More difficult than you can imagine
Starting something from nothing is hard. Even when you can get help, as so many do through franchises, it’s still hard. Even though people talk about the depressing statistics of business failure, which vary widely, the picture they paint is still rosey. Entrepreneurs are considered brave and they are revered for their actions. That’s fine but let’s not encourage people to be foolish. There’s no reason to throw caution to the wind and go for it without a plan.
Starting a business takes up more time than most people can physically give, it’s tiring. I’ve heard it said that the only person who cares about your business is you and it’s true. No matter how good the team you build is, the business is not their priority. They will call out when you need them most, they will say the wrong thing at the worst possible time to the most important customer, and you will have to fix it all. They will leave for a few cents or a few bucks more per hour. Owning a business can be frustrating and yet you have to be there with enough enthusiasm to spread around.
All that difficulty can lead some to become disallusioned but the successful ones will have just a bit more positive energy than negative.
More expensive than you planned
It also takes more money than most people realize. I was told once that no matter what I planned, double the amount of time and money I thought I needed, even if my estimates were high. I can tell you from experience that advice was 100% correct.
Under capitalization is the single worst mistake someone going into a business can make. We’ve all heard about the outliers who started with a hundred dollars and made millions, but if that were the norm we’d all be millionaires. You have to know that, if you need to, you could carry the business expenses for months or maybe even years.
Other people’s expectations
When you see friends or family and they ask how’s business, they don’t understand that you might have had a bad day. They don’t understand that bills are coming due and revenue might not be keeping up. If you’re honest and tell them it’s hard, they’ll usually respond with “but it’s all yours right?” as if that makes it better.
You can’t go to friends and family for solace because they don’t understand, and you don’t want to go to other business owners for fear of looking weak.
It takes longer too
I’m over a year into my business and things have stabilized. Everyone wants to make a profit right away but it takes longer than you think. What matters more is cash flow, positive cash flow. Positive cash flow and profitability are two different things. Startup costs aren’t paid for quickly, they’re large and revenue grows slowly.
I saw a friend shortly after her second child was born and asked how it was going. Her response? “Oh my God no one told me it was going to be this hard.” That’s how I feel about entrepreneurship so I’m here to tell you it’s that hard.
My advice? Think long and hard about going into business. Imagine every bad scenerio you can and then imagine what you’ll do to get out of it. Plan for the worst and work hard, harder than you ever have for the best.
Just as I was finishing this post someone on LinkedIn posted this article. It’s worth reading and backs up everything I say here – and then some.
Posted in General, Money, Success and tagged business, energy, entrepreneur, entrepreneurship, hard, work by AJ with no comments yet.
This is where my impatience comes in, where I find myself with lots of energy but nowhere to direct it. I start planning, over planning, and obsessing on details I can’t do a thing about.
It is still too early to give any details on this latest exercise in What Next but I’m ready, willing, and waiting no so patiently.
What do you do with all your energy when you find yourself dependent on others?
Posted in General, Taking Action and tagged decision, energy, impatient, patience by AJ with 2 comments.
I found this article on the psychology today website and it made me think of a rather strange revelation I make in my book, What Next. I write: “I talk to myself.”
This is different than what this article points out. “A common theme among self-help teachings and new age spiritual ideas, such as The Secret, is that you have the power within you to make your “dreams” come true by focusing your mental energy, your “intent” on them. Then, they will come to you. But some new research claims that doing so can actually make you less likely to achieve what you wish for.”
Focusing your mental energy, or believing something good will happen is nothing short of daydreaming if you ask me. Focus your mental and physical energy on something if you really want it. Believe you can achieve your goals but know you have to work at it too.
In What Next I go on to say that “People who ask “what next” seek out new venues and alternative ways of doing something, and they often visualize themselves in that situation. As I visualize myself in a situation, I rehearse, I talk to myself.”
That is being a whole lot more proactive than simply fantasizing. All that rehearsal does nothing for you unless you actually go out and put that practice to use.
Daydreams are a great start but it’s up to you to make them a reality.
Posted in Curiosity, Taking Action and tagged believe, daydreams, dream, dreams, energy, fantasy, practice, proactive, work by AJ with no comments yet.