3 tips on starting a business and why I am still clueless

Over the last couple of months I’ve been contemplating to go into business.  The thing is, I have no idea what business to be in.  Or how I plan to do that.  I don’t even have any background in business.  I’ve been raised from a family of hard workers, working for the government, working for other people, working for money.  I am not even particularly good in selling stuffs.  I’d end up giving everything for free. =)

Or maybe these are just bunch of excuses.

They say, do what you love and the money will follow.

I like to read books.

I like Rich Dad, Poor Dad written by Robert Kiyosaki.  It’s liberating to know that there is indeed a way.  There is hope.  There is freedom.  Freedom to do the things I love to do, without worrying about where to get the money to pay for my daily expenses.  Maybe someday I’d have a taste of that freedom.

I also like iWoz by Steve Wozniak, the creator of Apple Computer.  I love the book mainly because I can relate to what Steve was saying about designing and maximizing the use of computer chips, the adrenaline flowing when you find out a neat way to do something better, perhaps with fewer chips.  I do love solving problems.

In reading books, I particularly like to know how other successful people think.  How they managed to solve their problems.  How they added value to this world.  Perhaps, I too can add value to the lives of other people.  If I help them achieve their goals and solve their problems, maybe then, I’d have the strength to solve mine.

I also love watching TV series in DVDs.  I don’t want to wait another week to know what happened to the story.  I like having to devour the whole season of 20+ episodes all at once.  When “Heroes” came out, I was pretty impressed with the story line and the thrill of discovery, finally finding out who they really are.  At about the same time, I came across “Prison Break”, a story about a structural engineer, gifted with extraordinary problem solving skills who did everything he could to help his brother break out of prison.  When the two shows started, I liked “Heroes” better.  But after a few seasons, the story of “Prison Break” seemed to be more interesting.  In “Prison Break”, everything is a puzzle, and the better you figure it out, the better chances you have of staying alive.  Prison break also has this obsession of killing characters and then resurrecting them after some time. Remember Sarah?

Anyway, I still don’t know how to make money from these two things I like to do.  On the contrary, it seems to be going the other way as they also get heavier on the wallet as time goes by.

They say, do something that you’re good at.

Well, I am good at solving problems.  I love programming, and seem to be doing pretty ok with it as my day time job can cover daily expenses and I’m able to set aside a little money every month.  The thing is, most of my working life, I have programmed using mainframe languages like COBOL.  I know a bit of C and assembly language but the last time I used them was way back in College.

I am also good in automation.  At work, I always try to find ways to make my tasks (and life) a little bit easier.  I’ve never been good at routine tasks like doing documentation…For a programmer, it’s one of the unglamorous but necessary “evils” of the job.  I try to automate these things so that the computer can do it for me.  Then, I’d have more time to focus on more important and interesting things at work. =)

While we’re in the subject of automation, I remember having a great time back in college playing around with robots.  Me and my classmates created this autonomous line-following mobile robot for an inter-school contest .  It’s actually just an RC (remote controlled) toy car, with the remote replaced by a microcontroller chip to act as “brain” and teach it how to follow the line.  I had the most amazing time building that robot and writing the software to be written into the chip.  As I watch the RC car turned mobile robot glide through the track and sweetly following each and every curve, I could not help myself smile and marvel at this brilliant masterpiece.  It’s a labor of love.  And to top it off, we actually won first place and got to receive a small cash award! =)

Maybe someday I’d figure out how to apply this experience to solve other people’s problems.

They say, find a niche and stick to it.

Over the past couple of months I’ve tried to write various topics in my blog.  I tried to think up of a particular niche.  I love playing basketball, so I write about basketball.  I also like playing badminton and watch the great players display tremendous grace and flexibility executing those unbelievable shots at dizzying speed.  So I write about badminton.  I also tried playing tennis, and watched Federer and Nadal slug it out.  My breath stops when both Federer and Nadal display their best tennis and the rally is so long it seem to have no end.  And so I write about them.

I also like to travel and take some pictures. So I post some of that too.  I also love to eat.  So guess what?  I take some pictures of my favorite delicacies and write about them too!

I still don’t know what niche my blog posts are supposed to be in.  Maybe someday I’d figure out which niche I really want to be in, but for now, I’ll just post whatever it is on my mind, whether it is sports, books, DVDs, or just about anything in life.

I’ll leave time to tell whether these are things I could do business in.