Book Excerpt: Launching a Company

I decided to start listening to the little voice that whispered in my ear, “work for yourself.”

I didn’t have the next big business idea in mind. I wanted an umbrella to encompass some of the work I was interested in pursuing: freelance writing and photography and some sort of consulting practice for outdoor adventure companies. This consulting idea came with two hurdles: (a) I didn’t actually know if there were any outdoors companies who needed support and advice; (b) I hadn’t sold myself on the consulting piece but with no specific work lined up, I couldn’t let go of the skills I had.

I spent $60 to apply for a Master Business License with the Province of Ontario, as the sole proprietor of Kate Ming-Sun Outdoors.

Fabulous. I have a business name and number. Now what?

Following some of the advice in Michael Hyatt’s Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World, I worked bit by bit to build that platform where anyone could find me. I had to wear a lot of hats to get there.

Wearing my Sales hat, I had to decide what it was that I was offering and to whom. I worked through some online business programs, brainstorming what pain points I could solve or what benefits I could provide. I researched who my competitors were in the wide realm of the outdoor industry. Who was working primarily online and who offered in-person opportunities? Who shared in a travel diary style and who wrote how-to pieces? Did I want to engage with only women or a broad spectrum of demographics? Panic fluttered from my stomach through my heart and into my throat. I didn’t know where I wanted to play in all of those areas. I didn’t know what I had to offer that could be of value to anyone.

I’m writing a career change memoir and I’d love your feedback as I post small ~300 word blurbs. What do you want to know more about? What works for you? What doesn’t work for you? Comment below or e-mail me.

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