Starting and running a small business is anything but easy. It’s worth it, but definitely NOT easy. The countless reasons that anyone decides to venture into the world of self-employment and entrepreneurship varies. It could be the desire to set your own hours and be your own boss, or avoid the daily commute to and from work every day. Or, maybe it’s the desire to finally do business they way business should be done. The fact is, many people open up shop and give it their best, and their best still isn’t good enough.
The things that I personally have learnt running my own show is this:
What you do isn’t unique. There a ton of other people in this world who do what you do. What you do isn’t the magic. The real magic comes from a combination of why you do it, for whom you do it, and how you do it. What + Who + Why + How = AMAZING.
Pay now or Pay later. Value lasts. Cheap is well cheap. I have a wonderful client who taught me this lesson. How many times have you opted to cut corners or go cheap on something in the name of “now”, scarcity? Only to have to re-buy or de-do later? Remind yourself of that the next time you’re tempted by a cheap solution and go for value—what’s best, what will last, and what’s best for your business and customers. Cheap … well is cheap, and there’s a reason it’s cheap.
Never forget why you started. Never forget why you decided to become an entrepreneur in the first place. Many times, those convictions will serve as the only light at the end of the tunnel.
Always sweat the small stuff. The smallest, seemingly insignificant issues have a funny way of turning into bigger issues if avoided or swept under the carpet. If sales are down, ask the tough questions. There is always an answer if you are willing to ask the right questions.
You are your brand. The entrepreneur’s lifestyle is not a 9-to-5 job. It’s both a lifestyle and a state of mind. The goal is to form a symbiotic relationship with your business—you become your business, your brand. You are a walking billboard. Conduct yourself accordingly.
As with anything in life, there is a beginning and an end. As an entrepreneur, you’ll need to find an exit strategy for your business at some point. For some entrepreneurs, that will mean selling the business. For others, it will mean grooming a family member. For some unfortunate business owners, it will mean filing bankruptcy or closing down, and for others it will mean retiring, set for life.
Determining the right time and right way to exit your company is the last business decision you’ll make, and it might have the greatest lasting impact on your future.
99.9% of the time people do EVERYTHING in their power to avoid a bankruptcy. Sometimes things happen that significantly reduce our income or increased expenses find their way to our door. People get divorced, they lose jobs, they lose children or family members, they get sick, or get cancer, get in car accidents, and occasionally make a bad choice… The downward spiral begins. They fight and fight for a very long time. Then something worse happens… a foreclosure notice… a garnishment…or a bankruptcy notice appears on the door.
You can’t do everything, remember that. Yes, you’re amazing. You’re talented. You’re motivated and the reason this whole business thing came to be. But you can’t do everything. And like me, I know you’ve tried. We’re entrepreneurs, a brand of superheroes of our own class. But when you do everything on your own for extended periods of time, you’re bound to break. Seek help before it’s too late. There are many avenues available to you. Outsource for efficiency. Enjoy your successes when they come, and take your failures as a learning experience. Remember Edison? Ya, he failed 10,000 times trying to invent the light bulb!
It’s not how you fall down that defines you, but how fast and strong you get back up.