On Friday, my husband and I celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary. Like every other couple out there, we’ve had our share of wins and losses. As we sat around the table talking about it the other day, the one thing that kept coming up was “Where did the time go?” Then I started talking to my CPA about this year’s tax return … and found myself thinking the same thing!
My company just began its 6th year of operations. In the early years things were rough, but I think that’s a commonality for most businesses, especially when we’re making the leap from worker bee to business owner. Theory is one thing, whereas practical application is quite another. At least that’s how it was for me.
I made probably most of the rookie mistakes … trying to do everything myself, giving too much information away for free, obsessing over customer complaints, glossing over customer compliments, and extending credit to unproven customers. But somehow, even in spite of myself, the business has survived. When I look back at my financials over the past 5 years, the numbers go up every year.
This year has been a huge year for change. New office, new people, new products, more new people … even a potential purchase of an office building. I finally got the idea of working ON my business as opposed to working IN my business. By that I don’t mean understanding that I should, so much as understanding how I can make the switch without losing what I’ve built so far. There’s been some hard lessons this year in that regard.
Now I’m planning new product ideas, some marketing strategies and an upgraded website. I have more confidence in my ability to sell, and to deliver. I find myself talking about the benefits of business ownership to anyone who’ll listen … bank teller, grocery clerk, you name it! I’m learning that I really do feel strongly about business start-ups. I guess it’s because I identify with people who want more but aren’t sure how to get there from here.
Funny thing is, if someone had told me back in 2003 that I’d still be doing this in 2008, I would have been surprised. At that time, I had an entirely different path mapped out – one that involved a college degree training in an entirely new field, and then going to work for somebody else. Now I can’t imagine what that would have looked like.