Brandhood Podcast with Nathan Shooter

When’s the right time to start a business?

September 29, 2016

Waiting for the perfect time to start your dream business? Give up. (Waiting, that is.)

Since the early days of high school, I knew that traditional employment wouldn’t be the main way I earned a living. Perhaps it was folding socks and undies at my first job aged 14-years-old, that made me think that a regular job wasn’t all that crash hot.

Wider worldview

Fast forward past socks and undies to life beyond high school, I took six weeks unpaid from work, and travelled throughout America in a friend’s band, travelling from LA to New York, and everywhere in between. My twentieth birthday was spent in Seattle, visiting the famous space needle, museums and restaurants that served the biggest meals I’d ever seen.

Travel and worldview are inextricably linked. During our time in the US, I met families in small regional areas where the cinemas closed during the day, to amazing musicians in underground New York jazz clubs. We also met leaders, business people and billionaires who owned private jets. Observing these stark contrasts made me think about my own ability to influence how I earned a living.

Start with what you know

Many in-flight magazines and security checks later, I returned to my home in Dubbo, Australia and developed a plan to go into a business of my own. Returning to original workplace, my spare time quickly became occupied with business books, design magazines, and doing free design jobs. I became obsessed finding a way to turn my natural abilities and talents, into a revenue stream. Starting with what I knew, creativity, seemed to make sense.

By age twenty-one, I launched a business with a laptop, first client and a paid creative project. I was finally in the game - using my skills to pay the bills! When you receive payment for doing something that gives you a sense of joy, while utilising your natural abilities, you know you’re in the right place.

Risk and reward

We all have differing thresholds for risk and reward. After opening a business bank account with $20, a person in a similar business told me there was no market for what I was doing, and that I wouldn't last 6 months. That was 12 years ago. If you're truly ready for the adventures of being self-employed, then you're inviting both risk and reward to be your constant companions.

Are you ready to start? Is now the time?

10 Questions to ask yourself before starting a business:


  1. What abilities do people recognise in me?
  2. What natural talents can I trade on?
  3. What problem could my business solve for people?
  4. Why am I starting a business?
  5. Am I prepared to spend the time and money needed to get it started?
  6. Do I have the energy, people and knowledge I need?
  7. Am I comfortable with risk and reward coexisting?
  8. Who is my competition?
  9. If it doesn’t work out, could I pick myself up and move beyond the setback?
  10. Can I test-run a business idea before quitting my job?
Do all you can to #LiveToAccomplish.

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