Being an entrepreneur can be scary. When a lot of people think of entrepreneurs, they think of all the glamorous stuff: dreaming up big ideas, making pitches to influential people, the freedom and thrill of being your own boss, etc. And there’s truth to a lot of that, at least once you reach a certain level. But it’s usually a long, hard road to get there, and if you’re thinking about starting a business, you need to be prepared for some intense challenges.
The Challenges of Starting a Business
I’m speaking from experience. When I started my first business, I had literally nothing. I had to scrap and grind to get any momentum at all, much less stay profitable. It was a while before I had enough money to invest so I didn’t have to live paycheck to paycheck. It took just as long to find the right people who I could depend on to build and maintain a successful company.
Moreover, I had to make a lot of decisions along the way. Sometimes I made good calls, but plenty of times I didn’t. Some of these mistakes were costly in time, money, and emotional energy. Looking back, I can see these decisions clear as day, and part of me wishes I could go back and do a lot of things over. Even if I could though, I wouldn’t, because those mistakes taught me some valuable lessons, which I can now share with you. Because of my broken road, you can have a smoother time starting a business than I had.
After over 20 years as an entrepreneur in construction, real estate, and authorship, I’ve seen a lot of businesses around me thrive and fail. And in a lot of the businesses that I’ve seen fail, I noticed a consistent pattern.
The Mistake You Need to Avoid
So many times I’ve seen a technician go into business for themselves, thinking they can be their own boss. A lot of these folks they think that they will have an easy time being an entrepreneur. However, while a lot of them are skilled in doing the technical work, not many of them have the skills to be the leader of an organization.
For instance, take Jim the plumber. Jim is an excellent plumber. He consistently diagnoses plumbing problems accurately, and he fixes the issues better than anyone in town. He’s truly excellent at what he does. The problem though (as he sees it) is that he’s having to give a cut of every job he does to his boss. Jim figures he’d make more money working for himself, and one day he goes for it.
At first things are great, but then he realizes he has to do a lot more than he used to. He has to track all of his expenses, which now he’s solely responsible to pay. He also has to find all his own work and negotiate on price himself.
And all that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Jim realizes if he wants to take home more money than when he was a worker, he needs to hire people to take on some additional work. But then Jim finds that people don’t always follow through. He struggles to find trustworthy and skilled people, and he cycles through a lot of candidates, none of them ending up being what he’d hoped.
Jim’s situation is simple. He is a skilled worker, but he had no grid for being an entrepreneur when starting a business. He’s now having to be the laborer and the manager, and it’s more than he anticipated.
Market a Passion
What makes it worse is that Jim never really enjoyed plumbing. He was good at it, and he didn’t mind it when he was only doing it 40 hours a week. But now he’s doing it 60-80 hours a week, on top of all the additional work he needs to do to keep his business going. In other words, Jim had a marketable skillset, not a marketable passion.
When I say a “marketable passion”, I mean find something that you would do for free and build a business around that. This is because it’s almost unavoidable when starting a business to be doing a lot of things that drain your energy. Therefore, if you can find work that energizes you, you can manage to do the things that suck life out of you. This may be a skillset (like plumbing) that people are already used to paying for. However, it may be something that’s not making money as far as you can tell. Don’t give up on hope if that’s the case – you’d be surprised what people will pay for.
My main point is this: if the sole goal of the business you want to launch is to make money, it’s not gonna go anywhere. Starting a business from the ground up is a massive undertaking, and there needs to be more driving you than profit. Otherwise, you will be miserable, and you probably won’t make it.
Most businesses that fail were started solely because somebody wanted to make a little more money. Instead, I recommend building your company around something you actually enjoy giving to people and that would be your way of making an impact.
This Is My Way of Giving Back
Right now I can honestly say that I’m practicing what I’m preaching. I didn’t start sharing my ideas and advice for free so that I could make money. This is something I do because I am passionate about helping people achieve their dreams. Believe it or not, I want to help you that much, and so does the rest of my team.
If you’re thinking about starting a business but want more actionable help with getting it going, I have great news. Right now I’m giving away my entire eBook library for free. These include a lot of useful information on how to identify the best advisors, develop your strengths, and identify your weaknesses. I wish that I’d had this information when I first started, and that’s exactly why I want you to have it now.