or she would have become super-rich with the patent's royalties. Now change the word "wheel" to "computer." You get the point.
Searching on the Web these days, one can find a plethora of articles about entrepreneurship. Having a startup is the trend and the coolest thing, even better than carrying the latest Céline bag! Being in this journey the last four months, I still remember vividly how it all started.
Funnily enough, I was waiting for the sign. I needed that encouragement from an invisible force to reassure me that I was on the right track. It was not the best timing for me to start my own business, because I had just graduated and spent all my money on my MBA, and I had just moved from Philadelphia to New York while still interviewing for corporate jobs (which, to be honest, were not that exciting).
That sign came unexpectedly one evening when I was at a restaurant in the West Village. I was chatting with my classmates and waiting at the bar for our table to be ready. There, I pitched them my idea about Lady & Lara. After 15 minutes, the waitress said that our table was ready, so I turned to pick up my coat. Right next to me at the bar was a guy having dinner by himself. He looked at me and said that he had overheard our conversation and was interested in learning more about the venture, because he invests in startups. I was taken aback! Well, now I know why they call them "angel investors"! The sign that I was waiting to focus on my idea and take the leap of faith toward my dream and my unstructured future was right there. I exchanged contact info with him, although I must say that I didn't believe that he is an investor, so when I went home, I googled his name, only to find that he is!
Long story short, I put together my first business plan and all the data I needed before meeting with him. Getting ready for that pitch was the best thing that happened to me; the mentorship and the relationship with my first angel investor was just the extra perk. The more I worked on my idea, the more I realized that I was capable of making it happen! This unexpected meeting was the catalyst.
Fast-forward four months since then, and I have made a lot of progress with my business. I have a great team, I have put together a portfolio of fashion brands, and my website will be ready to launch any day now! There is interest from other investors, and I will soon be closing my first round, which will allow us to grow faster.
I'm sharing this story today in an attempt to pay my good luck forward. If you are waiting for a sign, wondering if this is the right time to start your own business, and you are reading this, then that's your sign! Whatever troubles you or causes you to hesitate, I can assure you that it's irrelevant to your venture and is simply a distraction from your goal.
Backstage at photo shoots for Lady and Lara: