According to the Kauffman Foundation, which reports every March on entrepreneurship trends in the United States, new businesses were started at a higher rate in 2009 and 2010 than at any time in the previous 15 years. As I launch Cochituate Media, my editorial consulting business, being part of a trend–even if it’s a trend founded at least in part upon economic woe–makes self-employment slightly less terrifying. Though I made a choice to do this (I left a job as executive editor of CIO magazine earlier this month), not everyone who started a company in the past four years, including some close friends and colleagues, planned on it.
Starting a business feels a bit like I imagine it would to jump out of an airplane (which I have no plans to do, ever). Exhilarating, provided the parachute opens and you don’t land on sharp rocks. It helps to have role models. Mine include my grandmother, who, when she needed money to support her family, started cooking meals for fellow tenants in her apartment building, and ended up running her own bakery until she retired. Also my great-aunt, a talented milliner with her own shop. And my grandfather-in-law. He wired homes to the power grid during the Great Depression, then sold his customers washers, dryers and refrigerators. The appliance business he built endured 70 years.
And so, here I go.
For now, I’ll use this blog to share what I’m learning about being self-employed, let you know what I’m up to and to think out loud about what I’m reading about or working on. I’m certain it will evolve along with my business, and I look forward to it becoming a place for conversation.