It had happened to me just before a meeting at work. I was grabbing a chair in the office when one of the people I was about to speak with casually mentioned something about starting my own business.
“So, I hear you’re starting your own consulting business now?”
I chuckled a bit and jokingly responded, “Yeah, it sort of happened by accident.”
Granted, I am very aware that no one accidentally starts his or her own business. But somewhere along the line in your life there comes a moment when you begin to gradually convince yourself that you need to become your own boss, and in another moment down the line you wonder just how you managed to get to where you are.
For myself, the consulting business I had started unintentionally began as my final project for graduate school. I happened to run into a woman who wanted to start a 501c3 nonprofit. She had come up with a concept, began to work a little out in the community at a local high school or two without any flyers or promoted publicity, named the organization, and obtained a tax-exempted status, but apart from that there was not much to show for this cause, Create To Learn.
Over the period of the completion of my unpaid graduate project and thesis I ended up designing a logo, mission statement, putting together social media profiles, a website, a public relations action plan, and marketing suggestions. What ultimately happened was the beginning of two things—a nonprofit organization, and my own business.
During the summer after my internship, office members asked questions about my schooling and, somehow, my final project was brought up in the conversations. Those with a need for the services that I provided during my project were slowly being met after office work hours. And somewhere in the rush of new and possible clients, the rest of the office had discovered my side gig.
It all happened organically over a period of time, but I occasionally look back at what had happened in the past year and can’t help but think that all of this just sort of happened—maybe, even a little bit by accident.