“What do you really want?” I asked Angela, a young woman in her early forties who asked me for advice regarding leaving her job and becoming an entrepreneur. She had well-paid but unsatisfying job and no savings…
“I want to be free” she said.
Isn’t it what we all ultimately want, to be free?
But being free may mean different things for different people… Agree?
For many women who feel stuck at the jobs that they hate or are not satisfied with, freedom means owning a business, being an entrepreneur.
Yet for other women who have a demanding, highly time-consuming or/and high travel required business, freedom means having freedom to choose – how much or how little they work and travel, and how they spend their time.
What does having freedom mean to you? It’s an important question if you are seeking freedom. Yes?
If you dream of becoming an entrepreneur and having your own business, be prepared to work long hours (at least at the beginning), sustain naysayers’ comments and have money to invest in yourself and your business before you get to the Promised Land of being a successful business owner. Be prepared to give it your all, sustain financial and emotional highs and lows, and navigate through a challenging, exciting and never-a dull- moment kind of life with determination of a young kid who just started walking.
Yes, having a successful business is a great way to build wealth while serving people and making an impact on their lives. Yet so many entrepreneurs struggle or fail within just first couple of years. Why? One of the main reasons is running out of money. You see, running a successful business involves managing its cash flow strategically.
Just like in your personal life, managing money in your business requires clear knowledge of in- and out-coming money flow, sense of priorities, structure and discipline. Many businesses have such a high expense vs profit ratio that even after successful launches of their products they only breakeven at best. Sadly, owning a business may become a survival experience.
When you don’t manage your personal and business finances – don’t build your financial house on a stable foundation – you become controlled by your business. You become enslaved instead of free. Inconsistent cash flow makes you chase clients, work with wrong clients and get deep into credit card debt. Your passion and enthusiasm get dimmed, your physical and emotional health suffer from constant stress and worries.
Look, I don’t mean to poke your bubble of becoming an entrepreneur and a business owner. I am walking in these shoes myself and would not want to go back to corporate world. I just want you to be prepared for success. As the old saying goes, “when you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail.”
If you consider entering a magnificent, challenging and exciting world of entrepreneurship, do yourself a favor – plan and prepare. Get your personal financial house in order, get rid of high-interest debt, have emergency fund and some savings to invest in yourself and your business.
Get clarity about your Vision, reverse-engineer it into specific milestones (goals) with projected time-frames. And finally, fasten your belt for a fascinating entrepreneurial ride toward the land of infinite possibilities. If you follow your heart when you think of your business’s purpose and follow your head when it comes to handling its finances, you’ll have the ride of your life.
With Love and Gratitude,