I have been running my own little business for more than ten years and I often talk with people that are contemplating starting their own company. Listening to their expectations usually results in my shaking my mind later and thinking,”They don’t have any clue what they are getting themselves into!”
Running your own business isn’t a fairy tale. It is just about the hardest thing I have ever done. It can be annoying and rewarding. It can offer the greatest highs and immeasurable lows. 1 day, it may validate your struggles and you may feel on top of the world. Next, it can cause you to wonder how you could have ever been so wretchedly stupid.
Buckle up. It is a wild ride.
Your business will most likely fail. You will likely either give up or run out of cash before your company has a chance of success. To prevent the latter demands creativity. The former requires a thick skin, iron will, and endless determination.
Being your own boss isn’t a picnic. As it happens, your boss is kind of a jerk. He makes you think of the business almost every waking moment of the day.
Your business plan is most likely worthless. Going through the practice of producing a business plan is a superb way to make certain you’ve thought about aspects of the operation which you might have overlooked during the”back of the napkin” point, but believing that anything will really turn out how you’ve”intended” is absurd. Be flexible.
Equity is everything. If you want cash, go to a lender. Simply exchange equity for something you can’t get any other way. Thinking that a spouse will make starting a new company simpler is wishful thinking. As a new company, your only ally against based companies is the ability to pivot and move fast. With spouses, each decision requires debate and is an great time suck. You have to find validation of your thoughts from inside.
Only fools believe anything is foolproof. Everything will fail. Just be ready for when it will.
Making more money isn’t a very good motivation for starting a company. Money doesn’t equal happiness or satisfaction. It’s tough to be successful doing something you hate. That having been said, the purpose of a company is to earn moneyas it’s the one thing that separates a company from a charity. Welcome to the paradox!
Business = issues. You’d better love the”good” parts of your business, as you’ll spend an inordinate amount of time managing the crapola (see next point).
You will have far less time than you ever imagined. Salesman who start their own company so as to maintain 100% of their commission are often surprised to discover that they suddenly don’t have any time to devote to selling. You can’t fathom the amount of time it takes to run the organization.
Find the solution that still works once you assume the worst. For retailers trying to determine how much stock to purchase, I say,”You can not go broke selling from an item.” Forget about the money you “left on the table”. Be happy you left the table with ANY money in any way. My grandfather always told me to”rescue the crying for a reduction.”
Keep your emotions out of business. Emotionally-based decisions tend to turn out badly. Always think with your mind (and by extension, your gut), but not your heart.
You are not as smart as you think you are. Check your ego at the door. The best idea should win. Try to surround yourself with workers who are better (in their field of expertise) than you are. Listen to them and enable them to prove themselves, but always trust yourself and your own gut. You are the only one with skin in the game.
Understand the motives of others. You always have to figure out what motivates your competitors, your suppliers, and your own employees. As soon as you understand what is important to them, you are able to negotiate successfully.
Being smart doesn’t equal success. The difference in ability between the owner of a failed company and a successful one would be tough to discern. Their attempts, however, are another story. Your will to succeed is a lot more important than your present knowledge of a company or your so-called intellect. Many successful business owners knew very little about many aspects of their company when they began. They figured out the details along the way due to their dogged determination to succeed.