Do you dread Monday mornings? Let’s be honest, most people do. Do you start looking forward to the end of the work week by Tuesday? Counting the days till the weekend? Maybe you are like millions of other people who have considered starting their own business. No, this is NOT a sales pitch for Thirty one… it is some thoughts on whether or not you are ready to start your own business.
Thirty One was not my first attempt at having my own business… my first real direct sales attempt but I have wanted to be in my own business for as long as I can remember. My first attempt was when I was making premature baby clothes. I love designing the clothes, meeting the parents whose children were in the NIC units and then being able to give them a piece of clothing that fit their tiny baby. This was LONG before the name brands were making clothes this small. I gave up my business when I came to a crossroads – grow bigger or stop. FEAR kept me from growing bigger so I stopped.
Second business was my consulting business…this came out of a desire to be home with Belinda. I LOVED it. Contracts with local agencies, working with clients, making my own hours and living life on my terms. Again, I hit a transition point – go back to work for an agency or keep hunting for contracts. I found an agency that I loved, so I stopped consulting and went back to work. In both of these cases, I wish that I had a mentor who talked me to about business – what to expect being in business for myself.
Here are some things to think about if you are considering starting your business…
No. 1: You’ll be your own boss. One of the most common reasons for wanting to start a business is to be your own boss. Yes, you will be your own boss but all of those “other things” that were someone else’s job will now be yours. Be ready to handle all sides of the business. I love being able to go to my office in my pajamas on some days to make calls. I love meeting new customers – but I am not a numbers person which is why it is a good thing that hubby is.
No. 2: You’ll make tons of money. Isn’t this what we all hope for – lots of money. I am not saying that you won’t make money but it may take time for the business to grow into what you expect – or you may need to change your starting expectations. Be a little bit more realistic. One of the most valuable aspects for me of having my own business is the opportunities I’ve had to grow and change personally and professionally. I am making a good income but we operated at a loss for the first 2 years, can I tell you how excited I was to make a profit last year??
No. 3: You’ll get to do more of what you’re good at and interested in. This is true in many ways but it depends on the type of business that you start – store front, consulting or direct sales. With every business there are aspects that we don’t like so you have a choice – build a team that likes to do those “other things” or risk doing less of what you like to do so that you can handle all sides of the business. This is why I love direct sales – no matter how big my business grows, I still get to do what I like to do – help great causes with fundraising, meet new customers and amazing hostesses.
No. 4: You have nothing to lose. If you are looking at direct sales, a simple investment for the kit is all that it will cost. If you already are using the products, then if things don’t work out – you still have lots of product. No matter what kind of business you start “The key is to stay positive, ignore the naysayers, and learn from your mistakes so that things work out better the next time around. Some serial founders start multiple companies, and look at each company as a learning experience, not a failure.”
No. 5: Your big dream will become a reality. It is so awesome to show up at your business and watch your company grow over time, and to watch the dream become a reality. Whatever the milestones are – growing a team, higher sales, getting your first real office, getting recognized with an industry award, financial freedom or even just having really happy customers–it’s impossible to anticipate or describe how great it feels.
I don’t want to discourage anyone from starting a business, I just want to challenge you to think a little more about it. Most likely, it won’t be anything like you expect it to be–but it’s possible that it will be better than you ever imagined.
Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!