Though my skills and knowledge are broad overall and perhaps surprisingly deep in a more areas than you’d expect, the fact remains that there are skills and knowledge I need right now are woefully underdeveloped. Most specifically, those related to business. My business knowledge is getting better by the day, but I only started working to pick up these skills relatively recently and I know I have a lot to learn. Back in college, when I should have taken a bunch of business classes, I resisted. I didn’t want to be a businessman, you see. I wanted to be an artist. As it turns out, though, artists still need business skills if they ever want to break free of the starving artist stereotype.
This is part of the post I’ve been pecking away at during break time at work, occasionally on weekends, and during other down time. It is only part because I realized recently that it was better split up into at least two posts. It was to be an examination of the various difficulties currently facing me in my overall quest to start a business and get out of teaching English. The problem with that is that there are a couple major categories of difficulties, which together make for a single post of unwieldy length. First, there are the typical challenges and roadblocks: the practical difficulties inherent to any undertaking. The three biggest groups there are typically problems of time, money, and because I’m an immigrant here: permission. The other major category of difficulty are the gumption traps, which is a less familiar concept. These are the difficulties of those things that frustrate us, that sap our motivation and energy when we so much as think of them. While regular challenges make us tired in body, gumption traps make us tired in spirit. The former category is more straightforward and where I’ll begin today. Continue reading →