Croissant chupa chups dragée donut apple pie.
A podcast where you join me (Penny!) as I chat to fellow creatives over a cocktail.
Caramels cookie marzipan chocolate danish soufflé powder oat cake pie. Candy icing lemon drops danish halvah macaroon jelly beans sweet.
Press play and I’ll read this juicy article to you!
You might even see my name pop up. I provide business mentorship to women who want to start or grow a business. I call it, “BUSINESS THERAPY”.
That title isn’t just to be clever.
Running a successful business isn’t all sunshine and rainbows like a lot of people advertise.
It’s like a white water rafting adventure with obstacles to maneuver around, rapids that threaten to overturn your business, and spans of slowness that make you wonder if you’ll ever get to where you want to be.
The drama of owning and operating a business often demands the support and guidance of a (business) therapist.
I have some theories about this…
I’d come across as an arrogant jerk who thinks she’s special and other people don’t have what it takes to own a profitable business.
(For the record, I don’t think I’m special, but I also don’t think everyone has the skillset, resiliency, and determination required to run a successful business.)
But it appeared as though she was doing pretty well selling those useless boxes of sparkle.
You never know if a business idea will take off or crash and burn- until you try it. And no one wants to be blamed for keeping someone from starting a business that could become the next Air B&B or TikTok.
But in order to make an informed decision, you need the complete picture of what that’s like – not just the highlight reel.
Allow me to go against the grain, be the bearer of bad news for a moment, and share the reality of business ownership with you.
There are no shortcuts.
Because of this, you need to be prepared to either have another stream of income (a job, a partner’s salary, etc.), have a stash of money in savings, or be willing to go into debt to pay your bills and fund start-up costs.
Not everyone is lucky enough to have any of those three options.
But I put in hours and hours of time gathering and creating tools and homework assignments for clients, researching diagnoses, finding community resources, managing billing, scheduling appointments, designing marketing materials, and returning calls and emails that when I added all the time, I was making less than the guy flipping burgers at McDonald’s.
When I expanded my business, I went into massive debt. I was working 30 hours a week and paying myself $0- because there wasn’t any money to bring home.
Not everyone can stomach working for free – for any period of time. People need to eat.
It’s all well and good until one of your employees calls off last minute and you have to scramble to find coverage during your dinner date, close and lose a boatload of money, or miss out on your kid’s birthday party to cover the shift yourself.
Staffing issues? Workplace drama? Not enough money to make payroll? A mistake that could lead to a lawsuit?
It all falls on you – the owner.
Zero people signed up.
I rolled the dice and lost that round. I’m pretty resilient, and I’m not a sore loser, nor do I expect to always win. But not everyone is like that.
Some people fall apart when things don’t go as planned or want to quit when they lose. These kinds of people probably shouldn’t have a business because entrepreneurship is fickle.
If you’re going to play the business game, you must be prepared for wins and losses.
This is especially true during the business’s infancy stage because you don’t have the history to look back at previous years and see if there are patterns of ebb and flow. It’s nerve-racking to crunch numbers every month to find out if there’s enough money to pay the mortgage or not.
Months when cash flow has increased aren’t any easier. You still have to make tough decisions about what to do with the “extra” cash.
Reinvest it into the business? Take it home? Save it for taxes? Give your team a bonus? Keep it to pay next month’s bills in case of a lull?
Make the wrong decision and you might find yourself in hot water.
Now, I’m not telling you to chuck your entrepreneurial dreams out the window, shut down your business, or give up on the idea of starting one. But it is important to know what you’re getting yourself into and see the full picture of what it’s like to own a business.
I could write ten more articles on how great running a business is, too. The point of this post is to help you see both sides of the entrepreneurial coin.
Now you can take this info and make decisions for yourself.
P.S. I know firsthand how hard the ups and downs of business can be and I’d love to help guide and support you in your business if you’d like some company on the journey. Click here for info on how we can work together.