5 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started My Business

5 THINGS I WISH I KNEW BEFORE I STARTED MY BUSINESS

1 KEEP. IT. SIMPLE.

I am sure you have heard the phrase, ” Jack of all trades, master of none” Often times I see people get so excited with the possibilities that they want to do everything, but end up doing everything with average execution and nothing that is excellent.

It is beautiful to be creatively inspired enough to want to grow, expand and explore all avenues. But when it comes to actually executing something tangible, especially in the case of someone who has never done it, this can be a recipe for disaster.

Even in regards to giving other people options to choose from, having too many can be more detrimental to both parties. I listened to a TED talk where a gentleman was giving a very powerful example of this. A watch company sent out a sales man with 3 watches to sell, then on another occasion they sent out the same sales man with 1 of the three watches for sale. It turns out, when he went out with only one watch it sold more than the 3 combined.

Often times, until put into action. Things that seem simple are quite complex and take a deep involvement.

When you are intending to provide a service or a product, we must consider scale. When it comes to doing anything on a large scale, nuances and variables are the things that create the most stress, because it takes a creative persons presence to problem solve and constantly find solutions.

So the more simple you can develop anything to be the greater the flow.

2. THE POWER OF SYSTEMS

This is really the second portion to the first lesson. Systems are so powerful. Sometimes they can be looked at as unemotional, impersonal, boring. Truthfully, they are and are intended to be. Not that they are really intended to be boring, there can actually be a great power and joy in mastering a simple action. But they are meant to be methodical.

It’s great when it comes to executing something to have a procedure. It will leave less room for someone to make a mistake because they are clear on the systems and procedures for accomplishing a given task. Also, very importantly, it will create accountability and expectation.

Often in life we have disagreements with people because communication was lacking and the expectations were not clear. Two people assumed two different things. When many of these elements are clear and written down, it will not leave much room for misunderstandings.

3 STARTING YOUR OWN BUSINESS IS LIKE HAVING A CHILD.



 


I personally don’t have any children, but I know other business owners who do, that have used the same analogy.
First there are labor pains. Then there is the joy and excitement of something new being birthed into the world. Then there is the volatility of acclimating to a new environment. Then the baby learns to talk, walk and before you know it, its running marathons at record pace and you don’t even know when it got a job to afford to buy its first pair of shoes.

When you start a business, there is a progressive and momentous nature to the energy. It takes a lot of personal effort in the beginning. You are doing everything on your own or with a few people. There are no days off. 24 hours a day 365. Then eventually as certain aspects are established there is a momentum that has been developed that no longer needs any input from you to maintain.

This stage is also what is known as the mature stage in a business. Where you function in relationship to it as a coach, mentor, visionary and primary guiding force but no longer needing to do it all.

4 BE PATIENT.

Nothing changes over night. Especially when you have a large staff and big goals. Often times as a business owner you can want things to be perfect 100 percent of the time. They won’t be. That’s life. You also want your visions to be realized instentaneously. They won’t be. But as time progresses you will see that is the beauty of it all. Really grasping that it is about the journey and that developing your business, yourself and your staff is a process and an amazingly satisfying one at that.

Early on in my business, every little thing that I saw that did not feel it was up to my standard bothered me quite intensely. If I saw an employee doing something that I didn’t like, I either wanted to fire them on the spot or a couple hours later.

When you have only been in business for a couple of days it’s hard to see the big picture. 10 years, 20 years down the line, all these things that seem so important you will realize are not. This does not mean you should not take note and make the proper changes to the day to day operations. But this understanding may help you to make these changes in a way that is not so emotional. It’s not life and death for your business….at least most of the time.

5 IT WONT LOOK LIKE YOU IMAGINE

Not in the beginning at least. Often time when I hear other aspiring business owners talk about the vision of their business and how they see themselves participating with in it, it sounds like a beautiful disney movie.

They can only see all the beauty of walking around their five start restaurant, greeting guests and kissing babies as confetti falls from the sky.

Not to say that you can not eventually end up in this place, but usually as a first time business owner you will not start there. Nor will you get to that place for a while.

We can not imagine the challenges that will come and how to avoid them because we have zero experience and our imagination has the tendency to romanticize the process. This in some ways is a good thing.

As someone once said to me, “if you knew what it took to run your own business before you started it, you probably would have never done it” this could be true. But also, I know deep down, I am better for it, all the challenges and adversity has made me who I am and I am grateful for that.

So I don’t want to scare you but I do want to put a healthy level of caution in you. I want you to understand that whatever the undertaking, it’s going to be new, so your going to learn, its going to be challenging, so you’re going to grow. You must be willing to devout all of your being to your mission. You must be prepared to expand and grow as a person. So if you are not EXTREMELY inspired, DON’t do it. Only do what inspires you deeply.

Running your business might look like a lot of paperwork.

I personally am not one for administrative things. I have always been a creative person. I have the ability to understand numbers and handle simple tasks, but they really don’t make me wake up in the morning bursting with excitement.

In truth, as a first time business owner, these are things that you might have to take on. Unless you have large amounts of money and can delegate these tasks from day one. Until you can afford to hire someone to do the things you don’t want to do, you may just have to learn how to use quickbooks, excel and a fax machine.

Lastly, before you get caught up doing a lot of things that you don’t want to do. Be clear on what you do what to do. Hold strong to that and strive for that, so you can create that experience for yourself in the shortest period of time.

Much Love,

Andrew McFarlane

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