Friday check-in #4

It’s Friday again, and this time I managed to write something on time. Horray!

The hard stuff

One month launch plan goes kaput

So last week I talked about how I was going to launch a business of some sort in the next month. I knew it’d be challenging, even if I stuck to the bare essentials, but I expected my plans to last longer than a week. Luckily they’ve only died because a better plan has come along, but it still sucks to have set a nice clear milestone and then to abandon it. “So what happened?” I hear you asking. Well, read on to find out.

The good stuff

The New Enterprise Incentive Scheme

If you’ve been following along, you’ll know that I’ve been wanting to start a business for awhile now. Lately, I’ve been stuck on the quitting-to-work-on-it-full-time bit, since I only have enough savings to last me a few months, and it looked like I would have to find a very generous friend with a spare couch to sleep on until the business got going. If it got going. Maybe I should just cruise along working part-time and get something started first? But that wasn’t very much fun and I was feeling very stuck.

Enter NEIS.

NEIS is a government program that provides aspiring entrepreneurs with a few months training and a year’s allowance and mentoring to develop their small business idea. This is REALLY cool because although I’ll be really poor for a year (the allowance isn’t much) it’s a lot better than living off nothing. The only sucky part is the mound of paperwork I’ll have to wade through, but I think it’ll be worth it :)

This is the discovery that killed the one month launch plan. The program requires that you start an entirely new business, so as far as I know, I won’t be able to begin operation until I’ve finished the 2-3 months of training. Sigh. I’ll just do as much preparation as I can in the meantime.

I feel kinda silly for bashing my head against the wall of “you must be self-sufficient and will my idea work and How Am I Going To Survive?” for so long when NEIS has been available the whole time. I’d even heard about it 6 months ago or so, it just wasn’t at the front of my mind. But I’m aware of it now, and I think the time is right.

Volunteering it up

A whole lot of stuff to do with volunteer work has popped up in my reality recently. I started by thinking about testing my consulting idea by working for free. Steve posted this article on volunteering. Today I helped put up a yurt for the wellbeing and spiritual festival in Queanbeyan, and the person running the yurt business told me the story of how doing a bit of volunteer work lead to the start of his business (and I also had an awesome time helping out). Talk about clues from the universe! Long story short, I’m going to start my business by doing volunteer work for other home businesses. I plan to start out pretty open-ended and just help out in whatever way I can. By doing that for a while I’m sure I’ll develop my skills, meet lots of people and find a good niche to work for. All good :)

Shiva Nata

I got my Shiva Nata DVD this week (warning: wackiness) :D . I’ll do a full review later, but suffice to say the last few weeks have been pretty awesome, at least in a things-are-getting-unstuck kinda way.

And BarCamp is coming up!

BarCampCanberra was one of *the* highlights of last year. For the uninitiated, BarCamp is what happens when you throw a bunch of geeks in a room or two and tell them to self-organise a conference about whatever they happen to think is awesome right now. Highly, highly recommended. I’m planning on presenting this year, so come along to hear me rant about online business, or just to soak up the atmosphere of concentrated geeky awesomeness.

Lots to look forward to!

Have a wonderful weekend and catch you soon!

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