What Does It Take To Start Your Own Business? (More Than You Think)

Ever had the dream of starting and running your very own business?

If so, you’re in the majority.  Most people have entertained the idea of becoming a business owner.  At first glance, it’s a notion that has appeal on several levels.

First you get to fire your boss (that IDIOT!).

Then, you get to set your own schedule (I’ll work when I WANT to!).

Then, success isn’t predicated on office politics.  The business frontier seems to be the ultimate equalizer – you are paid on performance of your business, period.  You don’t have to spend X amount of time in a certain position before you give yourself a raise.  Plus, you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to make it happen.  Many famous business owners never even attended college (click here for a big list of ’em).

On top of all that,  you never have to worry about being made redundant (i.e., FIRED).

So the question is…who in their right mind WOULDN’T start a business?

The answer is: because there are plenty of thorns on this rose.  And they are not insignificant.

First, lets dispel the notion that you can just “work when you want”.

To get a startup off the ground, you will need to invest a significant amount of time getting it moving.  Gaining momentum is the most challenging part of launching a venture.  And it takes time to do that.  If you don’t have the capital to hire a bunch of employees, that means it will take YOUR time to get it done.

Next, lets take a look at the benefit of firing that idiot of a boss that you have.  I’ve had my share of idiot bosses in the past, and I don’t know where your boss falls on the “idiot scale”.  But when you start a business, YOU are the boss.  And if you haven’t run a ton of businesses before, then you will be learning how to be a boss.  And in that process, you will make mistakes.  Plenty of ’em.  Guaranteed.

And chances are, someone, at some point in time, will think YOU are the “idiot boss” whom THEY would like to fire.  Are you ready to take on that responsibility?

Be honest.  I know some who read this will say “Oh, no no no!  I”M not EVER going to be an “idiot boss”.  My clients and employees will love me and sing my praises until Marshall Applewhite returns, riding the comet-dust wake of Hale-Bopp”.

Reality check: you can’t please everyone all the time.  You are human.  You will make mistakes.  And your clients, customers, employees, co-workers, and colleagues will all let you know when you make mistakes that affect them.  As the business owner, you cannot dismiss them with a wave of your hand.  You must address their issues – respectfully, courteously, and promptly.

And just because you don’t have a central authority figure over your head doesn’t mean you don’t have a boss.  It just means you have a new boss.  And this boss is much pickier, much harder to please, more finicky, and more quick to fire than any boss you have ever had in the past.

This boss is your client.

Doesn’t matter how big you get.  Or how small you start.  As a business owner, your boss is your client.  If you let them down, they will tell you.  If you let them down hard enough, they will tell the world.  If you treat their concerns or issues as trivial, they will stop buying from you. If you ignore their requests, they will tell others to stop buying from you.

And if you have employees, the issues simply compound.  Now, you have other people that are interacting with your clients.  The difference is that their name isn’t on the line…but YOUR name is.  And if they screw up, YOUR tail is on the hook.

Trying to foster an atmosphere where the lowliest employee has the same amount of pride and passion as the business owner is a folly many have indulged in over the years.  Some people are great, some are not, and you won’t know until you put them in the water whether they will sink or swim.  The job of the business owner is to build systems that help the swimmer to swim FAST, and provide an environment that allows them to swim to the best of their ability.  The sinker must be made to sink quickly as well – so that you can get them out of there, and get a swimmer in their stead.

A business owner must come to embrace headaches.  Always and forever.  The headaches involved with business keeps the ranks of business owners relatively thin.  You will get late-night phonecalls that you’d rather not take.  You will consistently receive critical feedback on you, your ideas, your decisions, and your opinions.

And even if you’re willing to endure all that, there is still no guarantee you’ll make it.  While the stats vary, we do know that the vast majority of small businesses fail within five years.  There could be all sorts of reasons for this.  It could be your business was under-capitalized.  It could be that the product or market isn’t what you thought.  It could be something completely beyond your ability to know ahead of time.

Are you starting to see the picture?

Many people have an idealized perspective of owning a small business.  The truth is that owning or starting a business can be high-risk, time-consuming, emotionally draining, and capital depleting.  That’s the truth.

But…

Let’s not forget the rewards.

First, there are the significant emotional rewards.

Because I’ll tell you…it feels damn good when you are able to build something that was YOUR idea, and you made it come to fruition.

It feels GREAT when you get positive feedback on your product or service.  And it feels AMAZING when you are able to impact others in a deep, profound way with your solution.

It’s especially rewarding because of the very challenges we listed above.  When you give it your all, and you succeed…well, that’s what the most moving, most popular movies and stories of all time center on.  When you have ALL the odds against you…and you STILL pull it off.

Then, there are the financial rewards.  Very few people get rich working for others.  But a good number of people do very well when they are willing to accept the responsibility of the business owner.

In my experience, the biggest challenge we face when we start a small business is not finding funding, or the “right” market or the “right” product. The biggest challenge is our perspective.

Because (like it not) our perspective has been shaped since childhood to HATE failure.  Mistakes are bad.  Grades in school are awarded on a scale of A (good job!) to F (failure).  We have expectations put upon us from day one that reward conformity and punish individuality.

That’s our perspective, and to a greater or lesser degree, we all share it.  To become successful in business, we have to innovate. We have to create.  And innovation and creation are processes that are riddled with fails, mistakes, and goofs.

To say it another way…if you want to cook an omelet , you’ll have to break some eggs.

Many times, our biggest deterrent to business success is ourselves.  If we can get out of our comfort zone, get comfortable making mistakes (and learning from them so that they are not repeated), and view the journey as a process and not a destination, we can work miracles. YOU can work miracles.

But do you want it bad enough?

Are you willing to continue when others would quit?

Are you willing to innovate where others accept mediocrity?

Are you willing to solve the problems that cause others to stop?

If so…then you may very well have exactly what it takes to start your own successful business.

Comments

  1. vinay says

    Good communication skills that to deal matters , ablility to use man power and resourses ,sence of humour .

    Need peace of mind to deal difficult situation .

    Good leader ship quality

  2. sarit says

    It all takes a drive to start the business apart from positive thinking and strong belief. Yes, management, finance, idea and other skills do matter and follow the course.

  3. DS says

    Very interesting article and it is an eye-opener for those who want to start a business thinking that it will be all roses when they become a businessman. The thorns in the roses are explained clearly. Very realistic information that one can get only from the experienced hands.

  4. says

    I think it takes your own inner motivation to start up some business.
    Unless you are motivated from inside, nothing else can help you achieve more.

  5. says

    I believe it’s not easy to build our own business, but I believe one thing is very important:
    We should start thinking that we will not be our own boss we’ll be a employee of yourself.

    It’s not easy also to define what business will we start. We should try to balance our personal taste with a goos market evaluation.

    Cheers!

  6. says

    Its a real eyeopener. I was always obsessed with the idea of getting out there and opening my own business because i felt its easy. I have second thoughts now. Thanks and cheers!

  7. says

    It is a very nice article every home maker should read. Every one cannot earn money but reading this articles motivates how to create your own business

  8. Captain Cool says

    This article is really good and gives a clear insight of what it takes to start your own business. Starting a new business takes a lot of hardwork, patience, effort and all that it takes to work. Being a boss does not help while being an employee helps a lot t understand other’s problem and solve them to get them going.

  9. Malamagathi says

    Fabulous article ! I wanted to create my own business because i hate being ordered or work under someone !An article for people who wanna be the boss of the world !way to go !

  10. Amish says

    Amazing one !
    I was totally confused of this online work.But your blog really helped me to get out of this confusions.I had tried and used a no of sites for online work.But most of them was fake.Any way i thank u for opening my eyes.

  11. tabrej says

    It is really very motivating article,but it is not easy task to open our own busy in a day or a 2.It needs idea and more important finance to start a particular business.Before starting any business we should clear about the do’s and don’t of it.

  12. guhan says

    informative article..but to start a business one should have a inner motivating mind and also should be aware of the knowledge of the outer world !!!anyways thanks for the info!!…

  13. Summy says

    very nice article.
    i would like to add this also includes the factors which are really practical & motivating.
    really impressive.

  14. od says

    well i have been planning on becoming my own boss for a long time but somehow never got the courage.This blog has kind of given me the motivation at least to think seriously now.thnx:)

  15. sreejith says

    It is very good article. Good communication skills that to deal matters. It’s not easy also to define what business will we start thanks.

  16. Krikom says

    Excellent article. It can help and teach everyone how wants to start his own business. Also, writer style is great.

  17. R. Smith says

    “Because I’ll tell you…it feels damn good when you are able to build something that was YOUR idea, and you made it come to fruition.”
    Regarding this quote, it’s true… that it feels good to capitalize on your own creativity, but it seems this motivation is very self-congratulatory. Owning and operating a business is extremely difficult and a lot of work, and it feels like it’s all because of yourself, but the opportunity exists in the first place primarily because of the country we live in. Just because we feel good about ourselves because of the work we’ve done shouldn’t make us feel like we deserve better or more. Take pride in your personal accomplishments, but don’t take the mindset of “I deserve more…” sorry if I got philosophical there…

  18. Ganesh says

    This topic was really helpful to me. Really a thought provoking one. I also plan to be my own boss and I really used to think about the “work when you want” concept. Also when we are running a business our work time is multiplied by our subordinates.

  19. AndreCollins says

    This is great! I really love this “First, lets dispel the notion that you can just “work when you want”.” I think this very important if you want to start a business.

  20. says

    Interesting and informative discussion blog, certainly an enjoyable read, as I am always looking at ways and opportunities to jump into the world of small businesses and especially self-owned.

  21. admin says

    @R.Smith:

    You know the feeling you get when you push yourself hard to achieve a goal? Like when you stay up all night studying…and you ace the test? Or when you plan an elaborate way to please your spouse with something special…and you make their day? Or when you give everything in a tough work out?

    That’s what I’m talking about. Not a self-congratulatory mindset, and definitely not an “entitlement” mentality. I’m talking about feeling good because you’re not accepting mediocrity – that you’re going BIG. It’s a winners mentality. That’s all :)

  22. william says

    As someone who has been toying with the idea of being my own boss, this article is exactly what I needed to push me further. Very clear and analyzing on every point of concern. By the end of the article I was actually convinced I am going to do it. Thank you author.

  23. amyk says

    what a great article. my husband and i talk about starting our own business but lack to courage to take the step. i enjoy articles that give real and practical advice

  24. says

    Great post. Starting a business shouldn’t be a matter of life and death. By building a brand and managing it properly, risks can be minimized and pave the way to business success. Thanks.

  25. manvendra says

    It all takes a drive to start the business apart from positive thinking and strong belief. Yes, management, finance, idea and other skills do matter and follow the course.

  26. Daisy says

    Well your article is a great insight into the hard work that goes into starting up your own business. Yet I am of the opinion that it is both challenging and rewarding. These days there are several opportunities available to earn money online and this is no scam. It all depends on exploring the right opportunities and combining it with your hard- work.

  27. says

    For start your own business you should have other than money
    a) Good Communication skills
    b) Ablility to use man power and resourses
    c) Sense of humour
    d) Faith on yourself
    e) Positive Attitude
    f) Attractive look

  28. says

    It is really informative for me because well i have been planning on becoming my own boss for a long time but somehow never got the courage.This blog has kind of given me the motivation at least to think seriously now.Always i like own business so this blog is for me i think.This topic was really helpful to me. Really a thought provoking one

  29. Steve says

    Excellent article, the information shared above is very true and motivating.
    We all know the risk in business and this article shows the right path to achieve success.

  30. Jack says

    Data entry work and job has now happened to be more popular nowadays. See how it works? Usually you will be given a set of data in paper and you will have to enter it data in to computer. It’s very simple for you if you only know computer a basic.

  31. Jorge Perez says

    I guess that this is right, but did it say anything about how you could start a business even without half of this????

  32. Author... says

    sence?? humour?? vinay you might want to try school again before your business adventure since you have difficulties spelling simple 5th grader words

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