It is exciting times when you make that decision to work for yourself. There are questions that only you can answer about that new adventure. I have stories and have had to make decisions that I was not prepared to make, but I have also not had to answer to anyone if I wanted to stop and make a coffee run an extra time during any given day. The first impression most have about entrepreneurship is the joy and freedom, but how many people really think about the bad and the ugly parts that accompany the joy and freedom. My goal is to make not only the great parts clear but also the realistic struggles that go along with the Independence of entrepreneurship. It is important to weigh everything out in order to make clear decisions, right?
The Good -- The independence and the freedom to actually make your own schedule is very enticing for almost anyone. You have total control, there is no dress code which is amazing, doing work in my pajamas is unheard of in the corporate world. I have done lots and lots of work with my hair in a messy bun (before I cut it) and dirty sweat pants. As an entrepreneur I have no fear of being laid off, not getting a promotion or even being the topic of the office gossip because I didn't jump through the ridiculous hoops set out. I get to set my own title - I like CEO personally. When people ask what I do I proudly say that I own my own company where we help others achieve their full potential and work with local counties teaching life skills to at-risk and court involved youth. I have found that I am either respected or ridiculed so that is a "good" and a "bad". The absolute best part of being my own boss is the unlimited potential I have or any other entrepreneur for that matter. Out only limits are the ones we put on ourselves, but that also fits into the "bad" category sometimes.
The Bad -- I mentioned a couple things that fall into this category which are being ridiculed and self limiting beliefs. People ridicule what they do not understand or because they are jealous, I tend to think it's the later. They do not have the courage that you do, the vision that you do or even the drive that you do so it is easier to criticize and ridicule. This new life to have chosen to live will take a lot of self-discipline which could also be a "good" or "bad" thing all depending on your perspective. Things will get hard because you will be working more that the traditional 40 hours a week. Every waking minute you will be thinking about what else you need to do to grow and move your business. There will be days of complete uncertainty and self-doubt because you forgot to do something or something uncontrollable went wrong the you feel like you should have thought about. You will miss out on events because of work that you feel needs to be done before tomorrow, which generally is not the case. Frankly, there are times that are down right hard and stressful, but rest assure that it can get worse which leads me to my next point.
The Ugly -- The uncertainty is real, many businesses are market dependent such as retail or construction as we saw back in "08. My husbands job back then was to help liquidate the assets of many smaller construction companies, at which time he liquidated himself out of a job. Lesson here is know your market and the trends of that market. It can also get lonely as an entrepreneur because not many people understand the stress you are dealing with, and if you try to explain often times their desire to help is really just not that easy. One of the other major areas is finances, bills and extra expenses seem to come out of thin air sometimes and the taxes...don't get me started on the taxes. For me I had to come to a major realization, I just can not do everything and do it all as well as I wanted it done. I am all about saving money where you can by doing things yourself, but if you want quality sometimes you need to look in the mirror and realize you can't do it all. The risk is real, as an entrepreneur we put everything out there on the line hoping for a great ROI. The ugliest thing here are the possible regrets that may come from missing the recitals or the games, the family time lost in hopes of creating a better future.
I don't want to scare you at all but I do want you to be prepared for the struggles and sacrifices not just the joy and freedom that comes with entrepreneurship. It is an exciting time starting a business, and I want you to me excited. There are so many things to be aware of and think about. There is so much more to think about that just demographics and locations. Do you need any special certifications or permits? As exciting as this new adventure will be and it will be an adventure, we all need someone that has been in your shoes to help you think about the things you didn't think about. The assistance and support I received from my coaches and mentors proved to be invaluable and I still go back to them for advice from time to time. In all honestly we operate on a very tight budget when we start out unless we have investors or seed money so every financial decision needs to to be justified. We were fortunate enough not to need to take out any loans and start with minimal investment that we were able to cover with savings. So as you can imagine we looked at each expense vary carefully and still do sort of.
It is my hope that this gives you a better idea of the entrepreneurial journey that you may be thinking about. If you are in the planning, start-up or just need a little direction please send us a message and we will be happy to help you, we would love to work with you. Don't forget to check out the accompanying podcast on Anchor, Spotify, Google Podcasts, RadioPublic or Breaker.