Growing a business at times can be a roller coaster experience.
There are the moments of elation when a new sales objective is achieved.
There’s the satisfaction in knowing that you’ve been able to help someone with your goods and services.
There are the moments when self-doubt overtakes you, and all your inadequacies are exposed in vivid detail.
There’s the fulfillment that comes from problem-solving and building something from nothing.
There’s the painful heartache that comes from putting everything you’ve got into something only to realize that your best just wasn’t enough.
There’s the delight that comes when you start to gain momentum.
All that hard work is finally paying off.
Someone once told me that as an entrepreneur, you have to get comfortable with being uncomfortable.
In yesterday’s blog post When You Hit The Wall, What Decision Will You Make?, I shared some of the struggles I’ve been having with getting my marketing off the ground.
Earlier today, I asked myself the following question:
“Damon, why are you building this new business?”
You had a good life.
You were making really good money.
You were working half as much as you are now.
Why did you decide to make a change?
I pondered about this for a while and then I came back with my answer.
“Because I have to.”
A year ago, I became aware of something that’s been lying dormant within me.
There’s a big misconception out there that if business owners are super-rich.
Business owners live life on easy street.
Business owners have a swimming pool of money.
It’s true. Some business owners become fabulously rich from owning businesses.
But the vast majority of people that start in business fail.
It’s absolutely soul-crushing to see someone give everything thing they have and then have to declare bankruptcy because their business doesn’t work.
So the question comes again.
“Damon, Why are you building this new business?”
Because I have to.
I’ve learned a thing or two about business.
I’ve been able to create an amazing life for myself as a result of building my business.
I have to share what I’ve learned with others who are looking to build their ideal life from their business.
Most businesses fail because they run out of money.
There are lots of reasons for running out of money, and I’ve experienced many of them.
Businesses run out of money because they are fundamentally broken.
Broken businesses fail because the right actions that lead to financial success are not being performed.
If they were doing the right things, their bank accounts would be overflowing with money.
I’ve made some of the same mistakes these business owners have made.
Successful business owners do the right fundamental things in their businesses that bring them financial success.
The one difference is learned from mistakes and figured out how to make my business more profitable, so I could have the money to give me the life of my dreams.
However, I didn’t start with a successful business. I struggled.
I had all the financial knowledge I needed.
I had an MBA, I was a CPA, yet I still messed things up when it came to the money side of my business.
I have more knowledge about how money works than 98% of Americans.
Despite having the money knowledge, I still messed things up.
Why did I mess things up?
Because I didn’t have the right money actions.
I failed to do the right things with my money.
There’s a lesson to be learned there. Knowledge by itself is useless.
What’s really matters are the actions that one takes.
Once I got the right actions with my money, my bank account started to fill up.
Eleven years ago, I was receiving an unemployment check.
I had just finished graduate school with a mountain of student loan debt.
I had no idea where my next dollar was going to come from.
I tried to get a job, but nobody was hiring.
My back was against the wall, and somehow I figured starting a business was my best option.
I started a business in the worst economy hopefully I’ll ever see.
It was the scariest time of my life.
My wife had faith in me that I would figure things out.
Never once did she say anything negative about me as I was struggling to build a business so I could take care of our little family.
I struggled hard for two years.
I naively assumed that just hanging up a shingle would mean people would come flocking to hire me.
Oh, I was sadly mistaken.
I had to go out and find my customers.
I hustled and hustled and hustled some more.
I did a lot of networking because I believed that was the quickest way for me to get customers that would hire me.
And it worked.
I started to get customers. I started making money.
In my second year, I came to the startling conclusion that what I was doing wasn’t working.
You see, I had earned more money during my second year in business than I did in my first year of business.
However, I made the all too common mistake that many other business owners make.
I spent more money in my second year than I did in my first year.
I spent more money in year two than I earned.
As a consequence, I put my self in a precarious financial position. I had maxed out all my credit cards.
Once I got close to maxing out one credit card, I applied for another credit card so I could keep spending.
I depleted all my savings.
I concluded that what I was doing wasn’t working.
I had to make a drastic change, and I had to make it immediately.
I made the change, and it worked.
I rescued the sinking ship that was my business.
I started making a profit. A profit where I got to pay myself for all the blood sweat and tears, I had thrown into my business.
I started to gain traction and see the fruits of my labors.
I started doing the right things with my money.
I got control of my money.
I’ve succeeded where so few business owners failed.
I beat the odds.
Most businesses don’t last past four or five years.
I’ve been in business for more than eleven years now.
For several years, I kept running into a wall that kept me from succeeding.
When I got tired of running into the wall, I stepped back.
I said to myself, “This sucks. I don’t like running into this wall.”
Then I looked to my left, and I saw a door.
The door had been there all the time.