Frank De Raffele
Did you know that more start up businesses occur during a recessionary time than a healthy economic time? Did you also know that the success rate of a start up business during a recessionary time is as good or better than a start up business during a healthy economic time? This just doesn’t make sense…or does it?
If we look at what the key factors are for the success of a small business, we find that it makes a lot of sense because entrepreneurial success is not about smarts, planning, strategy, education or experience. That all helps, believe me. All those factors certainly allow for a smoother ride with a lot less potholes and accidents. However, the key factors that allow for success are things like: attitude, belief, discipline, stick-to-itiveness and being a DWIT. (I will explain that later.)
The reason most people become entrepreneurs during a recessionary time is that they were downsized from their place of employment or their employer closed its doors. The frustration of working for someone else reaches its tipping point and an entrepreneur is born. The problem for most start up businesses is that success is not based on the decision to become an entrepreneur. It is not as easy as just hanging your shingle. “If you build it, they will come.” Nice in the movies, but in entrepreneurial life…..Not!
Most believe that because they had great success in running a department or a division of a company and achieved great things with a large budget and a good size team…..starting a business is going to be a piece of cake. Easy. “This may be a little below my skill set but I am willing to do it to be on my own.” (LOL, LOL, LOL)
Yes, I am laughing, pretty hard too. People have NO CLUE! Not one little clue of what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur. I don’t care how much money and how many people and how great your experience is working for someone else. When it comes to being an entrepreneur, People Are Morons! With a capital M. We are all Morons when it comes to becoming a first time entrepreneur. Why? Because starting your own business it nothing like running someone else’s. Nothing!
There are those people who come out of a corporate background and then start a business doing exactly what they did in the corporate environment and quickly get clients and make good money. This success is rare, but it happens. The sad part is, most of those companies are already out of business, they just don’t know it yet. They go bankrupt in the next few years because they didn’t know how to be a CEO, a leader.
The most important thing you need to be able to do and willing to do is sell. That’s it. Sell. You need to be willing to do what needs to be done so you can bring in revenue and have positive cash flow. Too many entrepreneurs avoid this like the plague. If you sell you bring in revenue and the business becomes real. Focusing your efforts on the marketing and sales end of your business is of the utmost importance.
Then, of course, you have to be a DWIT. A person that is willing to Do Whatever It Takes to make your business successful. (Within ethical boundaries.) I am referring to hours per day, days per week, weeks per year, little to no pay, mega-stress…..and there is more….much more. An entrepreneur must be a DWIT. Your business is your baby. Would you not be a DWIT for your own child?
Does it sound like I am trying to discourage you from becoming an entrepreneur? I am not. I have been one my whole life. Over 30 years of owning my own businesses. I love it. I could never work for someone else. All the bad times, tough time, poor times, stressful times….they are all my times. My business, my world, my choice of lifestyle. I don’t want to scare you, I want you to have realistic expectations going in to this venture. If you don’t have realistic expectations you will get discouraged easier and you will go back into working for someone else. We need a nation of entrepreneurs. You can be part of that nation, but you first must know what to expect.
Now, go be an entrepreneur.