Two business owners were talking. One was having a pretty good run with his new, and growing business. The other had suffered a series of bad turns and hard luck.
The one with the better business asked, “So
The other answered “Heck no. I feel like a pile of manure.”
Running your own business is not for the faint of heart
It takes a whole lot more than a smart new idea to make a business tick. If yours is a wild and disruptive idea (think Uber and
Several times a year I speak to audiences on college campuses. After my talks, I get the usual line of attendees who want to ask questions, make comments, and otherwise share things.
It never fails that I get a student or two who is convinced they will conquer the business world as we know it with their new idea. I ask them to explain. So far I have never heard anything earth shattering.
I am not sure if that is because we don’t teach enough creative thinking or whether we are truly failing to impart the full truth about what it takes to make a business go.
Sidebar: As I write this, it occurs to me that many of the more famous entrepreneurs of our modern era never went to college or never finished (think Gates and Zuckerberg). I digress.
Getting the Entrepreneurial Bug
There are those among us who are natural entrepreneurs. Others get the idea after spending too many years working for others. For me I caught the bug early in life. I watched my single Mom quite a stable, secure job to live her dream.
Mom was a gifted interior designer. She did that work for other companies before setting out on her own. Slowly but steadily she built a well-respected and thriving business. Solopreneur she was long before that was a thing.
I wrote about the 10 things she taught me. See that article here.
I’ve had the opportunity to start three businesses and three non-profits. Each one was a labor of love. Believe me when I say I didn’t do it alone.
Somewhere along the way mentors had taught me one key principle. Ideas are great, but before you commit big resources (and energy) test it with several faithful advisors.
If you can get them interested, then you might have something. Otherwise, it’s just a dream.
To All the Aspiring Entrepreneurs
Here are my simple rules of entrepreneurship.
- DO – live your dreams, but be smart about it. Test your ideas with a few trusted advisers. Be open to their honest feedback. Tweak your plan if it looks like you must.
- BUT – don’t get totally discouraged. Dogged determination does create some very exciting possibilities. (I still don’t understand how Jeff Bezos survived the first 10 years of Amazon).
- EGO – Your ego is good when used the right way. Watch who you alienate as you grow your idea. You will need friends sooner than you think. NEVER take yourself too seriously.
- FUN – have fun doing what you decide to do.