Updated: Jan 1, 2021
Originally published on Forbes.com.
Entrepreneurship isn’t for everybody. Some are perfectly content with their 9-5 jobs, collecting their pay and benefits, and relaxing on the weekend. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.
To be a small business owner, you have to get comfortable being uncomfortable. I came from the corporate world where a fixed salary, pay date, and benefits were all the norm. Once you step out on your own, those luxuries go away. I may have slacked off on a Friday or even took a week off yet I still got paid for it. In entrepreneurship, you eat what you kill so resilience and thick skin are essential.
Before you jump in, be realistic about your level of commitment to a business. Can you sustain it? Are you prepared to be responsible for EVERYTHING? How do you know if you have the right personality?
I knew I had the right personality to be a small business owner when I found myself having to constantly fix things. I may have been hired to lead a 40+ person accounting team or complete purchase accounting for a $250 million dollar acquisition but things like looking for a new bank and identifying system issues became integral parts of my roles. Many of these opportunities came as a result of my curiosity and posing questions like “why are we doing it like this” or “why are we paying a third party who isn’t servicing our needs?”
These things have to be at top of mind as a business owner. I always say ADD VALUE. Bring something to the table that the competition (or co-workers) do not. Sometimes you have to go outside the scope of a defined role to get things done, that’s whether you work for yourself or for someone else. Not all businesses have the resources to hire teams but regardless you still have to be well-versed in their roles. How will you teach them to do something well if you don’t know what to do?
One of the best things you can do for your business is to have your “back office” in order. When you're unorganized in your business your customers can also feel that and now it’s impacting your revenue.