All you need is a Global Crisis to get you to do something.
Here are the ingredients needed to start your own company:
1) An individual who is willing to take a risk;
2) A major crisis that makes you take the leap;
3) An idea for a need not yet met by the market, and
4) A business plan that when you multiply the costs by 5x you can still finance it.
I have worked on Wall Street for a long time. About 5 years ago I started saying I was going to open a flower shop someday – everyone likes to receive them; people like to give them; and if you have extra inventory you take it home. I researched successful niche companies; and I looked at sites in Manhattan to figure out a business plan. I decided I needed two more years of savings to be safe. I’m a single mom with two great kids and I didn’t want to risk what I had set aside for their college to finance my freedom.
Read more: How I got on Wall Street
Enter the biggest crisis in the history of the modern financial world. I worked for The One They Let Go Bankrupt – I loved the people there – they were incredibly smart and it was run with an entrepreneurial spirit. But that changed on September 14th 2008. It is interesting how your perspective changes when you lose what amounts to approximately five years worth of savings. I thought it would be fine, I would just work really hard and start to make back my savings. But that strategy was pulled when I was let go by The One that Bought Us on October 15, 2008. I was absolutely terrified..... Be careful of what you wish for.
During the last 6 months leading up to the bankruptcy – I would come home at 7 PM and the kids and I would have dinner and talk about our day – (my 7 year old would ask where the Company's stock was trading and my 10 year old would ask how many trades I did that day – I tried to explain to them in English what was going on). After they went to bed my nights would start. I would go through their backpacks - reviewing school work; go through the mail and paying bills. I would be up until midnight on most nights. And as I was constantly reminded by my daughter – I was always tired.
Read more: Starting a Company is like Falling in Love
Now being home full time.....I took pleasure in all the little things I had missed over the years: bringing the kids to school; going on field trips and just being home. It gave me all the time I needed to think about doing something different. What stood in the way was
2) the worst recession we have seen in decades, and
3) I didn’t have many transferable skills (or at least I didn’t think I did).
I agonized trying to figure out what I really wanted to do and every day in November and December it felt like the world was ending and no one was hiring.
This was going to take a long time to fix.