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Member News: C.C. Eship / NACCE Journal Fall/Winter 2009

Best Practice- The Secret of the Tipping Point

Thursday, November 5, 2009   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Matthew Montoya
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By David Siefert

Associate Professor, “Entrepreneurship Sinclair”

Sinclair Community College, Dayton, OH

  1. Do you have a dream that includes being self-employed?
  2. Are you living your dream?
  3. Do you know how to realize your dream?

If the answer is “no” to any of the above questions, then you may want to read this article, as it just might make all the difference in your (or others) dream being realized.

This article introduces you to “The Secret of the Tipping Point.” It provides a logical, pragmatic and systematic approach for determining what to do, when, and how to successfully achieve one’s passion. “The Secret of the Tipping Point” should be taught by every instructor and carefully learned and applied by every entrepreneur.

Many people dream and fantasize about their dream lifestyle including being self-employed, but never take steps to achieve it. Why do we not act on our passions and dreams? Fear of the unknown, lack of self-confidence, and fear of failure are only a few reasons that discourage taking action.

Strategy #1 – The Explicit Tipping Point

The “Explicit Tipping Point Strategy” is a common strategy considered by everyone. Discounting winning the lottery or receiving an inheritance, we see only two options for realizing our dream – either employed by others or self-employed.

Between these two options is an intimidating chasm (refer to the “Strategy 1 – Explicit Tipping Point” in the figure below.) If one decides to become self-employed, then all of the “why nots,” “not nows,” et cetera, thoughts and advice surface. To make the leap from being employed to self-employed, we have heard that huge sacrifices will be required. The chasm is daunting. In the end, many times we decide to remain where we are – employed by others.

Strategy #2 – The Organic Tipping Point

There is another way: “The Organic Tipping Point.” Referring to “Strategy 2 – Organic Tipping Point” in the figure below, you will notice with this strategy that there is no chasm. There is no “either/or option” to consider. “The Organic Tipping Point Strategy” promotes progressing naturally, effectively and efficiently to self-employment by evolving your dream business that supports your dream lifestyle while employed by others!

“So, how does the “Organic Tipping Point Strategy” work?” Begin by identifying and defining succinctly your:

  1. Passion or dream,
  2. Action Plan defining how to achieve the dream,
  3. Business plan as to what the business will be as if it exists – including the resources needed, and
  4. Define “Tipping Point” transition criteria

As illustrated in the above figure, “The Organic Tipping Point Strategy” identifies three weighing scales as three phases:”

  1. Be employed.
  2. Launch your business through “moonlighting.”
  3. When the time is right, move to being self-employed naturally and organically when the criteria you pre-set are accomplished.
The Secret of the Tipping Point
Someone can employ you by day. In the evening, you focus on achieving your dream by launching and/or growing your moonlighting business. By being employed while developing your moonlight business, you can learn from the experience while receiving compensation for your efforts that will enable you to sustain your current lifestyle and fund your business.

At some point, you realize that you are incredibly busy with your own business and profits are now exceeding your “day job’s” income. You wake up in the morning thinking about your business and do not want to go to bed at night because you are having so much fun. Your business is both sustainable and growing. It is at this point, it occurs to you that you should be self-employed – The Tipping Point!

By combining bootstrapping (using existing available resources), moonlighting and employment, you are able to develop your business at your pace and at reduced risk. Having a business plan will be an important useful tool to guide your efforts.

When you “moonlight,” you must be legal and ethical. You should be willing to fully disclose your moonlighting business with your employer and to others. Eliminate any real or perceived conflicts of interest.

If your dream consists of being and remaining employed by others, then that is fine. However, if your dream consists of being self-employed, then avoid the chasm and consider the “Organic Tipping Point Strategy.”

Take the risk out of starting, buying, or franchising your business by adding moonlighting and realize the benefit of the “The Secret of the Tipping Point.” You can learn and work at your own pace because you have an income already coming in from your employed “day” job. Many successful companies started with less than $5,000 investment and a little space in a garage, extra room, or on a kitchen table. They started with a passion – a dream, and took that first step. Then one day they realized it was a “no-brainer” as they were making more money, having more fun being self-employed, and began experiencing their dream lifestyle – “The Secret of the Tipping Point!”

What do you have to lose? Why not take steps in accomplishing your dream now?

Please feel free to contact me for additional information, questions or comments on this article at

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