Letters to my child. Leadership, Business and Kaizen.

Step 4: Setting Up a Sucessful Business

Hi Ender,

Yesterday your mom and I made our first big purchase and took our first big step towards opening our own business. It was an important day so I wanted to share it with you. I am very excited.

Every time I sit here I picture an honest conversation with you. I feel that if I ever monetize this effort and try to “make money blogging” I am going to deviate from my goal. If this ever happens, my time sitting here will no longer be a work of passion. It will no longer be about you. It will no longer be fun.

Our goal with the business we are setting up is to have fun. It will provide some supplemental income and put some of the things I am learning in practice on a larger scale. It will give me a chance to sharpen my skills on leadership, managing people and conflict resolution.

I am not going to create a post saying, “Send me $100 dollars and I will tell you how to make money”. I have seen those around… and let’s be honest. If you had a plan to turn $100 dollars into more money that means you really don’t need money… so why charge to share your secret? The only answer I can find: charging people $100 dollars is part your scheme.

My business plan has the potential to make money. I am going to outline it here for free as we go along. The set up steps can be used and modified to create a different type of business.

A year from now anyone can come here, click on the posts marked “business” and see exactly how we started and what we did… for free. I don’t even care if our next door neighbours copy our process and do exactly what we did, pushing us out of business.

We are doing this for fun. My company treats me very well. I have been with them for over ten years and I have never worked for a better boss. I am very happy with my current income. Last Friday morning your mom just received a call and got hired for a position teaching downtown (which she truly loves).

Why start now? I want to bring us both out of our comfort zone and into a learning zone. I think now is the best time to start because everything is OK. We are not struggling. We have what we need. This effort is a step towards getting what we want out of life… more. For you.

Here is the very first step I took. This one is probably true for anyone starting a business:

My self assessment. What is important to me? 

Every day I try to be kind and generous to your mom. I want my parents to know I am always try my best to be close to them, whatever the cost. I want our dog Sakura to look me in the eye on her last day on Earth and tell me (yes, I want her to speak in plain English) that she is glad we adopted her… that we made all the difference in her life. I want the freedom to travel and see my childhood friends abroad at least once every two years. I want my sister to one day really forgive me for being mean to her growing up. I want you to live a good life. I want you to be proud of me.

What are my core values? Honor, initiative, competence, dedication and generosity.

The next step… assess your business partner. Find out what is important to them and what are their five core values. In this case it will be your mom. Let me go wake her up.

This should not be rushed. My list of five took a week and a half. It was part of a school assignment and involved several interviews with friends, family and employees. Don’t be surprised if my next post on the topic takes  several days.

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