I have a lot of people reach out and ask me about my experience as a business owner. Today I'm going to talk about Starting Your Own Business. This is definitely the first question I'm asked by aspiring Entrepreneurs... "What would you say to someone trying to start their own business?"
I think there are 3 key elements to starting, running and growing a successful business. First let's talk about the obvious, how much work it is. No one is ever going to understand how hard you've worked and how much you've sacrificed to achieve your goals. I started my company from absolutely nothing! No money and no idea how to do it. Over the years I figured it out by talking to anyone and everyone. Doing TONS of research and just going with my gut. So my point is, if you are like me and have no investors, partners, consultants, etc to fall back on... understand you are going to work harder than you ever imagined, but then you'll wake up one day and turn around to see all that you have achieved.
Second, BE RESOURCEFUL. It drives me nuts when I see companies that just throw money around. It's so important for you and any of your partners in business to "have skin in the game." Meaning, they aren't just along for the ride. They have money invested or agreed upon sweat equity (they are going to work as hard as you). I have literally watched companies implode (that had gobs of startup money) because none of these factors were being put into practice. If you aren't sure you need something, wait. If you can figure out how to make it yourself or have a friend help you, do it! Work as hard as you can for as long as you can. I paid myself about $3 an hour for years... why? Because everything went back into the growth of the company.
Lastly, know that the hard times will pass, as with everything in life. When you start, run, grow a company there are times when you will actually feel like you are drowning. One thing after another is going wrong and you are ready to crack and just run away. Try to remind yourself that this is just one day. The next day might not be perfect either, but you will soon see the other side. As the leader of your company you need to as much as possible stay calm and collect in every situation. I’ve learned over the years to wait to react. Let it all sink in and then try to respond with as clear of a head as you can. As a business owner you will play every single role to your staff and company. Janitor, counselor, mentor, authority figure, delegator, sales person, negotiator, handyman, teacher and overall problem solver. You will feel incredibly overwhelmed at times, but that just means you have to keep pushing because you are on the verge of reaching that long sought after goal.