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Is it a Business or a Hobby?

Your Lifestyle – Your Business:  Why separate:

Doing what you enjoy and making a living (or a fortune) at it.  It’s more than an Entrepreneur myth.  Many have accomplished it.

Food brands and restaurant dynasties have been built on an individual’s love of cooking or a family recipe.  Clothing sales representatives have turned their sense of style into the creation of famous labels.   Service industries, lifesaving medical technologies and more have all been built on an individual’s passion to design, cure, innovate, and to find a better way.

A couple of basic rules that I suggest to anyone ready to embark on the Entrepreneurial journey:

  • Understand your goal and purpose. What is your motivator?  Is your concept a hobby on steroids or are you truly driven to have it become your sole source of income?  Do you have a higher goal to turn your vision into your family’s retirement security plan?

Your future, and equally important, your team’s future, may depend on your goals and your determination to achieve them.  The drive and focus that you individually possess as an Entrepreneur is the catalyst for your team’s dedication and passion.

Take away:  If you do not establish goals and push to achieve them, the company will drift and just be average.

  • Perform a critical self-evaluation: Entrepreneurship is tough, and that’s on a good day.

You must be realistic as to your ability to deal with stress, and your ability to build a support team to help you think and work through the challenges ahead.

  • Establish boundaries: Entrepreneurship encompasses the family. It is very important that you establish a separation of responsibilities and financial limitations.  Follow your dream, but learn to separate your passion from the risk of your family’s happiness and financial security.
  • Find a mentor: Your spouse may be a great listener, but he or she may not be the objective and trained advisor that you need.  Seek mentors that can provide you with guidance and focus through the challenges ahead.
  • Be realistic: Building a successful venture takes time and capital resources.  Yes we have all heard of the billion dollar enterprises started in a garage.  They still required accumulated personal savings, established credit, or a minimum of a few hundred dollars a week of friends and family funding for the founders to survive.

My experience has been that it is typically three years before a business is viable enough for Entrepreneurs to begin to take at least a minimum and regular salary to support themselves.

Take away:  Know your personal cost of living and make sure that your co-founders do as well.  Match that up against a realistic budget for your venture.  Establish strict rules as to your personal use of savings or the debt that you will acquire.  Be objective in evaluating the stage in life of your team founders and their individual financial requirements.

We encourage you to follow your dream, but before you start the journey understand the destination.  Establishing goals, financial bench marks, and limitations helps you and your cofounders evaluate your progress to success and to maintaining your financial security.

You may never reach Nirvana.   But you know that you are having a great day when a friend asks you and your coworkers how do you know when you are working and when you are playing.

I have heard the questioned asked.  So can you.

 

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