I get told on a pretty regular basis that my business must be doing well because people hear about it all the time, whether on the radio, online, or when talking to friends. I’ve been building this business for 8 and a half years to get it to this point. If you were to ask anyone, I started my business in 2012, but what they don’t know is that I worked on building the business for 3 years prior to actually getting started.
Those three years seemed like a long time, and there were a lot of late nights learning about business models, pro formas, business plans, and the such. That time, while it was slow, and didn’t seem to have much of a payoff, taught me some valuable lessons. I think the most important lesson of all, was that planning is great, but nothing will prepare you for the real world, and what happens when you actually get started.
I’ve heard it said that things will take 10x longer to catch on than you think, will cost 10x more than you think it will, and be 10x harder to do than originally planned for. But the payoff will be greater than what you can imagine if you take that plan and work it, and just keep hanging on.
I’ve found that to be true in my life. I tried to make my plan super conservative, but even so, things did not grow as fast as I had originally planned. The good news, though, was that even though I didn’t make as much as I thought I would, I didn’t spend as much as I thought either, and so I was able to break even, almost on time.
And while my income went down when I started my own business, some of the perks have been much better. I’ve been able to get closer to my ultimate goals, and have more time to spend with my family (most of the time) than I ever had before. Other benefits include being able to meet with other people of like-mind. I get to hang out with other business owners, and just like being in the military or some other group of high achievers, we have a language only understood by other business owners. And those that really understand what business is about have a deeper language than that, and that is fun to be a part of.
Things like tax law start to make more sense, accounting makes more sense, and making investments of time, money, and resources becomes easier and more impactful. Getting to meet people, and coach with people that are making a difference is amazing. And probably the best part of owning and running a business, building something impactful, that changes lives. I love that part.
To anyone looking to start a business, I highly recommend it, just do your homework and talk to those that have gone before you. Know what you’re getting yourself into. And good luck!