For many people, managing money and running a business is stressful. Does it feel like that to you?
Once we are living on our own we might dream of having a life without limits or bounds. But it doesn’t really work like that. In actual fact, we have to manage more aspects of our life—and make it work. Not just a little bit. But fully, all the way, all year long.
If you’ve been dreaming of starting your own business, it’s a smart idea. Basically, by working for yourself, you can have the most freedom to express your unique ideas. You won’t be tied down by a boss, a corporate structure, or a bunch of stuffy policy rules.
You’ll have freedom to work like you want, when you want, on what you want.
At least, that’s the marketing pitch.
The reality can be a little, or a lot different.
Whether you’re starting out as an entrepreneur, or have been at it for some time, here is the nitty-gritty truth.
You’ll Work More
It’s usually not the 4-hour workweek, as popular author, Tim Ferris suggests. It’s usually more like 60 or 80 hours a week.
It isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always fun. You might like to be playing with your mates. You might want to be heading to the beach for a sunny day.
But, more often than not, you’ll have projects to do, people to contact, and dreams to realize. When you recognize this fact, you can find a certain sense of calmness. You have a sense of purpose and meaning.
You’ll Be Alone
Your friends and family won’t know the ins-and-outs of your business. They won’t truly know what you’re struggling with—or what is driving you. In essence, you will be alone.
Sure, your close friends and good mates will come by to see your progress, share a cup of tea, and get a sense of what you’re up to. But, will they get it? If you’re fortunate, one or two will understand.
You’ll Need Support
No one can really build a business on their own. Not entirely. You’ll want to get help, reassurance, and encouragement. You’ll want to get support from people who have the experience and skills that you don’t have yet.
This is why it’s so helpful to talk with a counselor or coach. Check out the services in your community, city, and state. Perhaps there is a business mentorship program or council in your area.
SCORE is a volunteer organization made up of executives who have been-there-and-done that. They have the miles of experience to share with you. When you talk with a SCORE mentor, you’ll feel a sense of relief. Finally, someone understands what you’re talking about and why you’re so excited.
You’ll Do Nitty-Gritty Calculations
Once you realize the fact that being in business is a combination of art and science, you’ll dive into the numbers. You’ll look at what you’re spending in fixed costs like rent, electricity, water, and Internet.
You’ll look at what you’re spending on variable costs such as shipping, marketing, and advertising. According to recent statistics, 9 out of 10 shippers overspend. This is contributing to your fixed costs, overhead, and business expenses. You could save as much as 30% with parcel contract negotiation.
You’ll Keep On Learning
No one said that going into business would be easy. No one promised you that you wouldn’t need to learn a thing. If someone did give you those promises, I hate to break it to you. They lied. At the very least, they embellished.
Every successful entrepreneur is a passionate learner. It just goes with the territory. When you want to achieve your dreams, you get really good at recognizing your weaknesses.
Sounds funny, right? Not really. When you identify your weaknesses, you can do something about them. You can learn new skills. You can take some online training classes. You can work with a coach or mentor.
By harnessing your sense of purpose, you’ll have a compass for staying on course. You will be more comfortable getting help from experienced professionals, investigating finances, and staying on a swift path of learning. With these skills, you’re on a path for success and doing more—with less.