Posted by kari.petroschmidt
I slid my seat all the way forward and hunched over the steering wheel screaming wildly at Carlos to throw himself onto the dashboard, “THE FRONT WHEELS ARE LIFTING OFF THE FUCKING ROAD! I CAN’T STEER CARLOS! GET FORWARD, GET FORWARD! The $200,000 uninsured sail that was bricked up in the back of my 1989 Hilux had slid too far back over the rear axle on the Auckland’s North Western motorway and we’d begun to swerve wildly from lane to lane, sending cars screeching out of the way and slamming on their brakes in a slew of burning rubber and expletives. We somehow made it to the bus-lane and crawled slowly along back roads the rest of the way to Superior Sail Wash with poor Carlos acting as a human counterbalance, hanging onto the bonnet for dear life. But so what? This was business.
I’d made $16,000 in two days and at 22, without so much as a high school education, I was at the helm of my own business with my own warehouse, my first employee (poor Carlos), a stack of work lined up, money pouring in and not so much as the slightest clue what I was doing. I was cursed with a great business idea and terrible business sense. The support and advice that I desperately needed to shape and mould my cowboy operation into a legitimate business was either unavailable or fell on deaf ears. It is easy to be overconfident and overprotective of your baby once you have tasted success. This is MINE. I am no longer ‘one of them’; I am one of ‘THEM’. The next two years were a roller coaster ride and in all honesty I barely made it out of my first business alive, but most importantly I learned to ask for help, spread the load, take advice and actively seek it.
There are two types of entrepreneurs, those who by there very nature lust for the freedom, pride and excitement that come from running their own ship. They are constantly on the lookout for good ideas, niche markets and the next big thing. The other type is the kind who blindly stumbles onto a great idea, the golden ticket; an idea so obvious and brilliant they’re fearful to give it a second thought until safe at home alone. There they can carefully unwrap the idea, hold it up to the light and inspect its true viability.
For both types the question is ‘Do you go for it?’ ‘Do you have the golden ticket?’ ‘Or is it fools gold?’ And most importantly ‘How will you ever know if you don’t try?’ As poor Carlos will tell you, in life as in business it is far better to be in the drivers seat than clinging to the bonnet. Go for it.