The Greatest Lie About Starting A Business
I hate letting people down.
That’s just the truth, but in business it feels sometimes like that is all you do. It starts to feel like a constant stream of failure after failure, letting one person down after another after another.
Which is probably true.
You don’t realise until you are stuck in the middle of the fight that business is essentially just fighting fires, day in and day out. There is this grand (and dangerous) notion that running your own business gives you freedom, tonnes of money and happiness. Now maybe it does, at some point, all I know is I’m certainly not there yet on any of the above items.
Don’t believe what people want you to see.
See, most people that I speak to that are in a “job” and believe the myth about running a business tell me they wish they could “work for themselves instead of their [insert expletive] boss”. But the reality is once you start your business you’ll never have more ‘bosses’.
What do I mean?
Every employee, every contractor, every client, all of them are now like a new boss. All demanding something different and all critical (in some way) to your progress and success. Your real job now, as a business owner, is to tread the line carefully between serving all of them well and not having them fire you.
Hang on, my employees work for me?
Yes, on paper — as do your contractors.
But you know as well as I do that running a business, or doing anything in the modern world really, requires manpower. You simply can not build something bigger than yourself alone, you need people, resources and ultimately time. If you don’t your team well and seek out ways you can help them (not the other way around) what do you think will happen?
They will just walk away.
Good luck building anything substantial alone. You’ll just be left trying to hold up a crumbling tower all alone. Resulting in the dark reality you are likely to get crushed.
Always remember, you work for your team.
My clients pay me!
If you can’t see the link here, then you shouldn’t be in business in the first place.
They pay you, therefore they expect value, whether you provide a service or a product it needs to provide more value than the cost. Why? That’s how you get more clients.
Just think about it.
We live in a free market and things that are over priced don’t get purchased again, driving the price down. If you provide sub-par-value then ultimately the market will determine the price and many of you will be disappointed by how low that number gets.
Always remember, you work for your clients.
The Great Tug of War
Just imagine, you are stood alone in the middle of a field and ropes are attached to you in all directions, on the end of each is a person, an expectation, a boss!
How do you win against all these people, pulling you in different directions?
You could try pulling away from one of them, but then you’re going to end up losing to the person pulling the other way. It’s a constant struggle and unless you are prepared for that you’ll be extremely disappointed by the reality of “working for yourself”.
By supporting your team, working for your customers and helping them progress they might turn from being a competitor to being a supporter. Stepping into the ring with you and helping you succeed faster and bigger than you would do alone.
Suddenly, you’re not alone.
Please, don’t believe the myths that you see online or listen to the success stories and assume that it was really that easy. You only see one (very shiny) side of a complex and ugly story.
You can’t do this alone.
You can’t control every step, you have to rely on others.
You can’t build your business alone.
Any of you that think you can are going to be really (and painfully) disappointed at some point.