Do Scary Things.

Do Scary Things.


This week I wanted to take a break from our regular blogging to talk about a subject near and dear to my heart.  Entrepreneurship. 


Last week, as I sat in class and listened to what could arguably be the worst presentation on entrepreneurship, I got all worked up.  The speaker {who happened to fall into owning a business} didn’t present what being an entrepreneur is all about.  He spoke about failing and taking huge risks.  He said he leveraged everything to move his business forward.  Our professor then proceeded to teach that most small business owners starting a business are between the ages of 23-28.  She taught that this was because young people have nothing to lose so we’re willing to take big risks.  I couldn’t help but shake my head.  This was not what I wanted my classmates to think that being an entrepreneur was all about.


If I could teach on entrepreneurship these are the four things I would teach on:


1.     You must have passion for what you’re doing.  You must wake up each day and believe in what you do.  You must remember why you chose your field because you will doubt why you went into business for yourself.  In those moments of doubt, you must be able to remember why you started your business.  You must choose joy when you want to give up.  You will put in more hours than most people.  But if you love what you’re doing, it won’t matter how many hours you put in.  There are moments of extreme happiness and moments of extreme sadness and hardship.  To be successful at being an entrepreneur you must ride out the two extremes.


2.     You must take risks and learn from your mistakes.  I tell my staff when I’m training them, I don’t expect you to sell EVERY time but I do expect you to LEARN every time so you don’t make the same mistake twice.  As an entrepreneur, you’ll learn to love research.  That’s how you take risks.  You research, ask questions, do surveys and take very precise, calculated risks.  You must be able to do the scary things that running a business requires of you.  You must learn to keep going, keep making decisions, and never, ever give up.


3.     The thing that separates those who make it as an entrepreneur and those who don’t is cash flow.  It’s the single hardest part about owning a business.  Profit and loss statements show how much money a business made, but not whether cash will be available when bills become due.  Most businesses operate like most Canadian families, paycheque to paycheque.  The businesses that survive learn how to manage their cash flow and become as passionate about their finances as they are about their respective field of business.


4.  You have to be okay with change.  It's pretty much a given with owning a business.  I actually love change.  My staff will sometimes come in and I've changed things around.  I've learned that I do need to reign it in and follow through with some of my changes better. 


Entrepreneurship.  It’s about developing your weaknesses and playing off your strengths.  It’s about working hard no matter what.  It’s about constant learning, constant growing, constant improving.  It’s about taking risks, but it’s about so much more.