It’s a very rare business situation where you work hard for x number of years, get things to a certain point, and then you’re able to go sit on a beach in the Bahamas and just watch the money roll in. I won’t say it never happens, but it’s rare enough that it’s unlikely to happen to you (sorry!).
What I’ve found myself (and noticed in others) is that no matter how successful you are, having your own business is always going to involve some level of discomfort:
- The product you’ve been living large off the back of for 10 years might suddenly become irrelevant (digital cameras anyone?)
- Financial markets can collapse
- Booms will come to an end
- Bubbles will burst
Twice now we (my husband and I) have experienced incidents (one sudden and one gradual) that wiped out cash reserves we’d spent years building up in our businesses. Both times these things happened it was heartbreaking to see those cash reserves decimated – but you might also argue that those situations were what we built up cash reserves for in the first place.
What those experiences have taught me is this:
- One should never take the good times for granted.
- Those good times should always be used to put money away for the bad.
- There are things in business and life that are very much out of your control.
- So long as you have a great team in place, you can face down the challenges thrown up by those things – and come out the other side thriving.
I think that is the most exciting thing about the entrepreneurial life – it’s never boring because things are constantly evolving. And we’re forced to evolve both ourselves and our businesses in order to keep up.
That’s why I think one of the most important ‘shortcuts’ to business success is getting comfortable with the fact that being a business owner will alway involve a level of discomfort. I know once I wrapped my head around that, I started to better enjoy to perks of the ‘job’ – the extra flexibility, earning power, and ability to be the master of my own destiny.