I don’t have a question just thought I would put in my two cents on how much I appreciate what you’ve created. I’m a young dude currently trying to start my own gym by myself and all the stress I’ve had to deal with is incredible!! I can’t imagine how you handle your huge enterprise without going ballistic! Being able to balance your business, family, and training is beyond me. Just thought you should no that I feel your a great role model for people in the strength and conditioning field. Putting your family before business is rarely done nowadays and its cool to know some great people still cherish whats really important. I can tell by reading your logs and the fact that you actually take the time to post logs! That your passionate about what you do and your a loving father which kicks ass! Once again thank you for creating Elitefts your changing lives for the better!
Thank you for the comments and congrats on joining world of The Small Business Owner.
You are now part of a small group of that…
- Have an 85% chance of failing in the first year.
- Take a giant financial risk.
- If you fail, you get to put that on your resume. Oh – more than likely you will also lose everything you own and destroy your credit.
- Have an increased suicide rate.
- Will have to be able to adapt to change quickly in a very uncertain environment with increased liabilities.
- Will at times feel completely isolated and alone and will have no idea who you can trust.
- Responsible for not only your own actions, but also those of each and every person you hire or enlist as volunteers.
- Are now 100% liable and will get verbal and legal actions that will keep you awake many nights. The odds are also very good that you will get sued at least once.
- Have fewer opportunities for vacations and days off.
- Vacations actually become what are known as “working vacations”. You just work less from a remote location.
- You will never have to use the “vacation message or away from the office” email responder again.
- Can’t call in sick.
- Get to do less of the technical work you really enjoy in favor of more strategic work to grow the business.
- Your income (if any) will never be steady or secure.
- As soon as you earn your first dollar you become a sell out. The more you grow the bigger the “sell out” you will become.
- The saying you can’t please everyone becomes more than words on a page but a reality you face everyday.
- If you don’t please “them” you are a Dick. If they don’t please you, you’re also a Dick.
- The fear of failure NEVER goes away. Years ago it used to be said most successful small business were only 2 months away from failure. In today’s economic environment I would say this is now 2-4 weeks.
- Will need to motivate yourself. Even when motivated you need to make sure the work you do counts and will have impact – otherwise it’s just waste of time.
- No sick pay, vacation pay or holiday pay.
- Get to pay all the added payroll expenses on yourself (this is always a great one).
- Your business goes everywhere you do and is in your head 24/7. Leaving work just doesn’t happen.
- Automatically make 10 times what you really do. The truth is you might not be making a dime, but to everyone else you are a business owner – thus you now make well over 250K per year.
- “Business is Business” is what you will be told after you get slammed by others, but when you do the slamming it was all “personal.”
- When you do give back it will never count because it wasn’t given to them.
- Get to discover who your real friends are. The first clue will be they’ll be the first ones to pay your dues and WON’T let you have it any other way. Associates will ask for a discount and the real assholes will just feel entitled to get everything for free.
- Will spend many nights not able to sleep trying to figure out how to pay the bills and/or make payroll.
- People who feel they know better than you, offer great advice, point out how you’re wrong in what your doing and know they could do better – Yet have zero vested interest in the company.
- You are always the last to get paid and then have to decide if it’s better to take the money or reinvest it back into the company for future growth.
- You learn VERY quickly the difference between gross income and net profit.
- The 40-hour workweek quickly becomes a thing of the past, but that number may better represent how much over time you put in.
- If you do begin to succeed, you get the added bonus of family members, friends and associates hating you for any and all reasons you can think of. You will also attract critics at an alarming rate.
I’m sure if I really thought about this I could triple this list, and if I made a couple phone calls I know I could get this over 100 items. Just yesterday I was speaking to a friend of mine who owns a business (that was just threatened legal action – AGAIN) and said we needed to write a book on the 101 reasons why owning a business sucks. His replay was that there’s no way we could narrow it down that much.
I guess my point is that it’s very hard to deal with all the BS and keep balance. I’d go as far as to say it can’t be done. With this in mind, I put my family first (it was not always that way and I almost paid a huge price for it) completely knowing it would cause other problems down the line. Owning a business and putting your family first does and will come at a price, (loss of income, friends, free time, slower growth, etc) but at the same time if you don’t, that also comes at a price (stressful home life or no home life at all).
It’s really a matter of deciding what matters most and knowing there are pros and cons of every decision you make…then dealing with them as they come.
Many years ago when I was just starting my company a VERY successful, VERY rich and VERY happy CEO contracted me to do a private seminar for him. At the time he was worth over 20 million so I wasn’t sure what to expect. Long story short, he turned into a mentor for me and still is today. After the seminar we went out for dinner and I told him of my new two-month old son and how I wasn’t sure how I was going to be able to keep everything in balance. I still remember what he told me as if it was yesterday. He said, “You don’t have to – having children will make you better at business.” I asked him what he meant and was told I would know in a few years.
It took me more than a few years and I may still not entirely know, but what I do know is I’ve become harder and less caring about certain things. I don’t worry about how things “seem” or how it will come across. I just don’t give a shit about the small things and really don’t care if it pisses anyone off anymore. I have better things to deal with and if it effects my family or takes emotional time away from them I will delegate it, fix it or get rid of it. I blow things off without a second thought that six years ago would’ve driven me insane and I’m sure to some I’m seen as a dick for doing so. But I’d rather be seen as a Dick to some if it allows me to be a Dad to others. This is a choice I’ve made that allows me to focus on the bigger issues that will help the company grow and my family life strong.
Looking over the list above doesn’t make having your own business look very attractive, but it’s the truth. It’s not a bunch of overblown BS we all read in the latest “top seller” book list. Like training, business take sweat, work, consistency and a never quit attitude. It’s easy to be motivated when things are good, but in my opinion motivation doesn’t matter, execution does. Motivation is temporary while execution is getting things done and always looking forward. Owning a business CAN be great and CAN provide a great life for you, but everything comes at a price.
When we train and compete, we know the risk of injury. We know we need to train even when we don’t want to. We know when to seek help and when to push on. We know when to rest and when to push harder. We know if it was easy everyone would squat X, bench X or look like X – but it’s not. It’s not easy – not at all. We know the risks and make our decisions based on what we feel will move us closer to the goal. Owing a business is the same thing except the risks are higher, the stress greater and the competition does not want you to succeed.
In powerlifting your competition many times (most of the time) want to see you do well, break PRs and bring your best game. If powerlifting was like business, your competition would be trying to kick your legs out from under you when you squat, your spotters would have their eyes closed and hands behind their backs and the judges would be taking bribes from lobbyists.
Business is competitive and brutal and nobody gives a shit!
Despite all this madness and bullshit, you can still break records and stand tall, but you’ll have to shoulder a lot of weight to do so.
Having a business can be very rewarding in many ways and isn’t all darkness and BS. For example you have the opportunity for genuine accomplishment from idea to reality, complete decision making control and unrestricted creativity. Even with these it sure as hell isn’t the beautiful picture many authors and consultants try to paint. The truth wouldn’t gain clients or sell many books would it?
Don’t be one of those people who quit when things get hard. This is why there is a 85% small business failure rate. Be the type of person that becomes DRIVEN by the challenges listed above.
What you feel is hard today will be a joke later down the road. Life has it’s way of making things HARDER as we grow and become stronger.
Perhaps…this is how we get strong(er).