If you are reading this blog, it’s probably because you’re entrepreneurial and looking for information to build a successful business. So, the next paragraph may seem like a detour but allow me to assure you it’s not.
A friend of yours is tired of renting a room in someone else’s house and decides to build a house of his own. After spending his last dime purchasing a vacant lot, you notice him scavenging the neighborhood for building materials and dragging them back to his home site. After some time looking over the hodgepodge, he selects some eclectic pieces and attempts to cobble them together into what could be generously described as a cracker box. You gasp at the realization that your friend’s new residence will likely be blown away with the first gust of wind. He’s a really good friend. So, what advice would you give him?
“Excuse me?” you say. “This is a ridiculous situation. No one I know would do something this foolish. What’s the point?” Allow me some poetic license for a moment and let me assure you that you do know such person. They already have or shortly will undertake such an exercise. And, you will be called upon to give them advice. How do I know this? Remember the first sentence of this blog post? You would not be reading this if you did not know such a person. Such person resides in your mirror.
You see, I observe such behavior in people every day. They are people who have spent their working lives as employees working for someone else. They felt the need to strike out on their own and go into business for themselves. They generally underestimated what resources it takes to succeed in their own business. They invested what few dollars they had to get a barebones business started only to discover that they did not have sufficient cash to build it properly. They cobbled together disparate pieces as best they could and 90% failed with the first adversity they faced. What we can see so easily in the lives of others, we have difficulty seeing for ourselves. If only we could give ourselves good advice.
Now reread the first part of this blog post and see if it doesn’t make more sense than it did on the first read. What advice might you give that person in your mirror now about starting or building their new or young company?
Here is an important “takeaway” for you; “Building a business is subject to O’Malley’s Law.” What is O’Malley’s Law? You are probably familiar with Murphy’s Law: – It’s harder than it looks; It’ll take longer than you think; and, If anything can possibly go wrong…it will. O’Malley’s law simply states: Murphy was an optimist!
Your success in a business of your own is directly proportional to your knowledge and preparation. Paramount in this process is understanding the role of money; how to minimize your need for it, how to maximize your ability to raise it, how to tap the resources of other people to create an inexhaustible pool ready to handle any contingency; and equally important, how to structure your business to attract it at every level from investors and lenders to contributors and customers.
What advice would you give to yourself now? Where are you in the process of building your own successful business? What have you done to prepare yourself to amass the amount of money and other resources it will take for you to succeed?
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