It’s Just Business, Stop Making It Harder Than It Is!
A young woman reached out to me yesterday looking for a little mentorship on how to get from being employed to self-employed. I get several requests nearly daily for some business advice or people ask me to do a short interview for a school project or some kind of publication I’ve never heard of but this young woman seemed to be really stuck. She was having such a hard time with making the transition to self-employment.
I asked her how bad she really wanted this thing and what she was willing to give up to get it. She did not respond very informatively most likely because she wasn’t prepared for the question. We volleyed back and forth with generalized questions and generic answers but I knew the real reason she was struggling when I asked her this question,
“What is the number one reason you think people who want to start businesses but never do?” Meaning, many people want to start businesses but there is a reason that a lot of people never do it. Her answer to this question was the same answer I expected and is the 9/10 response. She said, “Lack of money.” I said, “Perfect, that was the answer I expected you to say but the question was, – what is the number one reason, not the number one excuse!”
She was a little taken back by my response to her answer but I think I might have had a bit of an impact on her with the rest of our conversation. I’ll paraphrase the rest:
The number one reason that people who want to start a business and become self-employed are not a lack of money. If people tell me they can’t get their operations going because they don’t have enough money, I always say they probably have more money than they think, what they are lacking the most is desire! If you want this thing to get off the ground bad enough, you will find the money! Money is nothing more than a tool for business. You might need an expensive piece of equipment too but I’ll bet you will find a way to get the equipment if you want it and need it bad enough. Business is a cog of many parts and pieces and money are just one of them. Think of it this way, It’s just business, nothing more. Money is part of business. It can be difficult but you just do it!
I recently bought a semi-truck for one of our companies and it put my company into a DOT status of commercial carrier business. I talked to many people about having this status in my business and they told me of the nightmarish hassled of having a DOT number and being registered with the federal motor carrier administration. Many of the people I talked to told me lots of ways to get around the headaches of the federal motor carrier and to only do the bare minimum required to not send up any red flags to the feds. My response to this is- Why not just do it the right way? It’s just business, you just do what it takes. I have always had the attitude that I have nothing better to do with my day than to run my business so why not just run my business to the fullest extent?
I was planning to do a project in the town a hundred miles to the east of where I live. To work in the City of Gillette Wyoming, you need to have a business license from the city. I called the City of Gillette admin and asked how to do it. The lady I talked to made it out to be much harder than it really was. She said I had to fill out a 10-page application and submit it for approval. Then you have to go before the city council and get approved there too. She kept listing off all the things I had to do and tried to make it sound hard and complex. I asked, how do you not get approved to work in the city of Gillette? She said if you don’t fill out the application correctly, you will get denied. I said, “So if I fill out the app correctly, I should be good to go? She said, “Well, there’s a little more to it than that”. I kept asking her to explain how to fail at the application process but she just kept saying generalizations to make it sound harder than it really was. The point is, things are not as hard as other people want you to think they are if you look at it through the attitude of, “it’s nothing more than just business, just do it”
It’s the same with money for startup capital. People think money is hard because they have been conditioned to see it as hard and a limiting factor. Do you ever wonder how so many people came from nothing and are now running vastly successful empires? It’s because they know that it’s just business and you just do what it takes. People are also always looking for the right time to start a business. They say, “I have to wait until the time is right to start my business, I have to wait until the markets are right, or I have to wait until I have a better idea or have improved on my idea.” Here’s the thing, you should never tell me that money is your limiting factor or the timing has to be right to start your business. If you do, I will say you’re just making excuses why you’re not getting started because, I lost my job on November 15th, a month and a half away from Christmas. I had two little kids depending on me to give them a fabulous Christmas, I had no money and no job, can you think of a worse time or worse situation to decide to venture out and try to make a living and feed a family and have a great Christmas and start competing in the cruel and unfair world of free market capitalism and start a new business?
Fear is the number one reason people who want to start businesses but never do. Their lives are controlled by fear especially when it comes to the money. People tell me all the time that they can’t justify putting their livelihood on the line for the chance to start a business. It’s not worth the risk because people fail at business all the time. But just like a great basketball coach told my son one time, “If you think you’re going to lose before you even get started, you’re already 10 points down.”
So what if you lose all your money? It will just feed your desire and your ambition to make it back and when you do make it back, you will know how to make even more! One failure just leads to the next success and so on… You need to stop worrying about the things that are hard or the risk of venture capitalism. It’s nothing more than business and millions of people do it every day! They aren’t just born lucky or the Greek goddess Fortune didn’t just decide to pick a few lucky people to shine down on. The ones that succeed in business view their operations as nothing more than just business. It’s really not that hard and I guarantee you that you can only learn how to be successful at it, once you’re in and actually playing the game. The reason the schools don’t teach personal success and how to become a millionaire is because it can’t be taught- it has to be experienced!
Daniel J Bockman