When a business owner starts a new venture, it always seems like a race against time until you turn the corner – the profit corner, that is. Of course, that is only the first success marker, the ultimate goal is to actually generate sufficient income to pay the bills and create a differrent level of personal freedom but sometimes we need to remember that "slow and steady wins the race".
I was thinking the other day about a colleague of mine that is essentially out of business. He still pretends publicly that his company exists but when you pull back the curtain (think Wizard of Oz), there are no clients, no income, no business.
It's a hard thing to witness.
I met him pretty quickly after he began his company in 2007 and I clearly remember him saying, "I'm giving it a year." At the time, I also clearly remember thinking, "He's not going to make it." Don't' get me wrong…as I coach I want everyone to succeed. It is truly my fervent hope and desire but I am also a coach because I have learned, studied and experienced what doesn't work and in the case of this gentleman what clearly wasn't going to work was turning his company into a bill-paying enterprise within a year.
Why? Well, first of all, he ran a service company. Service companies are a different animal. Success is predicated on performance, consistency, credibility and trust. In other words, things that take time. As a sole-proprietor, unless you can figure out a way to "go big" rather quickly, the one-by-one-by-one approach places you squarely on the path of the tortoise.
Strike two – His pricing was ridiculously low (and well below the market price) for his service and his performance. The guy is extremely gifted at what he does but he priced his product so low that the idea of turning a profit (let alone paying the bills) was significantly delayed. He thought that he would generate volume to make up for the price but unfortunately the volume never arrived.
Strike three – He never hired anyone that could help him accelerate his results. Given his commitment (or his desperation) to generate numbers within a year, it was almost imperative that he invest in outside support such as a business coach, mastermind group or similar business accelerator. His reason for not doing so? You guessed it. He couldn't afford it! Based on his result, I would submit that he couldn't afford not to…
The bottom line:
If you're thinking about starting a new venture – GO FOR IT! – but be realistic with your planning and budget time lines. Anything is possible with the right resources, support and persistence but it's up to you to do your homework and set the correct expectations for how you define success.
You were born to be great.
YES, you can!