En·tre·pre·neur: A person that organizes and operates a business or businesses, taking on greater than normal financial risk to do so.– Oxford Dictionary
While it is important not to understate the fear many employees are experiencing as they anxiously await what the future holds for their jobs, there too lies a great toll on small business owners across the country to continue signing those paychecks with a smile on their face masking their own uncertainty.
I know I have a few entrepreneur friends. The vast majority are not driving around in Lamborghinis, they are scraping whatever margins they have into feeding their families and living a reasonable, middle-class life.
While many entrepreneurs have enjoyed successes I could only aim to achieve, for whatever my words are worth in this challenging time, I sympathize and I just wanted to send encouragement that your businesses and restaurants struggling is not indicative of you failing as an entrepreneur in this period of turmoil.
Your business struggling is not a failure, it is conviction. Your conviction is your confidence that you have put everything you possibly have into your endeavor. There will be struggles when you leave nothing on the table.
There’s a certain comfort, despite its own uncertainties, in grinding away as an employee with the expectation of a paycheck. For every stress an employee feels on the future of their paycheck is an employer quietly stressing on their ability to provide that paycheck.
A few years ago, I sold my favorite car I ever owned to buy a rental property. It introduced me to a life where one moment I’m depositing rent payments, staring at a sizeable checking account and eyeing a new BMW and the next moment I’m paying property taxes, annual insurance, a mortgage payment, and fixing an A/C unit all in the same month wondering when the financial bleeding will stop. Suddenly driving around an ole 2004 Grand Prix instead of a fancy European car doesn’t seem so bad and having the Cobra back seems ideal in hindsight. Windblown hair is far and beyond more enjoyable than stressing over cash flows.
In some ways, I’ve become emotionally disconnected to the ebb and flow of cash; however, I speak from my experience that the volatility of watching bank accounts drain without a clear indicator of when revenues will come can play absolute havoc to your mental health. As such, I suppose this post is a reminder to myself as much as it is aiming to encourage fellow entrepreneurs.
The thing about owning and starting a small business, whatever it may be — restaurant, rental properties, photography, construction, farming, etc — is that you have to have confidence. I often have to lean on my confidence that I can weather the storms, but that is easier said than done.
With confidence, you might succeed.
Without confidence, you will absolutely fail.
Sometimes, finding that confidence within can be difficult, and so I must remind myself that others believe in me, too — my lenders, my customers, my employers, my family, my friends.
They all believe in me and I believe in you.
Some of the greatest businesses and their owners we know of today experienced hardships many times along the way that left them literally going for broke because they were so confident in what they were building they invested everything they had.
You are not a failure because your small business is struggling right now, you’re convicted and conviction is strength!
Keep your head held high!
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