Question from Neel, Knoxville, TN from the ASK Roger page.
Entrepreneurs face this question every day. Your start-up phase (the first 3 years; if you make it that far) will challenge most people way beyond their original thoughts and expectations; for instance:
- long days with after hours spent in administration and bookkeeping
- time away from family; evening networking events, Saturdays and Sundays re-stocking
- no time to rest; inability to take a vacation
- last person to be paid; employees, landlord and suppliers come first
Everyone who starts a business has a plan and they work diligently towards execution. This is the “fun” period where every purchase reinforces the owner’s freedom to make decisions…but remember you are not open yet there are no day to day demands from customers and staff. Most entrepreneurs trust their instincts when it comes to being boss and rely on the people skills they have acquired from adolescence, however unless you are a licensed Human Resources professional most of us are ill equipped to handle the people issues. This takes away some of the passion when we get bogged down with the motivational and people issues of others.
So how do you stay positive and passionate as you work through your first three years?
- ensure you have a built in profit margin to sustain growth; cash in the bank will make you want to tackle the next day
- differentiate your product and service and attract a wide following of loyal customers; traditional media and social combined
- treat your staff with respect and train them to see the bigger picture; you can impart confidence and willingness by helping them prepare for greater future responsibility
- elevate and mentor someone to relieve you so you can take a vacation
- read more business books and articles; this helps foster new ideas
- align yourself with other business owners and associations; attract a mentor and coach
Last but not least hug your wife and kids daily or someone special in your life to let them know you care about them too.
Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net