Emotionally driven by a “life passion”. Blinded by the “I want to be free” hype we plunge headlong into our small business dream. Unprepared for what lies ahead.Make sure that you have the correct person in your corner – it will make the painful times easier to bear. More importantly it will greatly increase your probability of your small business success. Arriving on the other side of the canyon tightrope one small step at a time.
Not realising that “overnight” success often takes many years!
Focussed on the destination we are blind to the many small tricky steps we have to make to get there. Think about it like walking across a canyon on a tight rope – the most important focus must be on the next small step and not the end.
One slip … and it’s all over.
Working for yourself is nothing like working for someone else. When working for a company, or an institution, there are years of experience baked in. There are many people all doing their little (sometimes very little!) to keep the entity operating and moving forward.
When you are on your own there is no one except you.
No human resources department to visit when you have a problem; just the one person human resources department! No engineering department to call when a machine breaks down; you are the engineering department! No one going to the post office to post or collect a parcel – only you. No one to maintain the website – your role is also the webmaster.
No one carrying you through your vacation – only you!
There’s no sales department to go to when there are no sales – you are the sales department. When there is a production problem or a supply chain issue or a problem with a customer or a supplier – you carry the can.
Public holidays become a curse. A day’s turnover is lost.
The relentless pressure goes on for days, for weeks and even years as you establish the business. As you slowly learn all the step by step lessons.
Your life will suffer. No time for the family, no time for the friends and no time to get to the gym or go for a run.
You will be plunged into the depths of fires so fierce that you think you’ve arrived at hell on earth. Draining you and testing you.
To survive and then thrive you must be prepared emotionally, intellectually and physically.
There’s good news …
The good news is … being properly prepared, plus a smattering of luck and you'll be on the most rewarding journey of your life.
Creating and nurturing a “SMB child” propagated by you.
With the right mix of your passion and specialised support it can result in your greatest achievement. Independence, freedom, monetary wealth, more time with your family, travel and all the good things you dreamed about.
The important ingredient is “knowing what you don’t know” and building support systems in these areas. Without a reality check our thinking is constantly being polluted by biases which tend to make us optimistic and feel good. But there are other biases that are more realistic. Like accepting that to some degree we are all victims of the Dunning-Kruger effect.
In our incompetence we think that the things that others do that look easy are easy and we can easily be as good as them.
Getting external support
But fortunately today there are many options for external support. The internet, specialised people working in a temporary, or interim, or part time way providing all kinds of specialist skills.
The most important is a financial expert. Not just an accountant or bookkeeper who perform a very specialised and focussed role … to record history. A financial record of the history of the business which has little, to no, influence on the day to day running or future of the business.
A business owner needs something more. Someone who can support them, be an accountability partner, understand the business and the planned future business in financial terms. Ensuring decisions are well considered. Seeing the business with an impartial and macro perspective.
Today more and more people are choosing, or being forced, to establish their own business. The journey can be an energising, creative, rewarding time if done with patience and consideration.
It will be much more enjoyable and rewarding with qualified and competent support.