Friday, October 2, 2009

Toiling in isolation...

My very first business, Atomic Media started from home. What’s not to like about working from home? There is no cost for overhead, I work when I want and it is just really comfortable to do work in your pajamas! This was during my high school years and it wasn’t the best setup but it was the most logical option for me as I had no money to get the business off the ground.

Let me tell you about the day I decided to move out of my home to seek other entrepreneurs…

Let’s backtrack to 1999, I landed a client from Victoria Island – an import car garage business. He wanted an edgy, interactive websites with all the bells and whistles that the dotcom era is pumping out. Macromedia Flash was all the hype during this time and so I decided to work with program to create the shiniest website any one has ever seen – the only problem was I’ve never used Flash before.

Toting a Macromedia Flash newly bought from Chapters, off I went my merry naive way home to start working on this website. I had it all in my head about how it was going to look and how things were going dash across the screens to the oooh’s and ahhh’s of the users. I was doing quite well from just fiddling with the interface, referencing the book and the support until it was time to put it all together and putting on the finishing touch…

It was late at night, I was trying to put together a pre-loader effect for the website. I am trying to tweak this one effect but it kept giving me error messages. My brand new $60 reference book couldn’t tell me what was wrong, my Macromedia Flash support also couldn’t tell me what is wrong….. Flash is too new and there aren’t too many support forums. Asides from the occasional break to have a cigarette and get a coffee, I did nothing but work on this one effect…. I spent over 8 frustrating hours trying to resolve it but no matter what I did, nothing worked. I broke down and was just so tired from trying I wanted to just collapse. I don’t know if it was because the one small nagging problem got to me or it’s because I can’t vent my frustration to any one. I am sure now it was probably a combination of both.

I was craving the human connection of some one else who can relate to what I was going through. Starting a business and running it by yourself is incredibly hard – without a support network of like-minded individuals to support and bounce ideas off of, it becomes an incredible frustrating experience.

The Network Hub is set up so that there is a community of like-minded entrepreneurs who can share their frustration with each other and support each other business. Finding like-minded individuals has become an obsession for me ever since that day – it materialized in form of The Network Hub. Which I was more than thrill to get started when my two partners and I came up with the idea.

My advice for startups and other entrepreneurs is to make sure you have a network of support – online community or offline board of advisors as a source of inspiration, support and ideas.

Don’t toil in isolation……


“Knowledge is the only meaningful resource today.  The traditional ‘factors of production’ – land (i.e. natural resources), labour and capital – have not disappeared.  But they have become secondary.

                                                                                                                                   Peter Drucker

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