Why do I want to start a business? Why wouldn’t I is my answer. There are so many opportunities for new businesses to start up; if i don’t make the most of them, then I’m sure someone else will.
I grew up as a musician- I studied music throughout my academic life. It’s a passion I have that I hope will never stop. However, I never thought of combining my passion for music with business. I never used to think about or even begin to comprehend the word ‘business’. I was certain that I possessed neither the confidence nor the brains to make it as an entrepreneur- so aimlessly I carried on without really knowing how my career path would unfold.
However, all this changed when I attended a Music Business lecture at university. It really changed my thinking; I started to believe that actually anyone with just a bit of common sense, grit and determination can make something of themselves. I had always revelled in the possibility of turning a vague idea into a reality- however, this time I was going to take control and actually do it.
So this is my first business: ‘HispaTune’. It’s a website where people can go to find teachers in Latin genres of music (Salsa, Bachata, Tango etc). After the student chooses their specific music teacher and both parties have agreed a mutual meeting time, the teacher and student then engage with lessons over Skype.
Conversely, I believe the website is about more than just the Skype lessons. Without sounding too pretentious, it’s also about establishing an online community for Latin musicians. The reason why I decided Latin music was the way to go was because there is so much more to Latin music than the music itself; there’s the dancing, the style, the celebrations and the whole social aspect which are all as equally important as one another. The sense of spirit within the Latin community already exists; it’s now just a matter of creating an online platform for it to flourish and reach a wider audience among the western population.
I have many plans for the future of the business. Hopefully I would like to branch out to other music genres. Portuguese Fado music for instance really has a strong presence across the world and I believe there is a need to make full use of the musical talent that Portugal has to offer. As well as this I would like to produce Tuition DVD’s and other products which students can really benefit from.
What is known for sure (well, almost anyway) is that all of this expansion will be self-funded. The money made will be utilised to propel the business forwards, without the need of external funding. One of the main reasons why I wanted to be self-employed in the first place was to gain financial independence, which is a decision I intend to stick by.
I have paid for the business so far with purely my own cash (through part-time employment) and nothing else at the moment could give me the same sense of satisfaction. That isn’t to say there aren’t plenty of opportunities out there, especially for young people. Perhaps even one day the situation will arise where a loan or grant will be the only way forwards, but for now I will continue with what I believe is a much more natural progression of business.
Anyway whatever happens, however successful (or unsuccessful) the business will turn out to be, at least I can say now that I’m giving a real go at it. Best of all I’m enjoying myself and ultimately, regardless of what industry you’re in, that’s the main point of it all. The financial reward, in my opinion, is nothing more than a convenient bonus. What I really want to do is create something that people get pleasure from and to maintain a career that I can relish in.
If I had to sum up what it means to be an entrepreneur, I would use these three words: independence, freedom and enjoyment.