Many have asked me why I chose to start a business at this moment of time - bad economy, hungry and competitive market, financially squeezed clients, the apparent stupidity of leaving a stable bill paying job, perceived career-suicide,................... the list of issues is long.
The answer I have and will always give is: There is no better time than the present moment. Starting your own business, I feel, should not be based on external factors, but totally on internal factors. If you know, deep inside that you can do it, no external factor can be large enough to stop you. More than 90% of your life is your own choice. The rest 10%, yes, you cannot control - natural disasters, accidents, etc. All you can do is accept that there will be that 10% that you will have to just deal with. Once you know deep inside that the 90% is in your control, the confidence you gain from it is immense - that itself will be the wind in your sails, you don't need anything else. It's a very personal organic feeling.
In the last two months, Proteus is not the talk of the town, making record bookings, and taking the market by storm. That was not intention either! It's a slow but sure process. Connections happen and work develops from unknown quarters - places where you never predict it will bear fruit will suddenly develop into a palpable projects. I believe that all you can control and can do in business is keep sending out positive vibes, i.e. help others succeed, and not expect anything in return. These acts of giving will build your 'good-will' potential that will open the doors to places you never could have imagined you could soar to.
How? Help connect people with same ideas. If you find some information/lead that could help an acquaintance, just send it to him/her. Reach out across your strict professional boundaries to fields and divisions that others are wary of - there are lessons to be learned from other fields. Share your life and business lessons with everyone. Do free peer reviews. Help your prospective clients by caring for them. Trust the inherent goodness in people. Use your network to mix and mingle, exchange ideas. Focus on charity.
The Return-on Investment(ROI)? An unknown person from a big renowned firm will call you one fine morning and say that he/she wants to work with you. A friend of his/hers turned out to be a friend of one of your 'good-will' beneficiaries and you have been highly recommended. A new partnership is born, and you sail off together to win new worlds. Note, this ROI was not part of the "Business Plan", and not a 'calculated' ROI. This law of ROI cannot be mathematically calculated and is based on ancient wisdom - "Give and you shall Receive"; "Your right is to do the work and not to the fruits; the fruits of labor should not be your motive"; "Life's a boomerang, what you send out, comes back to you with something".
That's the founding principle of Proteus Consulting. Our clients and network are and will be our sales force. We work not for the money earned on a particular project with eyes set on a bonus, we work for the good-will. Knowledge sharing and care is free at Proteus Consulting. We work for a recommendation that our client and network will provide to their peers.