You’re looking at your friend and their business. Everything seems so shiny and wonderful! You are contemplating starting your own gig. What’s it really like behind the scenes? Here are a few myths – debunked for you.
Build it and they will come.
Meh, sort of. Yes, you need to have a great idea, product, or service, but without some on-point messaging, they (they = your customer), won’t know you’re there. Customers need to know you care, what the benefit is for them, what the experience is that you’re offering. Messaging is tricky. It’s a craft. Get some help from a pro to expedite your growth trajectory.
We love being our own boss!
Sometimes that true. But the reality is that when your employees quit, don’t show up, or have an emergency, the one left to fill in is you. The blissful idea of “I’m setting my own schedule, calling the shots, etc.” is just that. It’s an idea. An idea is different than execution and reality. Being your own boss means motivating yourself and others to work. Don’t like people telling you what to do? Remember that when you’re hiring and training employees. Don’t become the boss you didn’t like. Develop some skills in management; it’s challenging.
We’re rolling it in.
It may look like everything is peachy keen. You see events, Pinterest posts, Instagram feeds, etc. Perception is that business is really raking it in. Let’s hope so! You need to rake it in because someone is constantly raking it out. There are taxes for businesses up the yang. Income? Yes. Property? Yes. Add personal property tax (businesses are taxed on their inventory. Yes, a hotel is charged for those soaps, lotions, towels, etc.). Surprised? Now add insurance, employment tax, pay a living wage, benefits, Etc.
Growth is Always Upward
In reality growth looks like a child’s scribble drawing. Growth is full of setbacks, failures, successes, stumbling, regressing, and progressing. Growth is messy. It’s a challenge not to beat yourself up if your attempts keep “failing”. Entrepreneurs can be, by nature, self-critical. Failure must equal learning for successful entrepreneurs. Failure is part of the gig and not to be looked upon as bad. Growing a business stretches and tests in ways never imagined. We get a coach, a mentor; we form partnerships with other entrepreneurs.
It’s all Rainbows and Unicorns.
It can be hard. Yes, we keep a positive face on because we have to. Most friends wouldn’t know what to do with us if we had a mini meltdown. (Yes, we have mini meltdowns!) We certainly cannot fall to pieces in front of our team. They might see a sinking ship and jump! (This is different than sharing problems with staff. This I highly encourage to get their input, insights, come up with solutions, and implement those solutions. There’s much to be gained here.)
I recently came across a journal entry and I had completely forgotten this stress – thankfully. It was only our second year in business and my expectations of myself were absurd. Here’s a blurb: “The lowest of all the low points I have had. I can’t even begin to convey how heavy I feel. After meeting with the . . . . . group I just fell apart. I don’t know what else to do! I called Jeff and was just sobbing on the phone. This other place had 17 weddings!!! THEY ARE FULL! We have TWO. . . “
Thankfully struggles get washed over and the memories fade. They’re replaced by the joys of reveling in the successes in growth and experiences of the business, employees, and customers. (Thankfully after a good reflection by the hubs and another business owner/accountability partner, as to my unrealistic expectations, I snapped out of it.)
Business owners, we need to know the reality others face. Perceptions are just that – perceptions. Business owners take heart that you’re not alone with the ups and downs! An all of us, as customers, let’s continue to shop local and support those amazing people who so enrich our communities.
Do you have some truth bombs? Share with us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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