1. Find your labor of love
Starting your business really is a labor of love. You’ll be spending countless hours in building it so you have to enjoy what you do.
Apart from my role as an accountant, I also own a yoga studio. After practicing yoga for 10 years, I noticed it had a profound impact on me, to a point that I wanted to share it with others. And furthermore, it has had a similarly positive effect for my clients who experienced chronic pain and have been freed of it since practicing yoga. Whether or not this studio is profitable is beside the point, because I’m doing something that I love!
2. Reap the rewards of risk-taking
Starting a business is the biggest risk of all. But as it continues to grow, it’s important to take calculated risks to stay ahead of competitors. Whatever your goal is, create three separate plans towards achieving that goal, and then be prepared for at least two of those plans to fail. Things happen!
So, set aside an allocated budget to take some chances on new initiatives and make peace with the fact that you might lose that investment but others may win big. If you plan correctly, that loss should not be detrimental. The important thing is that you’re taking chances and learning what it takes to run a business. Success today is achieved as a result of calculated risk, careful planning early on and due diligence to stay on track.
3. Define your why
As an accountant, most believe the reason I do what I do is because I like to crunch numbers. I can do that, but my true “why” is to help small businesses succeed. When determining yours, think about the bigger picture and what motivates you to do your work.
My mother got me into the family business very early and I witnessed and felt her struggles as a business owner. That experience made me want to find a way to make the journey of a small business owner easier. By learning how to manage their cash flow and helping them plan for future success, I’m helping them to stay in business and support them with the quality of life they want. What’s your why?
4. Identify what success looks like
Once you’ve determined your why, it’s time to create measureable goals and define what success looks like for you.
Does success mean turning a profit? Maybe it simply means having the best bakery in town according to Yelp. Whatever the case may be, the state of your business will fluctuate. So stop worrying about what the competition is doing and stop obsessing about the market. I’ve found that by focusing on the why, the money starts to come anyway.
5. Practice patience
Lastly, it’s no surprise that running a small business is a long journey, so it’s important to exercise patience through the whole process. Our nation’s leadership didn’t appear overnight; our forefathers encountered a lot of challenges but continued to strive on, and here we are today, enjoying the fruits of their labor.
As an entrepreneur you are the leader of your own nation — your business. So take a note from the presidents of the past and present, and practice as much patience as possible. You are going to have good days and bad days, sometimes very bad days. In order to have the great days, you should be taking risks and trying new things. If you aren’t, you really aren’t growing your business at all.
Building a business is a journey with numerous ups and downs. Like any great endeavor, it takes time to establish, but the benefits are well worth the hard work and risks! And so, with the fortitude of our forefathers, be bold and take as many risks as you can to build the business you’ve always dreamed about.