This is a short origin story on why I chose to build a business instead of continuing the path of a corporate career. Something I see as a needed step but also something that really isn’t for me anymore. Also discussing the fact of how building a business is harder than I thought before.
What’s up, guys. So it’s, Juha Ekman, from building a business bite by bite and have to say, “This is the very first episode of my new podcast. And yet again, I have to say I’m excited for this new thing to be happening at the same time.
I feel so uncomfortable and kinda nervous doing all of these things, but as I know you are an entrepreneur or a business type of person or like a person that is just beginning with the business thing, I know every new thing feels uncomfortable, and you have to do those things to get comfortable with them.
So the same thing here, doing this podcast, we have to start somewhere, and this being the first episode for me and I know it most likely won’t be the best. But then again, it doesn’t have to be.
One of the things I have learned is that when you’re just starting off with your business and doing new things. Don’t expect them to be perfect so I know this episode won’t be.
Then again, I don’t care. The thing is that we have to start somewhere and you can kind of watch my journey on how I build my business just by listening from the beginning of my podcast and this being the first one.
What is the first episode all about
So in the first episode, I was thinking that I could talk about. How did I start my business and how did my entrepreneur journey begin?
So, let’s start from the very beginning of how this all came to be, as you might know, or might not know. The thing is that with the company I work for, there was this huge layoff going on a few years ago, and it wasn’t too pleasant of an experience.
And it’s just kind of like the usual. You get an email in the morning saying that, Okay, the layoffs have been started, and there will be people that will get the boot.
I don’t know how to say it, but there’s a certain process that goes on, and the thing is that I was one of those who could have been fired.
And the thing is that while I didn’t get fired, I saw many of my colleagues, getting fired and it was a devastating experience and something that left me uneasy.
And I didn’t feel comfortable working for this company anymore, and it wasn’t because the company was terrible. The thing is that the company I work for is a fantastic company.
But the thing is that there’s always the fear of getting fired. And that thought really kind of scared me. I wasn’t so scared before as that wasn’t the first layoff that happened in the company.
But the thing was that now I have a family, I have two kids, two sons and a wife, and a mortgage. So I have more on the line.
So the thing is that, if I get fired, I have to start all over again and that’s not a good feeling. And that scared me, and I didn’t want just to stay put and just act happy on a company.
Not when I feel like there’s always that fear of getting fired and starting all over again.
I want to built something for myself
I wanted to build something for myself, and the first thing I did was to… Well, Google “How do I escape 9 to 5 job. And the first thing I think I remember, the first thing being was investing.
Investing in stocks, investing in funds, bonds, in the stock market. And while I read all those articles on the investing. I kind of got this big idea of… Okay, so now I began investing, and that would be the thing for me.
Now, the more I did that, and I did around maybe something like one year, I invested a lot of money, a certain percentage from my salary. To stocks and to the stock market and by the end of the year, I was investing around maybe was it like 30 000€?
So it would be like $35 000 something around that. And I get dividends around 1K in that year. So it was a lot of dividends, a lot of money from that investment.
But the thing is that if you start to invest in stocks, you have to wait a long time before you can get out of the nine to five job. So I calculated it to be around 15 years before I could actually retire from any work and live off dividends.
And when I realized that, Okay, I really don’t have 15 years to wait, just to get out of my job, so I decided to find something else for my life.
Something that could bring the results quicker, faster and would be more effective. So I started investing a few years ago I did that one to two years or so. I still invest money, it’s not like I haven’t given up on that.
Plan A and B
It’s kind of like a plan B, so you invest money, but you still build a business at the same time. Thus you are creating assets to yourself. But then again we can talk more about that in later episodes.
But yeah, I started to look for another way to get out of my job, and I found that there are actually two ways you can become rich. Now, the first thing I had or the first thought I had was that I wanted to become a millionaire. Because when you are a millionaire, you don’t have to work. Okay, these kinds of thoughts I had.
They are now destroyed completely. And it’s okay because I understand how the whole business thing works and what being rich is all about. Well, I think I know.
So there are two ways, first is the investing part which I did, which I realized that even though I could become a millionaire, it would take 15 to 30 years before I could become a millionaire.
And the second thing how you can become a rich person is to own a business. And that thought crossed my mind around, you know, in those few years, but I wasn’t ready. I wasn’t ready to build a business. And to be completely honest, I was afraid of building a business, I didn’t know anything about building a business.
What is required from a business? All the accounting, taxes, sales processes, how to market, how to do websites anything. I didn’t know anything about building a business, so it was a scary place, yet again.
Why I chose investing
And I think starting the investing thing was I started that because it was like safe, it was easy. You only use the software or the services that are already present, so you don’t actually do anything else than just shell out money to a service and reap the rewards afterward in dividends.
Or if you sell stocks and get profit from there, it’s the same thing. You are using services. So in business, you are actually building services and products, so instead of using any services… Well, I do use many services still, but the thing is that they are taking my money, rather than bringing me money.
Okay, so it’s a bit different usage of services. And when I had the epiphany of… Okay, so if the investing thing doesn’t work for me, then it must be business, so I have to go and build the business.
So the first thing was that I… Well, of course, searched a name for me, and invented a name, company name for myself. And when I had done that I did all the legal stuff in my country.
That has to be done so that you can become a company or you can start a company. And when those were done. I got the domain name, I got the hosting service at the time I was using this Wix.com service. Which afterward was a huge mistake of using them.
Not because they were a bad service. It’s because they are not kind of like you can’t scale that or that you can’t build it to include all the things you need in a business.
You just need WordPress
So trust me when I say that using a Wix or Square Space, or Weebly or anything of those sorts of services I strongly recommend using WordPress and not the.com version but the .org version. But then again we can discuss those later on.
But yeah, I started on Wix, and I started selling on art-related products as I had art as my hobby. I do art as a hobby thing, so I wanted to monetize my hobby, and so I build an art site for myself and start selling that kind of thing.
Now, it was digital art. So it was easy to share as there are lots of options out there where I could sell my stuff. And I did that around like one year, and then I was like, okay. And to give you a more idea of what I was doing.
So I was selling print-on-demand products, like t-shirts and mugs, prints, pillows all those kind of things on Redbubble and Design by Humans and Society6. Those were the platforms, I was using, and no, I didn’t get money from there, so I didn’t…You know, it wasn’t how to say, the gold mine, I was looking for, so I thought… And okay, now I have products, I’m a good artist, my stuff is looking good.
Why don’t I get an income? Why don’t I get any products? You know. Why my products don’t sell, what’s the reason why don’t I get anything done, you know?
So I was getting some sales, like $1 in a month, $3-6 in a month, but I soon realized that if I get $6 per month, that won’t bring me the income to provide for my family.
So… So as you can see, that wasn’t really an option for me to get that three to four dollars. So then I was thinking like, what’s wrong, what could I do differently, what’s the missing piece?
And after reading a lot of blog post, a lot of articles, buying lots of ebooks and taking a lot of courses on how to build a kind of like a business. And how to sell products and stuff like that. It slowly came to me.
Business means a lot of work
The realization of, okay, if I’m starting a business it means a lot of work.
I have always been this kind of like a… A lazy person, and the mentality of… I want results fast, I want the money fast. But when I realized that okay, like, the world doesn’t work like that, like you don’t get fast results.
You can get results, but you to put in the work, you don’t even put in the time, you put in the work like you’re exchanging time for results you are exchanging the hard work for results.
You have to do a lot of work to get anything done, and by doing something completely, you get the results afterward.
So then I realized that, okay, first I have to get out of Wix.com. That was the first thing, I wanted to start a blog. And blogging wasn’t possible on Wix.com. But the thing is that it’s not a blogging platform, it really is not.
You can do blogging, there. But the thing is that WordPress is made for blogging. So I had to learn what is WordPress and do that kind of things.
And yet again, as said before I started to read a bunch of articles like how to blog, or how to start a blog. I took the plunge and just set up my WordPress site, and for my fortunate or how would I say I didn’t need any coding.
I didn’t need to know how to code, and that thing was the thing for me to start the WordPress site. I was always scared of coding and not knowing enough but when I realized that… Okay, there are website builders out there that you can use without coding.
WordPress is the platform to choose
So that made all the difference. So when I got my WordPress site up, I started researching on how to do these WordPress things and all of that.
And when I got all of those together, I had a very nice website. I had yet again, those print-on-demand products, but I also had my blog, so now I had something to drive traffic to. I have something that is searched for.
The thing is that I started a blog and everything changed, from there on…
Okay, so maybe I will leave that for future episodes.
I just wanted to give you an idea where I’m coming from. Why did I build this whole podcast thing? So as you can see, building business bite by bite. It’s really you know, the essence is building a business bite by bite. You don’t build a business overnight, you build it one step at a time.
And you have to do this learning curve, you have to learn a lot of things they are saying like, you don’t have to know how to do, you have to know the who can do these things for you.
So for example, editing this podcast episode wouldn’t be my thing, I would gladly just externalizes this whole thing. And someone else can do a lot better production, with my episode than I can ever do.
So that’s not my specialty so I will outsource all of these things to someone else, and that’s part of a business. You have to outsource those things that are not your specialty to someone else.
Okay, I think this is all for this episode. I will see in the next… And hopefully, you will stick around, and even hear them out the other episodes. So this was my first one. Maybe not the best, but it’s a start. So I see you in the next… Thanks!