Fulfilling Your Dreams
Fighting the No Jobs Black Hole with Fire
by Casey Mathews
What do you do when you find yourself dangling from a job that no longer makes sense? How do you reconcile the difficulty of knowing that things could be done better, based on your years of experience, yet your hard won advice is discarded?
A. Rage quit your job in a blaze of glory, taking anyone along who will rise up?
B. Look for more meaningful work?
C. Swim with the sharks and start your own business?
I must admit I fantasized about choice A for a while, but decided against it. My wife would get mad at me and I dare not walk where angels fear to tread.
So, at first, I went with the next choice. I fed the jobs black hole with resumes, cover letters, and follow up thank you emails. Sometimes I even got an interview!
Then… nothing. This went on for a couple of years. Then, when hope was hanging by the merest of threads, I got a crazy idea. Maybe I should start my own business…
At first this was just a dream, a fantasy, a playground where I could indulge myself with all kinds of what-if scenarios. After a while a curious thing started to happen. People that I’d worked for started to say things like, “Hey, you know… you should think about starting your own business.”
Usually, my responses were a combination of things I’d say out loud, and things I’d say in my head. “Say what? Really? You’ve got to be kidding, right?”
At first, I shrugged it all off. After all, these people likely knew nothing about starting a business. Talk is cheap and it’s so easy to tell people what they should do, or where they should go. After people continued to whisper sotto voce in my ear, I started to get the biz bug.
I feverishly started reading books about LLC formation, taxes, website design, blogging, marketing, payment processors, and so on. Got a headache yet?
Then one day a shiny new domain and website were typed into being. Web Friendly Help was out. If that wasn’t enough, a blog quickly followed.
Next, I put up three little Buy buttons on my new website. Then with the help of my wife’s editing skills, I crafted a few pages. One hot day in August, I got a paying customer. The realization hit me that just like I’d gotten one paying customer, I could get another, and another, and more, one step, one customer at a time.
I have created a customer-centric business. I love doing what I do, fixing computer problems, being a virtual assistant, and editing audio. One of the best parts is I’m not forced to endure those everlasting meetings now. I get to delight my customers instead. This is a much more valuable use of my time.
Oh yeah, one more thing. I’ll tell you a secret… I’m a blind business owner. If you happen to not have a disability, it can be easy to wonder what someone who is blind can do. Well… how about start a business?
Consider that when you see someone walking down the street with a cane. They just could be the founder of a company, not just a blind guy walking down the sidewalk.
About the Author
Casey Mathews is the founder of Web Friendly Help, a company designed to help people get the most out of their technology. He has worked in the Access Technology field since the mid 1990’s. He is an MCP (Microsoft Certified Professional) and has a BS in Information Technology from the University of Phoenix. He has introduced new software and training/support ideas from Serotek, the NVDA (Non Visual Desktop Access) screen reader, and of course apple iDevices to his customers world-wide. Casey enjoys testing new technology and software and is highly committed to remaining informed of developments in technology.