It is commonly known that everyone who owns their own business leads a life of leisure and extreme luxury. Yessiree, when you’re your own boss, you can take three-hour lunches where multiple martinis are consumed; you delegate the dullest tasks to hapless underlings and, at the end of the fiscal year, reap all of the rich, sweet profits.
If only. Starting your own business is treacherous, ulcer-inducing, back-breaking work, where you not only spend every waking hour thinking about the minutiae of licensing, certification, permits, suppliers, tax laws, market research, fulfillment services, subcontractors and thousands of other mind-numbing but necessary details, but you’ll also discover that these particulars also occupy all of your dreams. Please notice that we haven’t even mentioned all of the time and energy you’ll have to dedicate to your actual product or service development.
Well, there has to be some benefit to being your own boss, hasn’t there? Of course! After you’ve spent months and even years devoting your life and sacrificing your relationships to your dreams of career independence, you’ll have a thriving and bustling company of your very own that is still not generating anywhere near enough revenue to even begin to pay off all of the mercenary loans. Ha, ha! Only kidding again! (Not really)
Hey! Aren’t we supposed to be telling you that all of the blood, sweat, tears, fits of blinding rage and stress-induced seizures are worth it in the long run? Yes, that is what we’re supposed to be telling you. And yes, it is totally worth it. Nonetheless, before you reach the apex of professional accomplishment, here are the qualities you’ll have to have, and the hurdles you’ll have to overcome.
We have started, made profitable and sold multiple companies and these are a must in our opinion.
Drive like a freight train.
Some of us have a natural go get ‘em, all-in, never quit, I’ll-sleep-when-I’m-dead disposition, and that’s enviable and irreplaceable. However, even if you don’t have an innate, laser-sharp focus and drive, you must still possess and uncompromising belief in yourself and your ideas.
Clearly, you have to have brains and capitol to realize your entrepreneurial dreams. However, think about every mogul you’ve ever heard of. We’re willing to bet that almost every one of them had an almost sociopathic trust in the superiority of their abilities. We’re not talking about confidence in their product or service; we’re talking about a fundamental certainty that they have all of the answers and that they can do anything better than literally anyone else. Moreover, they believe that success is their indestructible birthright.
Sounds insane, doesn’t it? It is, to an extent. To the rest of the mild-mannered population, it seems not only irrational to never yield to roadblocks in progress or to anyone else’s opinion, it actually seems quite exhausting. Nevertheless, that level of conviction is necessary to the success of any new company, product or service. We’re not suggesting that you behave like an autocratic tornado, muscling everyone out of your way and doing everything yourself, but you have to know what the best procedures are and who can best help you to achieve them. Most importantly, never waver because you aren’t certain about something. If you aren’t certain, find out. Listen to your gut and your data, then make decisions and stand by them.
Work, work and more glorious work!
There is no getting around the amount of work you’ll have to do. It’s unyielding, often discouraging and quite frustrating. It frequently involves the very worst parts of being a cog in the 9-5 machine, but there is no one to whom you can complain or commiserate since you’re doing it all for yourself. And yet you must go on, because the stakes are higher. You might want to take a break, give yourself a little reward for accomplishing some tedious task or allow yourself to sleep in tomorrow, but take your goal into consideration before you decide to slacken your pace. Even though you think you might need a bit of emotional comfort in order to proceed with your journey, how much more comfortable will you be in if you met your objective on time or even [cue celestial choir] early?
Once the mountain is scaled and your business is fully operational, there is nothing better than being at the helm of a company in which you not only have tremendous pride, but is all yours. If you’re a designer, you’ll have the satisfaction of seeing your work on billboards, store shelves, in trade magazines, television and little banners at the bottom of the screen on YouTube videos. Hey, perhaps one day your work will even be displayed in MOMA or some other bastion of contemporary culture! That’s what we’re working towards, even if it means merely stapling one of our posters on a gallery wall and being immediately chased out by security. Mission accomplished.
Work hard and it’s yours.