Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Whatever It Takes

I started my own business fresh out of college when I couldn’t get a job getting paid what I felt I was worth. (There’s much to be said for the optimism of those in their early 20’s!)
Since then, I have owned several businesses, sometimes more than one at a time. I prefer working from home, though not all have been home-based. I think I've learned enough to write a book about entrepreneurship, but today I simply want to share a few thoughts.

Home-Based Business Benefits
Freedom – Flexible schedule
Easy commute – saves money on gas
Wear what you want – save money on clothes

Home-based Business Drawbacks
Feeling Like You Never Leave Work (you don’t!)
Too close to the refrigerator/snack cabinet

The Truth of the Matter
1. If you are starting your own business it takes time to turn a profit. Possibly a lot of time. I have started numerous businesses and I have never gotten paid for at least a year – sometimes two. Money was being earned but it is wise to reinvest in your own business to keep it growing. Be prepared for that.
2. Love what you do. If you are not totally interested in it, you may tire before you get to the rewards.
3. Be willing to do whatever it takes until you get to the point that you can hire out what you don’t like. As soon as you get to that point – delegate!
4. When you do hire people, pay well. A good team is essential for growth. Don’t get cheap with people.
5. If you form partnerships, do so with your eyes wide open. All the warnings you have heard are for a good reason. Partnerships are intense relationships.
6. Be ready to be fully accountable. You can celebrate successes but there is no one to blame for mistakes. You are responsible – own up to it.
7. Keep a good attitude. Keep your eyes fixed on the goal.
8. Take care of yourself. There is no one to replace you!

I have no regrets about the businesses I have built over the years. What I have learned has been even more valuable than what I have earned. I have embraced the following Words of Wisdom by an unknown author:

Whatever It Takes

I am committed to doing
Whatever it takes.
The die has been cast, I’ve stepped over the line,
I’m out of the comfort zone. The decision has been made.
I won’t look back, let up, slow down or back away.
I am finished and done with low living, sight-walking,
small planning, smooth knees,
colorless dreams, tame vision,
mundane talking, chintzy giving and dwarf goals.

I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away,
turned back, deluded or delayed.
I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice,
hesitate in the presence of adversity,
negotiate at the table of the enemy,
ponder at the pool of popularity,
or meander in the maze of mediocrity.
I’ve committed to doing Whatever It Takes!!


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info. My concerns about launching a photography business full time (besides whether or not I'm actually good enough), are less if I have what it takes and more how to keep from letting it consume me!

I tend to go head first into everything I do and nearly kill myself in the process. Case in point: going back to grad school at 25. My obsession with keeping up with those A's I had always made nearly put me over the edge with a full time job, launching a new radio station, trying to get pregnant. Well, you see the point.

I'm trying to be smart and take the rest of the year doing it slow and reinvesting all the profit. After that, we'll see where I'm at!

BeverlyDru said...

I have no cure for the high-achiever behavior that you describe. It is an affliction that all the women in my family (4 generations worth that I know of) share. But I figure if you’re going to knock yourself out, it might as well be in your own business. That way you can actually eat the fruit of your own labors. My boss is ruthless though. LOL.

Uncommon Blonde said...

Amen on the overacheiver thing! I love that "Whatever it takes" quote. You must have instilled that in me early on because as I read it, I was quoting the first paragraph from memory. You are amazing and this new venture of yours is going to take off!! Plus, imagine all of the travel to fabulous hotels we'll get to do! (did I mention I'm going with you on some of these speaking trips?)

Merrie said...

Great advice... you said things that we need to know and think about...