The Tools Are Out ThereA column article, Mission: Professional by: Steven Savage
You're thinking about launching some kind of career based on your interests–and considering where you're reading this, it probably involves comics or something close. You want to do it. You know you can probably make it work. But you're not sure; you don't know how you can get there.
And here's my advice–go for it, because the resources are out there for almost anybody to start their own business, comic or otherwise. If you succeed, you succeed. If you fail or don't succeed as well as you'd like, you tried and had a valuable learning experience.
But right now, the tools and services out there to help you start your own business are amazingly diverse. You just have to look for them–you may not even know they're out there. In fact I, professional geek that I am, am constantly surprised.
The Justice League is a great example of rotating independent talent resources, and a chance for me to make a lame metaphor. You are reading these blurbs, aren't you? Can I write anything here?
Want to get a book out? Why not check lulu.com or Amazon's CreateSpace or any of the other POD services out there?
Merchandise? You have www.cafepress.com, www.zazzle.com, www.redbubble.com, and more. You can make it fast, easy, and sell it online.
Wait, you need someone to handle something beyond you or that you don't have time for? Perhaps www.elance.com (for finding freelancers) and www.mturk.com (for quick bits of human-driven research and tasks like finding links) will provide what you need.
Blogging? Websites? There are one-stop shops for blogs like www.typepad.com, or hosts like www.dreamhost.com that do fast installs of Wordpress. You can get a piece of software like Rapidweaverfor quick, template-driven websites.
Behold, the Eye of Aggamoto notices multiple support businesses and outsourcing opportunities! When not being used, the Eye is very big on reading up on business trends. It also likes Seth Godin.
PR? How about www.prwire.com to get people informed, or join www.helpareporter.com to make contacts?
Go farther. You can even manage your HR and admin needs at www.administaff.com if you end up with your own business. Or get rental offices with www.regus.com.
The resources you need to start your own business are out there. I've only listed a handful here because there are so many even I don't know a majority of them. The tools are there to start your own business, and start it cheaply.
Those links and tools I mentioned above? That’s just off the top of my head. I deliberately didn’t do research for this post. Imagine what I missed...
If you fail? Well you tried. You can try again.
So here's my challenge to you – go investigate one or more of these resources and see what it does for your career ambitions. Hell, go find some new one I have enlisted and tell me about it in the message boards. Go on, give it a try.
The tools are out there. We just don't know about them in many cases. So go looking.