September 30, 2020

Is It Time To Start Your Own Business?

Kathryn and Michael K. Redman are sweethearts, best friends, and the husband-and-wife team behind Half a Bubble Out (HaBO), a marketing and business consulting firm.

Kathryn and Michael have both taught at the university level and are frequent guest speakers. They have penned their recently published first book, Fulfilled: The Passion and Provision Strategy for Building a Business with Profit, Purpose, and Legacy.  

They currently reside in their hometown of Chico, California.

I had the opportunity to interview Kathryn and Michael recently. Here are some of the highlights of that interview:

Jill Griffin: The pandemic has led many people start their own businesses rather than hunt for a ‘safer’ , more traditional job with a stable company. Can you address this phenomenon from your perspective as a lifelong entrepreneur?

Kathryn and Michael Redman: It makes perfect sense that people would want to go out on their own and start a business. In times like these we have seen two specific trends. One is a cautionary tale and one is super encouraging.

The first is “entrepreneurial seizure.” They say something like, if I go and do something on my own, I get to make all the rules and keep all the profit and that will give me more freedom and more security. With COVID-19 as well as the economy bouncing around unpredictably, who doesn’t want life to be more stable and predictable? But starting your own business may not be the best answer for everyone. It’s important to remember that roughly 90% of businesses fail, so security doesn’t always come from being the captain of your own ship. So think twice before you jump.

That said, during times of crisis, new markets open up and competitors drop out…. Both of which create opportunity. Innovation also holds a huge role in business success because new problems arise that people need to have solved and they are willing to pay you to solve them. (Think face masks.)

Griffin: What are the one or two biggest mistakes new entrepreneurs make that cause the journey to be more difficult than it needs to be?

Redmans: There are two big mistakes we’ve seen over the last eighteen years of working with clients. First, they don’t take the time to really craft a clear, complete and compelling vision that guides and inspires their company through good times and bad times. Without this, the roadblocks and storms of life can cause you to get off track and lose valuable time.

The second is that new entrepreneurs rarely have a holistic business model to make sure they are thinking about the entire business. There are at least six specialty areas of running a business that are critical to build and grow a company. It’s the rare start-up that has competency in all of them.

Griffin: Is it possible to start a company that is part of your life’s mission and still make a lot of money?

Redmans:

The answer is yes.

We believe that there are two kinds of work in the world, Labor and Toil. 

Toil is mind numbing, soul sucking work that causes you to hate what you’re doing for a living or at least see it as only a necessary evil. And based on the research by Gallup, 74% of us are doing that kind of work every day.

Labor is the kind of work that accomplishes something significant and contributes to something greater than ourselves. (Walter Isaacson’s Biography on Steve Jobs is a great example of “Labor.”)

Griffin: If you could go back to your 25 year old self and tell yourself one thing before you launched your first business, what would that one thing be?

Redmans: We would tell ourselves that the dream you have is worth fighting for.

Griffin: Your new book is called Fulfilled. Why that title for a book about starting and running your own business?

Redmans: We chose Fulfilled as our title because it perfectly describes what we have experienced in our own businesses and as one of our entrepreneurial friends said, “In today’s world, who doesn’t want or need a little bit more fulfillment?” Our goal is to tell our story to the world, show them that it’s possible and teach anyone who wants to learn how to do it. 

Griffin: Anything else you’d like to add?

Redmans: For your readers that are holding their own, we are cheering you on. Your family, your team and your customers need you so fight the good fight. 

For those of your readers that are seeing everything they have worked for torn down, we are so sorry for what is happening. If you want to rebuild your business or start a new one, we believe there is a way to rebuild an even stronger and more resilient company. Life is too short not to love what you do and make the world a better place at the same time.

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