Posts Tagged ‘lists’
Entrepreneurship is a lot of things. Many will call it exhilarating, exciting, frustrating, or challenging. Very few will call it fun. The work you get to do may be fun to do, but the build up to getting to do that work includes a lot of planned setup work, and then all the unplanned, but not unexpected work that turns up.
I personally enjoy working for myself and being responsible for getting things done, but it is far from a fun experience being the one of the few people responsible for keeping a small business afloat. Luckily, I knew that that much going in, even if I didn’t ‘know’ just how much if a struggle it was going to be.
What follows is a list of 8 things that I didn’t really have a complete understanding of when I paid my money to get my business legally off the ground, at least on paper. It was learning these lessons that took me from just being a big thinker trying to turn some spare time into side money into becoming an actual business-minded entrepreneur:
LET PEOPLE SPEND THEIR MONEY: You’ve over paid for goods and services, so you don’t want to overcharge your customers. So don’t over or unfairly charge them. But don’t undercut you prices to overcompensate. If you do premium level work, you have a right to charge premium, fair market prices.
EVERYONE’S MONEY IS NOT GOOD MONEY: There will be plenty of customers that will try your patience as they try to get every penny of their worth out of the price you charged them for your services. There will also be plenty of other customers out there who are a lot less frustrating. If you find yourself with a few clients on your list that prove not be worth the money they are paying you, charge those clients more or refuse their business.
PUT TRUST IN EMPLOYEES YOU CAN TRUST: Once you become blessed with enough work that you will need to expand your workforce, you quickly learn the curse that is having the hire and manage employees. You have earned the right to hire the people you want, but don’t get stuck on the idea of just hiring people that you like. It will be better in the long run to have a company of movers and shakers than to just be in the company of running buddies.
YOU ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE BUSINESS: When you become the boss and the financier, you open yourself up to a whole new world of stress to complement your whole new world of opportunity. If you forget to make a little time to check in on yourself, your health, and your sanity, you’ll be no good to the business, your family or your friends. You can always get another job or even start another company if the current business goes bad. No one has proven that there is a reliable way to acquire a brand new life. Yet.
DEFENSE WINS SUPPORTERS: Be prepared to defend the ugly baby that would be your business, but also be prepared for just how likely you’ll have to admit to yourself that your baby is truly ugly. If you do reach that point, you’ll have a serious decision to make. You’ll either have all your efforts to raise that ugly baby utterly destroy you, or you will abandon that ugly baby and find some other hopefully less ugly baby of a business to raise and nurture.
THIS WILL PROBABLY FAIL: There might be a lack of entrepreneurs trying to make a life in the world of business, but there are plenty of gluts of businesses that the current packs of entrepreneurs are trying hard to break into and dominate. Learning how to drop a failing product line or service offering can help keep your young and struggling business afloat. Learning went to completely abandon ship and drop a failing business will save you personally and professionally.
YOU ARE GOING TO WATCH A LOT LESS TV, AND YOU BE OKAY WITH IT: And it’s not just television. You find yourself too busy for a lot of the leisurely activities you’ve enjoyed in the past. You will find yourself unavailable when friend calls a just want to hang out. You’re going seem like you’re always in motion with something or other you have to do to keep your business moving forward, or exhausted from all the moving forward you’ve been doing and badly in need of rest. But the more you find your business moving forward, the less frustrated you’ll feel about missing out on all the ‘fun.’
YOU WILL HAVE TO MANAGE TIME AND FAMILY AND YOU WILL NOT BE OKAY WITH THAT: On the flipside, your continuous time crunch that becomes a great excuse to avoid people you’d rather not spend time with is also a great excuse to postpone activities with the people you actually care about. Managing time for work projects will seem easy compared to managing time for date night, family game night, and bed time stories. You can tell yourself that all your time spent working is for ‘them,’ but unless you make some time to actually grow your relationship with them, it will not be worth it once your business has ‘made it.’