Owning a business isn’t for everybody. You may be the best heavy duty mechanic or the best fitter machinist that you know, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that those skills would translate well into a life as an entrepreneur.
So, how do you know if being a business owner is right for you?
On the latest episode of the Full Production podcast, I had the pleasure of speaking with Michael Worthington. Michael is a Kalgoorlie native who grew up immersed in the mining industry, having finished school early and starting his apprenticeship as a fitter machinist as a teenager.
But after some time spent in the industry, something else clawed at him. Michael noticed that plenty of people working in mining had a difficult time acquiring specific parts they may need for machines. While working as a workshop supervisor himself, he would end up with heaps of leftover parts that his crew didn’t know what to do with.
Michael then began developing an online sales platform that helped smaller players sell excess parts to big-name companies, and for the bigger guys to find the specific bits and pieces they may need without searching all over Australia.
Fast forward a few years, and Michael and his wife have built up Worthy Parts, which operates as a supplier to many of the mining and contract companies across Australia. Michael’s story is a textbook example of someone catching the entrepreneur bug, finding a specific problem and then starting a business to address that problem.
But not everybody is fit for this line of work. Michael himself admits that being an entrepreneur often boils down to a personality thing. He says that he knows plenty of people who are wonderful at what they do but just don’t have it in them to take the risk and start their own business. They’d rather let someone else handle the dirty work and they have a reliable income.
If you do want to start your own company, and you crave the freedom that being your own boss can bring you, there are a few things you might keep in mind. Planning should be one of your top priorities, Michael tells me. Before he started Worthy Parts, Michael hopped in a plane and went around Australia meeting some of the big names in mining, letting them know about his business and asking how he could be of service. Some of these companies were dismissive and condescending, but quite a few of them now work with Michael on a daily basis.
That persistence that Michael had is another trait that is a must-have for entrepreneurs. Whether it’s something you’re born with or something you learn, you need to want something bad enough so that you’re able to sit through rejection and less-than-ideal treatment from other people to reach your goal.
Starting your own business is tough, but can be worth it. Do you think you have it in you?
Listen to my entire conversation with Michael here.