Why I Love My Business – and Why it Scares Me, Too

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Taking the Plunge in 2008

It’s funny, how on the weekends we like to take things down a notch or two (or twenty). I find that by the time Friday afternoon rolls around I’m thinking about the weekend – about sleeping in, going out for breakfast, cleaning up around the house and spending some quality time with NHL Center Ice. Yet, I’m a self-employed business owner — so theoretically shouldn’t the weekend be whenever I say it is?

I guess old habits die hard – most of my working life was spent doing the Monday to Friday routine. When I take off during the week, part of me feels a thrill, like I’m skipping school or sometimes a bit of guilt from taking a “mental health” day – even though I have no-one to report to. That’s one of the things I really love about having my own business – the freedom to switch gears when the time is right.

A couple of months back I got into a conversation with a banker while making a deposit. She asked me what I did, and I told her that I had my own business. Her reaction was that it must be scary, to not have any security.

Just a few short years ago, I would have felt the same way. That was before I was laid off from a “secure” job and became an accidental business owner while trying to figure out how to get through college and become an engineer (even though I was really lousy at calculus). But my response to her was that, from another perspective, I was secure. There were no lay-off notices in my future, and I had the freedom to make as much (or as little) as I wanted. The past four years in business has given me a gift of confidence in my abilities to succeed – with or without calculus.

And succeed it has! Through my association with Diane and TaxLoopholes, I’ve met all kinds of people and have done things I wouldn’t have imagined not too long ago. In fact, things have succeeded almost to the breaking point – and that is the part that scares me!

It scares me because I’ve hit the “saturation” point that Diane talks about for Level Two business owners – the place where I can’t do anything more without bringing in some more bodies and taking the business operation to the next level. For me I believe that means adding a central office space and one or two new people to help get things done.

The last time I tried this it didn’t go so well. It was an expensive lesson, in time, goodwill and money. Yet it was also a useful lesson, teaching me who I need to work on my team and how that needs to happen. Every business is different. In my business, a central location is essential to protect the work product and records.

I’m scared, because I’ll have to think beyond myself. There will be rent or a mortgage, salaries, equipment, utilities and more, which feels very threatening right now. But I’m also excited, because I can see the possibilities of how those extra people will fit in and help the business velocity to increase by taking on more paperwork tasks, freeing up time to create more business, more income, and so on.

So this is my resolution for next year: to put the people and systems in place to take my business to the next level. Making it a public resolution helps, because now I’ve got to walk the walk. I’ll check in from time to time through the year and let you know how things are going!


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