It is very likely that any young member here seeks a future career somewhere in the industry of engineering. And the odds are, most of us, if not all, are ambitous. My personal goal has been to eventually start my own company which produces machines of generic functions which would add an element of simplicity to certain everyday tasks around the house. But the older I've gotten, the more skeptical I've become with myself about whether this goal will ever be within my grasp. Recently, the whole idea has just seemed so unrealistic. It seemed particularly awkward a couple of weeks ago in my Chinese class when we had spare time and were going around saying why we were learning Chinese. When it came to me, the whole "I plan to start my own company that would mass-produce machines, and since manufacturing is relatively cheap in China, I will likely have to travel to China to ensure that it goes smoothly, and communication with the natives of that country will be essential," just seemed all to contrived. I felt even sillier since I'm a highschooler saying that to a classroom full of college students. And someone saying in front of a group of people older than him that he's going to do something really impressive just makes you want to laugh. Maybe I've just lost some determination since I've hardly been lurking here over the past six months, let alone posting, and have seldom touched my LEGOs since then. Maybe I just need to get active in the MINDSTORMS community again to get my hopes up, but do you really think that it's realistic to be able to do what I hope to do? Especially considering the economic crisis going on in my country. Do you experienced members here who've seen it all think it's at all possible? Or would I make a better living in the future going for a less ambitous career? Maybe this isn't the best place to post this, but I've just recently had an increasingly strong impulse to post this topic. Maybe I'd be better off talking with my dad about this, but for some reason I felt like some of the "Elders," here would be able to offer good advice.
Starting a business even when in high-school isn't unrealistic. My oldest brother started a business when he was 15, and it has been steadily growing ever since. If you're willing to put in a great deal of time and effort, you can start and maintain a very successful business.
If you design/develop/provide a practical product/service that does/would have a market, there is great potential for just about any type of business. The mindset of yourself, as well as any employees you may have, needs to be one of service. You need to have a "Make money so you can serve the customer" mindset, not a "Serve the customer so you can make money" type of mindset.
All three of my married siblings have family owned/run businesses. It's never a walk in the park to start or run a business, and you need to remember that a business always starts small.
You are certainly right about the economy (primarily because of political reasons) being really down right now in the US (as it is in many other countries), but there are still many wide-open fields that could be filled with good businesses.
I'm all for gun control... that's why I use both hands when shooting
You have one very good reason why you haven't realised your dreams. You didn't have the time yet. But you will and if you stay focused you can realise your dreams. I see you take action and that is a good start. Most often dreams will not exactly realise as you envisioned, but also then you can stil be content with the outcome.
Economic crises come and go. Try to ignore these in your choices.
Good luck with your business, then.
You may be interested in the following sites:
- Personal Productivity.SE
- AskReddit -- Ask this question again on AskReddit, and you may get a good response.
In the meantime, keep exploring. Find a hobby, start projects, learn. I never thought I would start liking photography (as a hobby, of course ).
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What I'm saying is make a plan and when failure arises, don't be discouraged, learn a lesson instead. Obviously there are tons of business catchphrases such as the customer is always right and the business that makes nothing but money is a poor business, but that's not really my mode of expertise... I'm more of a people person and/or leader...
So what I will say is the first thing you have to understand is it's not money at all that is anyone's issue. It's services. When a customer comes to you and asks for something in return for money they are merely reimbursing you for a service. They want what you can provide, and since there is no particular service they can provide you in return they hand you dollars, which is really just a piece of paper saying "this is good for 'x' amount of service." In fact, you could just as easily say that you are contracting with them to get what you want (money, aka services) by handing them a service you provide. What you're 'buying' is money, and what you pay with is your service.
"But my business is making money, cash, moolah.. Not 'services'!" you say. Well, what happens to that money? You give it to your employees in return for their service: labor. You give it to subcontractors so they can give you a service, or to a supply company for a service, or to the postal system for a service...
Hit this link up, it's just a few things to think about from one of the most successful (and humble and philanthropic) entrepreneurs of all time.
So, go for it! And best of luck to you! I could go on and on about having employees and being a leader; not just one that gets the job done, but one that their employees like.. There's a huge difference between "leader" and "boss'... But if you want to hear that spiel I suggest you send me a PM, it's a rather long one
Have a nice day,
P.S. Just to support my position as a 'leader':
Lead Programmer at Borne Programming Where, by myself, I write software like FilmFree, Visual NXC, and the Batch Image Processor
Undergrad in Computer Science at Binghamton University Working for a 5-year masters
Cadet Chief Master Sergeant in the Civil Air Patrol (United States Air Force Auxiliary) Where I am personally responsible for about 40 other members
* Graduated from the C.A.P. Advanced Technologies Academy Where I learned about technology you won't hear about for a decade
Service Staff Team Leader at Rock Mountain Bible Camp Where I am personally in charge of a three-member team for an entire summer, am First Aid and CPR certified, and can perform practically any function on the camp other than cook
Administrator at the (now defunct) CoderIsland.com Forums Where I was promoted to Admin after three days on the forum
Partner at SiDrew Designs Where I started a Logo Design company with a friend and saw moderate success and profit
Relatively well-known member of the international Lego Robotics scene Ok that might be an overstatement, but still, I was mentioned in John Hansen's book!
Two-year president of the FIRST Lego League team "Bricksters" Where we won six trophies at six different competitions, ranging from "Best Robot Design" to "1st Place Programming"
Junior Mentor for the FLL Robotics Team representing Commonwealth Connections Academy Where we didn't win anything, but I got to teach an awful lot!
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