Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Bright Idea to Big Business Tip #2

Tip #2:  It Works if you Work
Do something every day for your business. 

If you are in the idea phase that means writing, researching, and checking out the market.

This will be a little off topic at first but I will tie it together in the end.  I want to share a story that I hope will help someone.  A few years ago, (2004)…I was in Nursing School (actually on the waiting list to be accepted), and a single mother.  I was not rich but I had a roof over my head, a job, and some avenues if I needed help.  I was so miserable and I wanted to do something totally different.

So I moved away from my hometown to another state because I wanted something better for my life and my son.  I kept starting and stopping the Nursing School thing until one day I realized that “I did not want to be a Nurse”.  I discovered I was not following my dream I was doing the “thing” everyone said I should do. 
****  I still get lots of gossip about that one --- (mostly behind my back but some pretty in my face).

 I did not really know I would or even wanted to have my own business at this time.
 Long story short…New state brought New dreams. 

I started meeting people who had their own businesses who were not really different from myself. What I learned from that experience was that businesses were easier to start than I thought.  I started a business that was basically me and some family members.  We had no clue of what we were doing…One down.

So the next time because I was determined to get it right, I started another business with my boyfriend. This time we went all out and started a restaurant.    A Partnership… (not the best way to go for me).  It was lots of money but I never made a dime.  Everyone was either stealing from us or we owed money out.   We had too much business, too many employees, and still no clue of what we were doing. ....Two down

  Well I learned a lot and we lost a lot.  In our ignorance we never sought out advice and that “partnership”   ended with losing a business and leaving me with a huge tax bill (about $30 k).  Partnerships can leave you personally liable.  

Lesson: Get Tax Advice, Monitor your Cash, Hire a Good Manager  

It was during this time that I began to wonder if I was crazy or I was just destined to do something else. I had pretty much given up on trying another business.  I was broke, unsure of my career path, and a little ego bruised.  So after some time I tried again.  

This time I started different.
First I wrote out a plan, not just a few pages but a clear plan for the next few years.  I needed to clearly map out how I saw things going in this business.   I didn't forget to mention this before…we just didn't do it and that is a rookie mistake.  We were acting like we knew it all when in essence we didn't know enough.   See the difference between the times before and this time boils down to learning the lessons.  The first time we started with no money, no vision, and eventually no business.  Then, we had lots of money to start but no knowledge, no clear vision, no discipline, and we failed again.  This time is different I have the school of Hard Knox education, some professional business advisers, access to money, working CPA knowledge, and a clearly written, well defined business plan.  We are not breaking the bank but we are still in business.
Without the initial cash to do everything at once, you have to make decisions about what is important.  Now each day has a goal and purpose.  Each day there is a focus in our business, sometimes its product development, other times its marketing and networking, or some other aspect of the business.  The reason I like having a business is not all about the money.  It is about the process for me, I needed to learn the hard way that the process was just as important as the outcome.    Now I’m learning that everything cannot be done in one day but every day I can do something to make the business a success.

Follow Your Dreams and Don’t Give Up. 

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