Question: What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome in starting your business?
Answer: I think the biggest challenge for me was to maintain a healthy balance between work and family. This is very often a challenge whether you are starting your own business or working for someone else. It is especially difficult when starting your own business as there are so many demands on your time from so many directions. You, and often your family, will have to make sacrifices to ultimately achieve your longer-term goals. But those sacrifices should not diminish the need for a balance in life.
Question: How has your business changed since you started it?
Answer: My particular business has not so much changed from my original concept, but it has grown at a slightly more rapid pace than I expected. Opportunities have been presented to me, which have allowed me to grow into areas I had not expected to move into so soon.
Question: What is the single best piece of advice you would give others looking to start their own business?
Answer: There are so many good pieces of advice to give to someone wanting to start a business. I think one of the most important is to make absolutely sure you have the support of your family and/or whatever your support group is. Starting a business is not something one can do alone. You really need a support group, whether that is your family, friends or peers.
Starting a business often means making sacrifices that will affect other people in your support group. So ultimately, if they don't support your efforts, it can make the task of starting a new business even more challenging.
Question: How did IEM help you start your company?
Answer: IEM provided the obvious things like an introduction to, and some experience with, things like business plans and venture capital. But what I feel was the most important thing for me was the confidence to move forward with what I knew I wanted to do. When a child is learning to jump off of a diving board, they know that is what they want to do. The child watches others do it, maybe goes to the edge of the board multiple times and turns around. It often takes a little push from someone behind to help take that final leap. IEM provides that little push!
Question: Did you start your business while working full-time?
Answer: I started my business as a part-time business while I was working
full-time. It was very important to me to draw a very thick line between my full time job and the work I did under my business. I think that is very important when starting a business while working for someone else. You owe those paying you in your "day job" complete focus and attention. This can be difficult at times. Over time, my resolve grew and I grew less and less happy in my job. This was not necessarily because of the job itself, but more because I knew I was not doing what I really wanted to do.
Question: What is the best thing about being an entrepreneur?
Answer: To me, the best thing about being an entrepreneur is not money or flexibility. Often for the first one, two or more years, you will have overall less money, be working more hours, and have less flexibility. But, being an entrepreneur means that you, not someone else, are the author of your future. You are in control of your future and can do or be whatever you want, given you are willing to put in the time and effort necessary to achieve those goals.
For more information about Todd and his company visit his website at http://www.nxtdimension.com/default.html.