Why Start My Own Business?
Against All Odds
During this past week, someone asked me what it was like to run my own business. We have been doing this so long now that it almost seems like second nature and the thought of working “for” someone else is almost foreign to me. I had to step back for a second or two and think about it before I could really answer the question.
I remember “taking the plunge” and making the decision to quit my full-time regular paycheck job to start my own bookkeeping business. It was scary, but it was something that I just had to do. Against all odds, I knew that I was going to be successful – we ALL think that way – right? Every statistic in the book tells us that new businesses fail nearly 75% of the time. Three quarters of those new businesses fail but we are all fully confident that we are going to be in the minority – the 25% that make it!
Here are some of the things that I learned along the way:
I work longer hours that I thought that I would. Honestly, I knew that I would work hard and would put the work in that was necessary to make it happen, but my business takes a lot more of my time that I expected. I had dreams of sitting on my patio with my laptop open and a cold glass of iced tea beside me, but I didn’t think about sitting up for hours and hours pouring over bank statements as I tried to reconcile a new client. I love every minute of it – honestly, I do! – but it wasn’t part of my plan. Hours are tough, and it is hard to take a break when it is “my” business. When I worked for another company, I took my 3 weeks of vacation and spent my time away, but it is much, much harder to do the same thing when it is YOUR company. Vacation time now means a loss of revenue. Not only am I paying for my vacation time, I am not earning my revenue!
Owning your own business is tremendously satisfying! I worked in the banking business for more than 20 years but have never felt the same satisfaction that I have felt in running my own company. I have had very successful years as a banker and won several awards for service and sales success but nothing, and I mean nothing, compares to the feeling of doing it for yourself.
I wish that I would have asked for some help along the way. When I first started my own company, I felt like I had a very clear path to where I wanted it to go and how I wanted it to happen. I didn’t really feel that I “needed” any help. I mean, I had over 20 years in banking…I knew what I was doing…right? I had the mindset of, “I want to do this my way” and “I can figure out what I need to”. Nothing could have been further from the truth. The problem with that thought process is that you don’t always know what you don’t know. It really relates to the story of “it takes a village to raise a child”. Well…this is YOUR child and one of the best things you can do for it is to understand that you don’t know everything. And the parts that you don’t know that you don’t know, can stop you dead in your tracks. I made a lot of mistakes along the way – nothing drastic – but if I had reached out to those professionals for guidance, I could have avoided many of them and put my business on a quicker path to success.
As you begin your business, I encourage you to gather some key people around you to provide a firm foundation such as your attorney, insurance agent, CPA and Bookkeeper/Accountant. Allow them to help you with the parts you don’t know.
If you are looking for a Bookkeeper/Accountant, give us a call. We would be happy to help. Email us today to schedule your free consultation. We would love to help you get a plan started. It is what we do at Hollander & Associates.