Christian Ross

The Listserve: Start a business

I’ve subscribed to The Listserve for a while now but never really been prompted to respond to anything. I won’t discourage you from subscribing on your own but I’ll also add that there’s not much your missing out by not subscribing. Currently, there’s 23,425 subscribers from around the world who agree to be sent one email per day from the Listserve Lottery Winner for that day with anything they want to write about. I signed up because I like the concept but most of the messages end up being, “just smile and it will all be better,” “if we all traveled the world would be a better place,” “down with organized religion cause it’s the root cause of all major conflict in the world,” and so forth.

I haven’t unsubscribed yet but if I get on one of those simplify-my-digital-life kicks, it is easily one of the lowest hanging fruits that I can chop off. There have been a few good nuggets sprinkled here and there so I guess that’s what has kept me around.

With that said, when I opened up my inbox this morning to browse what ground-breaking advice I was going to receive from yesterday’s lottery winner, I was actually prompted to respond for a first time. The writer posted a note about wanting to change careers, having a lack of completing a higher education degree, how long it might actually take her to gain said education (with age not being on her side), and a concern about what would happen if she no longer had her husband to help support her/supplement her meager income. She mentions having visions of being a nurse but again leans on the crutch of education.

As with most things, I’ve got two cents and since she asked for feedback, I figured I’d throw mine in. Below you will find my response to Dolores Yates in case you’re facing similar issues or desires in life.

Education is important. If you can, go get an education. If you can do it without taking on debt, that’s one-thousand times better. If you’ve decided that education either isn’t in the cards for you (or not your bag), you still have options.

Have you considered starting your own business?

You could start a business cleaning offices (or churches/any other large facilities) after hours; you could get involved with network marketing companies like Mannatech, Advocare, or Scentsy; you could become certified as a childcare specialist and either host kids in your home or in the home of others as a daytime nanny; start an organizing business to help people either rid themselves of junk or help them find ways to organize their home/life better; I’m sure there’s plenty of other options out there.

When you’re the boss you get to decide what kind of education level you (and others) have. Don’t be mistaken, it isn’t easy and you’re more than likely not going to get to Bill Gates level wealth but you can make a decent living for yourself and potentially enjoy doing something that you’re more than likely spending 1/3 of your life on anyways.

I’d also offer up that though it sometimes feels like it, money isn’t the greatest motivator in life. Your time far outweighs your wealth in importance… though that’s easy for all of us to forget from time to time.

It’s slanted, which is what opinions are. It’s also a Reader’s Digest Condensed version of my thoughts. For the unabridged version, keep reading.

I come from a line of entrepreneurs, from bootstrappers. This country has been hoisted on the backs of small business owners from its inception. Most of them never see (or saw) immeasurable wealth and most of them are quite okay with that realization. Many of them work until they can’t work anymore and they wouldn’t have it any other way.

Working for yourself is hard. It’s hard on you. It’s hard on your spouse. It’s hard on your kids. It’s hard on your relationships. And it can be both a challenge and a strengthener to your faith.

It is also extremely rewarding. As mentioned, not often in the monetary sense. At five o’clock yesterday afternoon my oldest son and I were packing the car together to head to his first t-ball practice of the season where for a little over an hour we ran, played, laughed, taught lessons, set examples for others, and enjoyed both an activity and the company of each other. And then we came home and we sat down as a family around the table for dinner. We talked about our respective days, things we’ve learned, and dreams we have; we got to read books and pray together before bed.

Like Dolores, I could make more money if I furthered my education or took a higher paying job. Growing up I was told often that life was about choices. If I chose today to make a career change (or join the ranks somewhere in my same career field) there would be costs associated and more than likely there would be benefits as well. We might make more money. I might get in a position of a little more authority. Clients who in the past might have looked beyond me/my company based on size might now want to work with me.

There’s also a great potential that I don’t make it home for dinner last night, much less be able to be involved with things like t-ball. That’s not a choice I’m willing to make right now.

So, Dolores, don’t sell yourself short on education. Learn all that you can. Either through a formal system or by utilizing the many free resources at your fingertips. In the process, don’t forget that a formal education isn’t your only path to all the things you expressed that you desire. History proves there are many who chose the path of less education and have both rewarding careers either on their own or for someone bright enough to see past classroom education and framed certificates as the only essential way to succeed.

Start a business. Be your own boss. Make millions. Prove those at your high school reunion wrong. Whatever your motivation is, don’t sacrifice the important things in the process.

2 Responses to “The Listserve: Start a business”

  1. Monga Says:

    I would agree with what you have to say. As usual you amaze me with your concept of a good life and show you believe what you say by living it. I’m a very proud Grandmother.

  2. Memere Says:

    You have a gift for words. Thank you!

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