It’s my business and I’ll cry I if want to
It can be tough running your own business. At times it’s pretty scary and survival can be touch and go. So what keeps entrepreneurs going through the difficult times? Here’s my top ten:
- Jam tomorrow – when or if it comes off the rewards will be worth it. This is the real belief in yourself and your idea – that you will make it. But don’t be confused into thinking that all entrepreneurs are in it for the money, in my experience that’s not the driver of most. More often it’s things like individual freedom, real and complete responsibility, doing things the way you think they should be done, fun and excitement. They are rewards that are well worth it when you’re able to put the more difficult times behind you.
- Partners – behind many great entrepreneurs is a great partner… Entrepreneurs tend to pick either supportive or demanding partners who motivate or drive them to succeed and talk them through the tough times.
- An independent / stubborn streak – this is part of what made you an entrepreneur in the first place. You hate to lose any sale, you focus intensely, and you’ll move heaven and earth in order to find a way of achieving your goals.
- Fear of failure – the whole idea of going back to where you came from or worse. You’ve developed the taste of the freedom of doing your own thing, and reverting back to being an employee is a terrifying prospect.
- The ‘I told you it wouldn’t work’ people who won’t stop reminding you if your business fails and will never let you forget. With friends like that who needs competitors!
- As an entrepreneur, you can pursue your own interests when you want. You don’t of course but you have the freedom to do so if you choose and you don’t need to ask anyone’s permission. You value that freedom and you don’t want to lose it.
- Peer & family recognition for the ‘bravery’ of starting your own business; people see you in the context of the Zuckenbergs, Gates, Roddick’s etc. Perhaps you see yourself in that context too!
- It’s your ship and you knew that you were likely to be becalmed or would need to deal with a storm at some stage and you factored it in to your original thinking. It goes with the territory so you take it on the chin.
- Losses can be set against future profit so every cloud has a silver lining! More importantly a difficult period helps keep you highly efficient. Adversity means you take things seriously and work hard when the opportunities come. Quiet times also allow for reflection and fine tuning of the way the business works.
- The huge self-respect you get when you get through to the other side is worth more than the sick pay, the company car, the private healthcare, the normal working hours and five week holidays you gave up (just).