Last Thursday, was the two-year anniversary of putting in my resignation at my last ‘real’ job. While reflecting on that event, I celebrated by taking my wife out to lunch and thought of a few take aways.


#1. Bring the boat closer to the dock.

One of the most valuable pieces of advice I can give to someone who wants to start their own business is to bring the boat closer to the dock. What do I mean by that? Two things:

1. Test the market: Will someone really pay you for your business idea? Lots of people will say, “That’s a good idea!” or “I would buy one”, and never follow through. Start selling before you quit any current incoming producing activity. And sell to people you do not know. In so doing you can help prove the concept and make sure that you have pricing right.
2. Build up business: I am a pretty fiscally conservative person, so I encourage people to work like crazy and build up their side business a lot and get it close to replacing your income before you make the jump. I was not able to do this because the situation at my previous employment had become so toxic. Ideally, I would have dedicated the next few months of my free time to building up the business then making the jump. Instead, we had to dig into our emergency fund to keep things afloat while the business started generating revenue. Though we knew before Christmas that this would be successful, it really took about 6 months to cross that line for my business.

#2. The dip is real.

This is a phrase made famous by Seth Godin. The dip is the time period between excitement and success. On StartUp, previously one of my favorite podcasts, (season one is the best) they call it the “trough of sorrows”. This is a real phenomenon. The excitement of starting a business or even a giant new business deal can quickly be replaced by the reality of needing another deal to maintain that success. Some businesses like mine ebb and flow. The flow is easy to keep motivated and stay productive, but the flow times can be a more challenging. My advice, know this is coming and be ready to share those feelings with other entrepreneurs you know.

#3. “The answer is Yes”

One of my favorite quotes I kept harping to myself as I started this journey, and still do today, is my Leonard Bernstein.

“I’m no longer quite sure what the question is, but I do know that the answer is Yes.”

As an early state entrepreneur, the answer is always ‘Yes’ to your clients. Can you do this? Yes. Can you do that? Yes. Unless something is morally questionable, which has been asked of me, the answer is yes. Make yourself indispensable to your clients and you will also find more ways to make money. Sometimes you don’t know what will come of those projects. Video was something I did not anticipate being as big of a revenue generator for me as it has been. I am sure glad I said yes when those projects started coming!

Are you looking to get started with your business, lets chat.

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