There are many factors that will play into whether or not someone will be successful in business. For me, the first and most important ingredient is the “why” factor. As in, what is the “why” behind your actions? As an example, when I was younger, whether I was willing to admit it or not, my why factor was money (the idea of obtaining power and materials), prestige and acceptance. Was my why factor strong enough to get me through the 100+ hour work weeks? Absolutely not. I would constantly find myself falling short, making the wrong decisions or quitting all together when the going got tough.
Many years and hardships later, my “why” factor now centers around creating a future for my family, while also bringing value to our clients and employees across the globe. Where I used to see opportunities to make money, I now see opportunities to solve problems or fill needs. When the going gets tough, I am able to find comfort in knowing the sacrifices I am making are not only benefiting someone else (our clients and employees), but are also benefiting the family my wife and I are building.
My point, the deeper the “why” factor, the more you will be able to endure. In business, endurance wins the race.
What is your why factor?
When I think back to the day I started my first business (roughly 16 years ago). There are a few things that come to mind that I would have done different. The first being, taking the time to come-up with a proper business plan that I could execute. At the time, I was a year fresh out of high school and although I had ambition, I lacked patience and a plan. Essentially, I was a sprinter running a marathon for the first time.
So what does a proper business plan look like? Assuming you have already decided on what your business is going to be (restaurant, e-commerce shop..ect). Initially, your plan doesn’t have to be complicated, however you should take your time to make sure you have the following areas covered.
1. The steps and items you will need to take in order for you to be open for business (along with the costs). Business Account, Business License, office or retail space (if needed), Insurance, website..ect..ect. Basically everything you will need to consider yourself open for business AND most importantly, how much that will cost you.
2. Develop a budget for your first year of business (this should include your expected recurring costs, along with an emergency budget for unexpected costs). Included, should also be the money you will personally need to survive (rent, food..ect).
3. Develop a marketing plan and budget for how you plan to initially market your business. I say initially because your marketing plan should always be evolving and what you first try may or may not work.
Once you have these 3 areas covered, I would say you are ahead of the game and will have a much clearer idea of what you will need to open your new business and what you will need to get there.
The great thing about entrepreneurship is that ANYONE can do it. Where people often fall short is realizing the job requirements that come with being an entrepreneur or business owner. If there was an ad recruiting an entrepreneur or business owner, that advertisement would look something like this:
** Looking for hard workers **
Minimum Job Requirement
– Must be willing to work long hours with no pay.
– Must be willing to be available on weekends
– Must work well with others
– Must have an incredible amount of patience
– Must be able to think outside the box.
– Must be able to fail and fail often.
– Pay NOT guaranteed.
– Work hours are typically 12-16 hours per day, 7 days a week.
– No Training Available
Now who in their right mind would sign-up for such a job? Yet, so many of us have and the life we have been rewarded with is nothing short of exceptional. However, make no mistake. Running a business or being an entrepreneur is definitely not for the faint of heart. High risk, high reward because as contradicting as the rewards might sound (financial and personal freedom). Realizing the initial requirements to getting there are where most people fall short. The best way I can put it, is Its a lot easier running a marathon if you know what distance you need to cover.
So if you are thinking about starting your own business or becoming an entrepreneur, (IF you want to be successful). Be ready to work like you have never worked before. Be ready to be awake when most are going to sleep and awake when those same people are waking up. Be ready to sacrifice, this means less time with your family, less time with your friends, less time watching your favorite TV shows or sports teams. Be ready to face doubt when your close friends and family think you are crazy for putting in so many hours with no end in sight.
But let me tell you, assuming you have the right plan, goals and motivations behind starting your business. You’ll find a natural high that occurs from achieving something that appeared impossible at the beginning (and all the rewards that come with it).
Aside from being a husband, brother, son, friend and father to various fur-babies (yes furbabies), I am a long time business owner/entrepreneur. Born in 1982, my journey as an entrepreneur started at a very young age (from throwing newspapers with my brother at the age of 6 to starting my first internet business at the age of 19. Since I could remember, I was always intrigued by the idea of working for “myself” as the idea of working a traditional 9-5 never really appealed to me.
Today, I have reached a level of success that allows me to work full-time from my home or office (depending on what the day entails). While also generating enough revenue to not only support my family, but also continue to grow the Forward Web brand (my core business). Lately, I have also had the opportunity to explore new business opportunities (e-commerce and traditional brick and mortar), which has been great. In short, things have never been better for me and I truly feel blessed to be where I am at today (not just in business, but also spiritually and mentally).
With that being said, I would be lying if I said the path to my version of success was filled with nothing but clear sky’s and smooth sailings. Truth be told, I failed far more than I succeeded and having started at such a young age, probably struggled a little more than I should have (had I of just kept a more open mind to others business ideas and suggestions). Now that I have gotten to the level where I am at today, I would like to give some of the knowledge I have obtained through the years back to help those who have similar dreams, aspirations or even current business owners who are finding themselves in a bit of a rut.
In short, this website is about Entrepreneurship. It is my hope to create a library that mostly consists of my ideas and experiences on starting, owning and growing a business. Through various trials and tribulations, it took me roughly 15 years to get to this point in my career. Lately I have been feeling the need to give some of the knowledge I have obtained over the course of my career back to those who need it (like I once did). I don’t have everything figured out, but i definitely possess enough information where I feel I can add value to any conversation involving business ownership and entrepreneurship. With that being said, it is my hope you will find some of the information I posses useful in your endevours as a business owner/entrepreneur.