Thursday, March 24, 2011

Parenting a Business

Have you ever tried to explain to someone without children what it's like to be a parent?

If you have been in that conversation before, you know full well how the other person can only nod and assume to know what it's like, but will never fully understand that experience until they have lived it:

2 a.m. feedings.

Sleepless nights.

Snotty noses.


Poopy diapers.

6:37 a.m. breakfast

More puke.

Best hugs and cuddles you will ever feel.

The entire parenting day kind of rolls that way for the better part of 18 years or more. Your parenting career will be filled with more self-sacrificing investments you can count in exchange for a love only a loving parent will fully comprehend.

Honestly, there are some days you wonder why you do it.

Owning and operating a business is much the same thing.

The business becomes your child.

You are its parent, responsible for its upbringing.

So why do so many businesses, especially small businesses fail and go bankrupt?

The generally accepted number is 80% of small businesses will expire within their first two years of operation. The reasons are many, but they inevitably point to the mind, body and spirit of the owner who never fully grasped what it was they were signing up for in the first place. It doesn't take long before any new business owner starts to live a new reality called self-doubt, panic and horror when it dawns on them that unless products and services actually get sold to actual customers, their business is going to die, taking them with it.

If you are a person who has had a hard time convincing others of the merits of what you have to say, how will you be able to make the necessary sales to ensure the feeding and nurturing of your company?

Is owning and operating a small business still something you really want to do?

Or are you merely fantasizing about owning an already successful small business where you sit back and watch the customers and cash roll in?

If this is something you really want to do, you need to recognize there is a world of difference between being in business or playing like you are.

If you are not self motivated, you will spend most of your time battling depression and sleepless nights brought on by the lack of immediate results.

If you can’t manage money, you want be able to feed your business needs.

But ...

If you are fully prepared to gather the right knowledge, plan, implement, refuse to listen to those who haven't "been there, done that", create a realistic budget and suck it up each day the market teaches you another hard lesson, then you may have a legitimate shot at beating the overwhelming odds stacked against you.

Don’t do this for the money.

Money is just a reward only comes your way when you are still willing to put forth the effort even when zero cash is coming in. Money is a reward, not a motivator.

And make sure you surround yourself with others who are parenting their business, as opposed to empty-headed blabbermouths talking smack about what they would do if they were you.

You won’t need everyone to walk with you.

Just those who understand this journey.

And what it's really like.

"Whenever people ask what made me a businesswoman, I always say it was the business that did it. The same way the first child she brings into the world turns a woman into a mother, so my first restaurant turned me into a boss"

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