Starting a Company is like Falling in Love
It may take a while to find your true passion - but once you find it - you know. It's like falling in love minus the butterflies. You wake up every morning and the world looks totally new and exciting. Even the most mundane of tasks becomes almost thrilling. You totally light up when you talk about it. And even more amazing ........it brings out the best parts in you.
You feel like you are becoming the person you have always aspired to be and were destined to become.
Read more: How I got on Wall Street
For me, it took doing a complete 180 on my highly successful career on Wall Street. I spent 21 years working for top firms structuring and financing billion dollar deals and trading with the best and the brightest. Then I got skin cancer. I opted to create my own product because what I needed (Anti-Aging with SPF 30 that felt amazing) simply did not exist. Everything out there felt like paste and had no proof that it worked! What started out as "just dating" began to get bigger and bigger. The more I learned the more I was attracted to and pulled into this new field. Then I did the unthinkable: I hit the brakes on my existing career and took a huge leap of faith.
Read more: Darkest before the Dawn
Quitting a full time position to follow your dream is risky for anyone. If you are wondering when does one make this realization, the answer is simple - you just know. Being an entrepreneur, like being in love, means you don't want to do anything else. You can't imagine wasting another moment let alone a day of your life that doesn't make you happy. Yes you need savings, yes you need a fully thought out business plan and yes you keep your full time job with a steady paycheck for as long as you possibly can. But then at some point you realize you need to jump. Because anything short of that is stifling.
The process of setting up a company is not complicated and you can do most of it on your own. For me, picking a name was the most difficult. I spent a lot of money through trial and error to find that the beauty industry is highly fragmented (even if a name isn't being used now, the trademark lasts 10 years) so most logical names are already taken. I chose Scalisi Skincare because it is highly personal - just like the line; and no one else has it - just like the line; but since Scalisi is a proper name, I will need to wait between 5-7 years to register it for trademark.
It was very exciting getting the document from the Secretary of State saying I finally had my own company. Here is a summary of what I did:
- Speak to an accountant about the different types of companies you can set up and determine which is best for you based on your business and tax situation – I chose LLC (Limited Liability Company).
- Find your Secretary of State’s website – for New York it is www.dos.state.ny.us.
- In “Businesses” see "Corporation and Business Filing" - then "I would like to"...there you will find very straight forward descriptions of the different types of companies you can start and what forms to fill out.
- You will need to check to make sure the proposed company name has not been taken so select "Determine if a Name I want to Use is Available". But remember this is only at the state level, so you may want to have a law firm research names at the federal level as well to make sure there are no trademark restrictions. You want to spend money promoting your company and not defending the name down the road if it happens to be taken or is close to someone else's trademark.
- For LLC’s in New York, you will need to advertise for 6 weeks in two newspapers. But again all the information is on the website.
- You will want to check with GoDaddy.com (or equivalent) to make sure the name you are looking for is also available as a domain site. You may look to buy not only the “.com” but also “.net” and “.org”. I had the .net and .org addresses forwarded to the main address of www.ScalisiSkincare.com.
- Once you have received your confirmation from the state, have your accountant file the necessary tax forms to get a tax id and if applicable register to charge sales tax.
Read more: Finding Your True Passion
Starting a company is like falling in love. You are allowing yourself to be vulnerable because the potential for what you can gain is much greater than the risk of not trying and you can't imagine living any other way. Not all relationships work. However, when something is right, things happen on their own that you couldn't imagine constructing yourself. You can make incredible connections with people you would never dream you would meet; they can then introduce you to more people; crazier is all of these people are now pulling for you and want to help you succeed; unbelievable opportunities can present themselves out of no where; and luck comes in so many shapes and sizes you forget what it actually looks like. But is it luck or was it meant to be.
Being an entrepreneur takes a lot of work and you need to be prepared to pivot when you realize you are heading in the wrong direction and be able to evolve as customer and market demands change. Only you will know whether it was worth it. "T'is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all." - Tennyson