By SIMON COOPER Res Socius CHOOSE to do what you enjoy. This is a strange notion, although I often get round to discussing it with clients. In fact, it might surprise you to know how many square-pegs in round-holes there are out there in Nassau. I'm talking of folk who came out here to semi-retire with big dollar numbers, but got seduced into buying businesses they should have avoided at all costs. Perhaps that's why I don't sell as many businesses as I could. Fact is, I'm happily unable to get past a basic principle. The rule I made for myself when I set up business here is "don't do it if it isn't right", and I'm sticking to it. The same applies to everything else in life, I guess. If it's not good for you, move on. I used to think a 14-hour day was the passport to success. That was before I checked out the real winners and found out how little time they actually spend on substantive tasks. The rest of their day is reserved for dreaming, scheming, interacting with customers and staff, and chilling out on leisure. I reckon the secret is doing what you want to do, and doing it where you want to live. That's why I am in the Bahamas doing business broking, and not pursuing corporate life in London the way I used to. I'll never become super-wealthy in a market that's as small as this but I'm a happy man, which counts a great deal more to me. I remind myself of this every morning when I wake up. I'm an early riser, and that's when I do everything except my job. I turn on the Internet, catch up on the latest news and check my e-mails. In the background, my mind is ticking over. By breakfast time I know exactly what I am going to do that day. And that does not include doing things I don't enjoy. I'm uncomfortable with technology. That's why I have somebody I can rely on to service my computers, set my back-ups and do what's necessary to keep the viruses at bay. I also have a bookkeeper who handles that nitty-gritty for me, too. This leaves me free to enjoy what I do best - chatting to my customers. Here are a few things I learned along the way to choosing the right business for myself. I guess it applies equally to choosing the right job, or embarking on a course of study. 1. Do you feel passionate about it? Is this something you always wanted to do? 2. Do you have the underlying aptitude? Does this interest you intellectually? 3. Will you have to comply with licensing regulations? How long does this take? 4. What's the competition like? Is there space for you to grow into success? 5. What would be your main role? Managing, planning, supervising or doing? Is this how you really want to spend the time? 6. Will there be time left over for the other things you want to do in life? I count myself fortunate to have achieved so many of these targets here in the Bahamas. I would be in serious trouble, though, if I did not acknowledge the contributions of my wife. That begs the final question. Will your family support your decision, too? NB: Simon Cooper is a founding partner of Res Socius, a business brokerage firm authorized by the Bahamas Investment Authority that facilitates the sale and purchase of businesses. Contact 636-8831 or visit www.ressocius.com.


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