Building a Business
I often find myself having conversations with people about their careers. The majority of these conversations are about starting a business or growing a business. I believe that starting a business and sticking with it is a courageous act.
Like so many things that are worthwhile, there will be many challenges and obstacles. I want to address a few of them and make some suggestions on how to deal with them.
Not Knowing What to Do
Everyone experiences “not knowing what to do.” The key is to normalize the experience of not knowing. No one knows everything. There will be many things to learn. You can learn from other people. But you can also learn by looking up information. It sounds simple and obvious. However, I am often amazed to find that people sometimes skip this research.
Fear of Not Having Enough
Unless you are someone who already has a high financial net-worth or you have the support of someone who does, money or the fear of not having enough money can be a challenge. The fear of not having enough can keep people in jobs that keep them from building their business. I don’t encourage people to leave a job before they are ready. At the same time, you cannot row two boats at one time…even if you have help. You are the captain. It will always be your job (and no one else’s) to chart the course for your business.
For some reason, people look at the businesses other people have made and think it’s easy. At each stage of development a business requires:
- your time,
- and consistency.
How much time will your business require? A lot.
How much energy? A lot.
How much focus? At times all of your focus.
How much attention? Daily attention.
How consistent? That depends on whether or not you want to stay in business.
Getting and Maintaining Customers
If you have a business but no customers, do you have a business? The answer is yes.
However, you cannot continue a business with no customers. In my experience, getting customers forces you to learn everything else about running a business. If you don’t, you won’t get very many chances. I believe that this is why restaurants have one of the highest failure rates of any new businesses. If you go to a place to eat for the first time and you have a bad experience, you are unlikely to return. And even worse for that business owner – you are likely to tell other people about your bad experience. Fortunately most of us are not in the hospitality business. Our short comings are far less public. Don’t treat every business misstep as something that people know about you. Try to make up for your mistakes that impact others. Focus on doing better next time rather than beating yourself up.
Because building a business requires so much, it is natural for the needs of the business to overflow into many aspects of one’s life. The truth is that you and your life require daily attention just as much as your business does.
I am always concerned when people make a statement to the effect that their work is the most important thing in their lives. That mindset is a recipe for disaster. Having other interests and other things and people that matter to you informs your work. Even if you are passionate about what you do and it doesn’t “feel like work,” setting limits with your business allows you to attend to your relationships and your well-being.
Setting limits allows you to build up the energy and mindset necessary to stay engaged in the process of building a business.
Setting limits will help you get through the difficult times.
Copyright © 2018 Ruby Blow. All rights reserved.