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The Monkey Bars Lesson

I was reading something on another blog that rang true to me. This person was saying people thinking about trying to make a living from blogging should make sure they already have something secure that gives them regular income before making the leap to blogging full time. He said this reminded him of the monkey bars lesson.

It means don't skip monkey bars or you will fall. Make sure you have one secure monkey bar to hold onto before trying to move on to the next monkey bar. The message was being applied to people thinking about committing to blogging on a full time basis but it can be applied to business in general.Not long ago I had an opportunity to really accelerate the growth of my online training business. I had previously bought about 8 advertisements in 8 different phone books for my computer business.

My computer business was doing ok but could be doing better. The online training business was in the very early stages and therefore was not bringing in a lot of revenue. The computer business is a solid business and I feel confident that if it is further promoted it can grow at a solid pace and continue to provide substantial income for me.

The online training business is different. While I think that its business model has promise, I'm not exactly sure it will catch on with customers they way I'm hoping it will. The online training type of business is fairly new and unproven. I can't say for sure that the market will accept it.I became very tempted to change all the ads in the phonebooks promoting the computer business to ads promoting the online training business instead. In fact I did change the ad for the first book which is coming out this month.

While I felt and still feel the online training business has great potential and could be lucrative, I know the computer business is a business that is solid and proven, having been running for over a year now. After thinking about it I knew it would be foolish to pour all my advertising dollars into the business that has the greater risk of (and I don't even like to type out this word) flopping.With the further strengthening of the computer business I will have a solid foundation from which to try to grow the online training business, and if for some reason the market does not like it and it flops I will still have a solid business keeping me afloat.

As the computer business provides more income, I can further use its profits to pay for online and monthly or quarterly publication advertising to grow the online training business.The solid foundation or "first monkey bar" does not have to be a business. It can of course be a job. Before starting the computer business I had a steady job at The Home Depot Corporate giving the store employees tech support on everything from the registers to the computer that opens and closes the store. While there I would do freelance computer support on the side, often researching my customers' problems while at work (yes I know, tis tis on me). I did this part time work for quite some time, even carrying it over to the next job I had.

It finally got to the point where I knew it was not possible for me to continue at my regular job and grow my computer business as well. If I was going to have a real computer support business I had to be able to answer the phone when my customers called me and this was not possible if I was at my regular job. By the time I left my regular job I felt I had enough customers to keep me going while I worked on building the business more. I also took some other steps to free up cash and better sustain myself in the early periods, including getting a roommate and selling my nice sports car.If you are working a regular 9-5 job and trying to make the transition to self employed, business owner or a mix of both, you may be trying to start a business that allows you to stay at your regular job for a longer period before making the full transition. If that's the case then you are at an advantage as you can stay that much longer at your regular job if you need to.

A web only business that has no phone number would be a good example, or a blog business that allows you to write and research when it is convenient for you.I was not able to keep my regular job for a long period of time simply because I had to be able to take phone calls from customers in the middle of the day and I had to be able to respond quickly if need be. Also at the time I was trying to bring in new business customers who could only be contacted during the day.

There will be some people that feel they have to make that huge leap of faith and abandon all security in order to go after their dream. It could be their only choice or it could be that they are the type who enjoy living on the edge or taking on large amounts of risk. I like taking risks as well, but for me risk taking is much easier when I have something solid to fall back on.

.Carlos Cabezas writes about entrepreneurship and solopreneurship on his web site,

He runs a solo computer business called High Tech Homes and an online training and tutoring business called

By: Carlos Cabezas


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