Kids change everything!
When I was an employee hating my job and dreaming of owning my own business one day I used to think that anyone who wanted to be an employee all their life was clinically insane.
The irony is, now I have had experience operating different businesses, I now believe that perhaps it is the business owners who are insane for starting a business.
Starting a business and raising children is not for the fainthearted. The more kids you have the more income and time you require to look after your kids. When you start a business, income and time is usually at an all-time low.
The first important question you should be asking yourself is – Why do you want to start a business?
The why is always more important than the how or when.
Here are some reasons why you should not start a business
- You want to get rich
- So you never have to answer to anyone again
- You want more time to yourself or with your family.
- So you can call yourself a business owner
Here are some reasons why you should start a business
- You have a passion for a new product or service
- You are highly creative and feel a job can never allow you the freedom to create freely
- You are highly independent and dislike working for a boss
- You have an entrepreneurial spirit and want to make a difference to people’s lives.
- You want to make a positive difference to the world.
Owning a business is hard work and painful
Just like raising a child or a large family starting and building a business is hard work. A lot harder than being an employee.
A business will test all of you, mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually
The excitement of starting your first business is soon replaced by long hours, uncertainty of how you’re going to pay the bills and dealing with customers, staff and the many legal obligations that owning a business entails.
It is simply too hard running a business unless you have a reason that is bigger than just a better lifestyle or becoming rich.
Why the new business failure rate is so high
I believe one of the reasons the business failure rate is so high is because individuals start businesses for the wrong reasons. When the going gets tough (as it will in any business from time to time) the motivational to keep going is not strong enough because the initial reason for starting the business was not a strong enough reason.
IS your business aligned with your spiritual purpose?
This question is an important one. If you don’t know what your purpose is then I suggest you spend considerable time working out what it is before you start a business. My book The Three Desires can also help you discover your purpose before your start a business.
The world could rid itself of some very ordinary businesses if the owners had discovered their purpose before they began their entrepreneurial journey.
The Not so good things about starting and owning a business
- Not many people will support you at first
- Your income will be sporadic for some time
- You may have to do the job of three employees for less money than one employee gets paid
- You will have competitors who play dirty tricks to put you out of business
- Your available time initially will be greatly reduced
- You will have less time with your partner
- You will have less time with your children
- There will not be an off button for your business
- You may lose all your money
- If you’re sick or your partner or kids get sick a lot of your customers will not really care. They expect the business to run smoothly regardless on what’s going on with your personal life.
- You will not be able to just take two weeks sick leave if you’re feeling a little off colour.
The good things about starting and owning a business
- You will be master of your own destiny
- You will be creating something your passionate about
- You will have “some” flexibility with your time
- You will learn a lot about yourself
- You will learn a lot about other individuals
- You will learn about controlling fear
- A good possibility of making a positive difference to other individuals lives
- Eventually the possibility of more available time with your loved ones
- The possibility that your business will align with your spiritual purpose
- It can strengthen your faith in God
Pro and Cons lists are good but not always helpful in making large life changing decisions like starting or purchasing a business. Asking friends or family for advice is also not always the best idea particularly if they have never operated their own business before.
While I love owning and operating businesses for me the most difficult aspect is when my kids or wife gets sick. Recently my youngest son contracted a bad flu virus and stopped breathing at home. Luckily my wife gave him CPR and revived him.
I am very grateful to the wonderful paramedics who had God working through them that night when they assisted my wife and son.
At the time I was very busy with one of my businesses so it was very hard juggling the stresses of the business and my family emergency at the same time. If I didn’t have my faith I’m not sure how I would have handled the stress.
Are you excited about the idea of starting a business?
This one is a huge one. Quite often individuals ask me for advice on starting a business. Straight away from the tone of their voice I can tell that starting a business is not for them.
They simply have no passion for the product or service. I remember when I had signed the contract for the purchase of my first business a flying school. I could not contain my excitement. I could not wait to start the business and I have no doubt that it would be a success.
It was not an arrogant confidence it was a knowing that all would be Ok. I had a passion for flying and I also knew it was aligned with my purpose.
Sometimes someone thinks of a service or product that is not being met and thinks they may make a lot of money with their new venture. Their focus is on the money and they have no real passion for the product or service. I suggest they take their focus of the money and make or create something that matters and that they are passionate about.
Do you have an alternate income plan?
I suggest if you have a family you either have a healthy reserve behind you before you start a business. The other alternative is you have no cash reserves is to make sure you or your partner works enough to cover your basic living expenses.
I started my first business a flying school with less than a thousand dollars in my bank account however I continued to work part time as an insurance manager until I was satisfied with the business cash flow to provide for my family.
Doing research, trusting your instincts and reading books including The Three Desires ( can’t blame me for slipping that in) are great ways to help you make a decision on whether you should start a business, however I have found that simply praying and asking God for guidance is often the most effective way to help make a decision.
God is deeply concerned with your life and no detail of your life is too trivial. Simply finding a quiet space and praying to god for guidance on which path you should choose is an excellent way to help resolve the issue.
Your answer may come back as a voice or thoughts in your head or more subtle like coincidences that occur pushing you in a particular direction.
Alone-Quiet time is imperative
It is important that you spend a considerable amount of time alone with God to eliminate all the distractions of the world that could be stopping you from receiving Gods advice.
Looking back on my life the decisions that I made that did not work out where quite often due to rushing my decisions and not conferring with God.
Please don’t let this post put you off building a business if that is what your spirit is leading you do to.
It may be that you are destined to be an entrepreneur however you may not have chosen the correct product or service that is aligned with your purpose.
Involve your partner
My last advice would be to make sure you involve your partner in the decision process. While they cannot make the decision for you they will be walking with you when you experience the highs and lows of business ownership.
My wife has supported me through the ups and down of being an entrepreneur and I don’t think I could have come this far without her incredible support.
Don’t be too concerned if you make the wrong decision, at least you would have learnt something about yourself and there is always time to start again.
Remember take your time with your decision but not too long.
The world is waiting for you!