A Shock to the System. How Starting a New Business Can Drive You Crazy

Starting a new business can be a shock to your system. We all think that we’re ready for this new adventure. We’ve read some books, talked to some experts and watched some YouTube videos; how difficult could it be? After all, if (insert name of a despised competitor here) can do it, it must be really simple.

shock of starting a new business

The reality is that, unless you were born lucky and with a silver spoon in your mouth, starting (and running) a successful business is a difficult proposition. Most of us are not ready for the realities of running a small business, which (in the beginning) often includes working extremely hard for very little money.

When this stark realization smacks a new small business owner in the face, most of us turn tail and run back to the security of our old 9 to 5 jobs. Unfortunately, most of us are ill-prepared for this realization. All those books made it seem like this was gonna be so easy…

The fact is that starting anything from scratch is difficult. They don’t call it “building a business” because it’s easy; it doesn’t come pre-assembled. It takes hard work, sacrifice and dedication to get a new business off the ground. And this is when most of us bow out; at the hard work part.

Face it, any of us living in this day and age have it real easy compared to our ancestors. No chopping down trees to build a house. No hunting and foraging for every meal we eat. No sending smoke signals to get messages to people on the other side of town. Hell, most of us don’t even have to sweat when it gets too hot, we just turn down the AC and enjoy another cold beverage.

This is to say that we are not accustomed to hard work. We get to enjoy all the amazing advancements made by those that have come before us. (And by the way, a big shout out to Willis Carrier for inventing the modern electrical AC unit.)

inspecting ac units

But hard work is often what it takes to become successful. That’s why so few people achieve real success in the business world. It’s why approximately 75% of all small businesses fail within two years of start-up. It’s not for a lack of knowledge, it’s not for a lack of clients, it’s not even for a lack of trying. Often, it’s simply not trying hard enough.

Starting a business is hard. Customers don’t simply fall in your lap. They used to call it “beating the bushes” to find new clients. It was perceived to be difficult to get new customers, because, the truth is, it is hard. A new business struggles to get clients and then must work even harder to keep them. You can’t be as good as your competition, because they’ve already got the clients. And those clients are lazy too. Those clients would rather stick with their current service provider, because it’s easier than switching.

You’ve got to give them a reason to switch.

But knowing this information ahead of time can be really helpful. You know going in that you will need to work hard; putting in long hours without really being compensated for your work. You know that you will be giving away your valuable products and services in an attempt to win over new customers. You already know the odds are stacked against you and your new business. Maybe this knowledge can help give you a mental edge on your competition.

You already know it’s going to be hard, but you do it anyway.

That’s got to count for something, doesn’t it?

difficult climb to the top

By preparing yourself for the tough times that lay ahead, you can actually help your business get through them. You know it’s going to take hard work, but you’re ready. You know you’re going to have to market your business like it’s your full-time job, so you do. You know you’re going to have to make some sacrifices to build a successful career, so you make them. And maybe, just maybe, it’ll all pay off. So, you keep pushing, knowing it’ll all be worth it someday.

You have the power to be a successful business owner. You just need to decide if you’re ready for the job.

If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.

Jim Rohn

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Thanks, Joe

pic of me, Joseph Cook Jr, home inspector

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