Last week we looked at some pros and cons of starting your own business. Naturally it’s not all sunshine and unicorns. Sometimes it’s pitch black, raining and there’s something nasty out there in the dark. But here’s the thing.
When it goes well there’s no feeling like it. And when it goes badly? That’s when you learn, and learn hard. If you can manage the mindset of almost welcoming setbacks and failures then you’ll learn lessons other in normal jobs never learn in their whole lives. Think how strong and open to success you’ll be on the other side of that.
So, here are 5 more stages on the rollercoaster that is starting and running your own business.
1. Financial Rewards
Making other people’s lives better is a great feeling. But it’s also a great feeling to make your own life better. With success should come financial success. Luck plays a part, but if you work hard and smart you could make a good living. How good? A steady income? Enough to buy a big house? Enough to buy your parents a big house nearby? Enough for a supercar? A superyacht? There is no limit to what you could make, nobody has set your salary or earnings ceiling.
There’s an old saying: ‘If you work for yourself, you get to choose which 18 hours of the day you work.’ Hoho, bitter laughter. It can be that. Everyone else goes home but you keep going. And you were there long before anyone else turned up. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
You will get some choices. Maybe you work really hard Monday and Tuesday then take Wednesday morning off for self-improvement or fitness or whatever, then pile back into it for the rest of the week. Whatever, if it starts to work you can stop trading your time for money. Look at that thought: you can stop trading your time for money. That’s a game-changer.
3. Personal Growth
That Wednesday morning thing above, what will you do? Yoga or meditation, go wild swimming or to the gym, learn a new skill or improve a current one. Whatever you do, measure your success is how you grow, personally, mentally, psychologically. That’s the only yardstick that is worth anything over the long haul. Invest in yourself as much as your business. When it’s your business, you can do that.
4. Failure hurts
Failure hurts, failure sucks. But it can teach more than any teacher can. Failure cuts deep and that’s the only way we learn. Success? We never learn from it, we’re just brilliant and always will be this successful. But failure, that forces us to stop, think, work out how to avoid this happening ever again. Because it hurts so bad.
Tell a child to not put their hand in the fire and they’ll play with it, testing, teasing, probing. Explain what happens if they do put their hand in the fire. They’ll nod and eventually they will reach out their pudgy little fingers. And then they burn their fingers and it hurts horribly and they cry and scream. And they learn the lesson and will never do it again.
That’s what failure does, it teaches us the hard way. It’s bad, but welcome failure like the finest teacher you will ever meet.
Maybe you’re surprised by this one. But I can vouch for its accuracy. I started a creative agency. I had one staff member, a designer. Then four more came in. We were a team, close, we would socialise sometimes, we got on. But when a big heavy decision had to be made that wasn’t a team effort. It was on my shoulders.
I was there before they got in and sometimes after they left. When there were scary moments, cashflow crashing, clients unreasonable, projects running late, there was only one person who had to bear the weight – me.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking your team should bear some of that. It’s on you. But that’s how you develop and you will find surprising strength as you shoulder these burdens. Think of yourself as a weightlifter. You’ll get bigger, stronger, more powerful. Not a bad ‘con’ is it?
What have we missed out? Let us know!