business advising

this week i had two conversations with people thinking about starting new businesses.  i am asked fairly often about my process-- how i started my business, what is it like to own my own business, how hard do i REALLY have to work...  in response i talk about the flexibility in my lifestyle, the creative freedom of ordering my work life around something i really love doing-- but i do not sugar coat my response.  here are the hard parts:

you don't have to know a lot about doing business to start one-- that is all stuff you can and will learn; you do have to have the drive to make your vision a reality-- that drive will carry you through the hard times-- and there will be LOTS of hard times; you have to be willing to work harder than you have probably ever done before;  you will need an enormous amount of support from your family and friends to juggle all that you will need to juggle in order to undertake this new project; AND, frankly, you need a bunch of money-- i was told not to expect to take home any money in the first year, and not to expect to make enough to live on for the first three to five years-- and in this economy?  expect that to really mean five years.  new businesses that fail within the first year often do so because the person/people starting the business did not get this kind of business advice, or did not listen to it.

i end my little speech like this:  what i do is harder than i ever could have imagined.

AND i wouldn't change it for the world.


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