Starting your own business is the best and worst idea that you will ever make. Life as you know it is gone – you completely rely on yourself for every single decision that has to be made within your company, and most of the time, your decisions will be wrong. Telling people that you are starting a new business is not glorious at all, because all your friends will critique your idea, and you’ll start second guessing yourself.
Every step of the way is difficult. Once you start your business, you’re going to have customers, and you’re probably going to have to quit your job, and then you have to make sure you are putting food on the table with your business.
Let me tell you a quick story about my first business. We started as an e-commerce store, then we became an affiliate site, then we became a
subscription service. The fact of the matter is that we were in the business of making money – that’s about all we knew. Once you start a business and need to make money, priorities change and so does your life. I have learned a lot about what you need to forfeit in order to be a successful entrepreneur.
You have to be driven by money, but you can’t like money. Whether or not your business is running smoothly and your customers are happy has to be your focus, not the money in the bank. You are going to encounter many scenarios where you’d like to pay yourself and reap some of those benefits – but if you want your business to be a success, you cannot. Your business needs that money more than you.
Additionally, there is no business that you can start (other than selling porn maybe) that will get you rich quick. Starting a business is a get rich slow plan.
2. Other’s opinions
You are going to receive more criticism than support for your business idea. I’m not saying that you won’t receive amazing assistance from the network that you build along the way (because you will), but overall, people will shrug you off. Whenever I tell somebody that I want to move here or do this, the first question I always get is “do you have a job lined up?” – No, and I have no plans of getting a job. People will laugh at you. Ignore their criticism and follow what you feel is right. As long as you are finding customers, that means some people out there appreciate your ideas.
3. Feeling Smart
Starting a business makes you feel like an idiot. You’re forced to come up with lots of ideas, and most of them suck. You’re going to be trying to accomplish things that you aren’t trained for. Immediately after starting a business, I became a web developer, accountant, and vendor relations manager. I don’t know how the hell do to any of those jobs, and made lots of mistakes along the way.
4. The idea of ‘Success’
The normal route that people lay out for success is school, job, promotion, another promotion, success! That’s not the route we’re taking, so you have to completely get that idea out of your mind. Once you are content with failure, you will feel more comfortable leaving your job. And then, the ultimate feeling of fulfillment will take over. Once you start dedicating your time to YOUR brand and YOUR products and YOUR customers, you will embrace your new idea of success.
5. Your Pride
When things go wrong in your company it is your fault. You no longer have a boss to go complain to, and no other co-workers to blame. Mistakes and failures are all on you, so you better shred that pride you have. And I know that all entrepreneurs are full of pride. I lost count of how many times I have sat back in my chair and cursed myself out for a mistake that was made. Upset customers, bad deliveries, errors on the website that cost us many many orders. These are all my fault, and I have to swallow these.
6. Your Dislike of Offending People
As a business owner, you’re put in tough spots. With employees, vendors, customers, and competitors. If you let others shove you around, you could very easily lose control of your business. I prided myself on being Mr. Nice Guy, but you’re inevitably put into situations where you have to be stern and stick to your message, or else your business will suffer consequences.
7. Your Time
This seems so obvious, but your business will come to a complete stall if you don’t dedicate your time to it. If you are starting a business while still at a job, say goodbye to your nights and weekends. If you’re starting the business full time, I guarantee that you will not see a 40 hour work week for a while. But here’s the thing – you are going to LOVE building your business. The pure joy of creating a successful entity is invaluable, and worth every minute of it.
There are many people out there with the sprit of an entrepreneur. They have ideas, and dream big, but very few take that leap. Most people spend their life as intrapreneurs, working for others, but then there are those who absolutely cannot spend their life grinding away for another person’s company – and these people are the entrepreneurs that take the leap.
So be brave – believe in yourself, and believe in your idea. And for the sake of everybody in the world who you know would benefit from your business, take that leap and help better man kind.
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