Running your own business can seem like a dream come true at the outset. You’ve honed a particular skill or developed a new idea, product or system. You’ve launched and taken your business to market.
We watch Dragon’s Den and The Apprentice. We see posts and updates on social media talking about how great things are going, the highs being achieved, how people are moving up a level, pushing forward, growing, scaling……………and we’re drawn in.
But what’s not talked about enough is the cost of chasing success in business. And it’s something that needs to be talked about more often, and certainly in startup networks. Think about it……….would you expect someone to take on the climbing of Mount Everest without a full suite of mental and physical training?
Of course, the real key here is knowing whether you want to climb Mount Everest in the first place or if a gentle walk up some nearby hills is enough for you. When you start your business, get clarity on the end game. Are you aiming to break £1 million in sales or do you want a solid lifestyle business that supports your family needs and future?
In this blog, we tackle the truth around the mental side of running your own business and the 3 elements of:
When it comes to chasing success in business, what is the true cost? Let’s just list out the challenges you can expect to face.
- Money – you won’t earn much at the outset, so be prepared to be able to cover your normal bills from savings and cut your outgoings for a period of time
- Money – cashflow is paramount in the early days and needs to be monitored regularly and rigorously
- Time – you’ll work longer hours than in your job
- Time – you may need to sacrifice other time commitments in the short term, including with your family and your hobbies/interests
- Energy – your sleep is affected, as your mind has lots more hurdles to navigate, and it’s difficult to switch off completely
- Energy – you will be wearing lots more hats every day such as running the marketing plan, getting the sales, managing the finances, dealing with customers, directing your team, keeping an eye on strategy, the legals, continuing to be innovative………so be prepared for lower energy and mood
Running your own business can be a lonely place, and it isn’t for the faint hearted. Make sure you talk to other business owners before you embark. Get involved with supportive network groups from an early stage. If possible, get yourself a good business mentor to guide you and give you the help you will need.
On now to the next element and one that needs to be called out………….chasing.
The world we live in today is super connected. Whilst this is a force for good, it can also work against us in our business. Reading posts and watching endless videos and reels of others in business has its downsides including:
- Distraction – the habit of “doom scrolling” can be detrimental to your focus, your direction, your efficiency, your effectiveness and of course your mental health
- Imposter syndrome – reading, hearing and seeing how amazing things are for everyone else in business may make you feel inadequate and question your ability
- The hamster wheel effect – you are constantly chasing new sales, being super senstive to customer care, and you feel like your world will implode if you drop one ball
To counter the mental strain of “chasing”, here are a few tips to follow:
- Remeber the phrase Attention with Intention – browsing social media as a business owner is not productive or constructive. Use social media as a tool as it was designed, and login only to do something that forms part of your normal business processes.
- Progress not perfection – it’s OK to drop a ball, drop a few………just don’t drop any glass ones and learn to know the difference between the balls you’re juggling.
- The vast majority of what you read, hear and see on social media is the tip of the iceberg. It’s the bit people WANT you to see. Underneath the surface, we’re all facing the same challenges. In other words, just remember that it’s all BS and noise.
We start our business and we want it to be a success. But what does “success” mean? Try asking yourself that question without fear of judgement or failure.
For some, success will mean:
- 50+ staff
- Several locations / offices
- 1 million + followers on socials
- £1 million turnover
- Retiring at under 50
- Selling your business for a heft price tag
- Being renowned in your industry as a leading expert
For others, success will mean something completely different:
- 5 dedicated team members who stay with your company for 10 years +
- Working remotely, and whenever you need to with no set hours
- Focus on one product, process, system or service and nailing it better than anyone in your sector
- £200k turnover with £50k profits after taking out a good salary and benefits
- Working 3 days a week
- Earning enough to build a nice pension pot
- Working with a small group of exclusive customers
Key tip: only you can decide what type of business is right for you. Just be aware that the more you intend to grow and scale, it comes with these costs……….maybe not forever but no one has grown a business rapidly or to a significant level without dropping down on energy, time and money along the way.
If you’re going to shoot for the moon, be prepared to accept the waves, the hurdles, the peaks and troughs that inevitably come. Be ready to give up certain things, at least for a period of time. The length of at time period will depend on the experience you have in scaling the experience of those you choose to surround yourself with. So get the right people around you.
If you want to build a small, strong business to be proud of, then surround yourself with a loyal team, loyal followers and make sure you prioritise the things that really matter in life.
At Satori Accounting, we help small business owners regain energy, time and money through the numbers in their business. We help you get super clear on where you’re going, how to get there………..and most importantly why.