In many respects, my wife and I never really considered ourselves to be entrepreneurs when we started our business back in 2006. While Tim Ferriss hadn’t released his book “the 4 hour work week” yet, it was precisely the kind of lifestyle we were looking for. We had been to Thailand, were over the demands of my job as a (well paid) Air Traffic Controller, and just couldn’t see a way forward where a job could deliver the lifestyle we wanted.
To be honest, we had no idea whether or not a business could either, but at least it had a chance to give us time and flexibility in a way that no job could. It was all quite naive in hindsight, and it took seven years of failures and small successes before we realised that a business wasn’t about us and what we wanted (or what we were passionate about), but rather it was about what our customers wanted and were passionate about. It seems so logical now, but it took a long time for us to learn.
Once we understood this, and once we took total responsibility for all aspects of our business, things took off. We found a diary recently where we had written down our goals. One of them was to get our men’s wedding ring business to make a net profit of $250 per week. Based on census data and customer surveys, we now estimate that we sell over 10% of Australia’s men’s wedding rings through our site mensringsonline.com.au, and that’s just one of our brands. If you had asked me in 2012 whether or not that would be even remotely possible through a small online store shipping out of a double garage, I would have laughed at you (not my wife though, she always believed we could be much bigger than I could imagine).
If I was to go back in time to my younger self, I would try to explain that while it’s fine to do something you’re passionate about (which is what was sold to my generation and younger), you’d better make sure that there is a need in the marketplace. A good business requires other people to give you money for your product or service, so what they want is far more important than you want. As it has been said many times, to get what you want, just help enough other people get what they want.
Nathan & Tessa Hartnett
Kizzi Nkwocha is the editor of My Entrepreneur Magazine and publisher of The UK Newspaper, The Property Investor and Gold, Oil and Diamonds, the net’s fastest growing wealth creation publication. Kizzi Nkwocha made his mark in the UK as a publicist, journalist and social media pioneer. As a widely respected and successful media consultant he has represented a diverse range of clients including the King of Uganda, and Amnesty International. Nkwocha has also become a well-known personality on both radio and television. He has been the focus of a Channel 4 documentary on publicity and has hosted his own talk show, London Line, on Sky TV. He has also produced and presented both radio and TV shows in Cyprus and Spain.