Want to Own a Business? Here is a Reality Check First

Want to Own a Business? Here is a Reality Check First

Starting and owning your own business is the American dream. But dreams are…well…often far from reality. When you’re starting your own business, the reality is that you might end up eating a lot of peanut butter and mac-and-cheese for years and years. So, if you’re accustomed to taking your steady paycheck and dining out, you’re in for a rude awakening.

Starting a business is tough, possibly tougher than anything you’ve ever done in your life. So right away, get rid of any grand notions that it will be easy or that you’ll get rich quick. There may be times when you’ll just be happy if your basic needs are met: Food, water, shelter — check.

photo credit: Steve Hanna

Imagine yourself with zero money. I mean zero. Because there is a high probability that this will happen to you. What would that be like? How would you survive? What would you eat? Where would you sleep? What’s your fall-back plan (hanging out in the basement of your parent’s house?) How little can you survive on, and can you handle that kind of stress?

Get ready to do many things you may not particularly like. Writing. Public speaking. Reading and comprehending lots of boring material, like contracts. Completing mountains of paperwork until the wee hours of the morning. Bookkeeping. Filling out tax forms. Sound like fun?

And don’t think that you can just hand off the job of selling your product or service to someone else. You are the one who needs to figure out how to sell it first. If you can’t sell it, no one else will be able to sell it either.

Even when your business starts to make a profit, and you finally make enough to support your family, you will have new worries that will keep you up at night. Like this one: can you pay your employees enough so they can support their families too? It’s a big responsibility — huge.

Yes, owning a business is guaranteed to be a wild ride! And, don’t think that you’ll someday be able to sit back and relax. You won’t. It will be a wild ride the entire way. But take heart: You will probably become a better rider with time.

Does all this make you want to give up?

If your answer is no… good. That means you’re probably ready to be an entrepreneur.

Bill Bradley quote

There’s nothing better than pursuing your passion, not someone else’s. There’s nothing like seeing your business take off, and inviting others to join you in the hard work. If you’ve got an idea that won’t let you sleep at night, it may be time for you to take that leap of faith and turn it into something real.
Go ahead. Make your mark on the world that says “I was here.” The world needs more entrepreneurs like you!

Mike Kappel

Mike Kappel is the founder and CEO of Patriot Software Inc., and has over 30 years of entrepreneurial experience. Patriot Software Inc., is a Software as a Service (SaaS) business that offers cloud based accounting software (more details here) and online payroll for U.S. small businesses (learn more here). For more information, please visit Patriot Software. Follow: @MikeKappel on Twitter.