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Expectations vs Reality: Starting a Business

Starting a business, how do you begin? One day out of the blue you get this grand idea to start a business, that you feel in your gut will be one of the best things you’ve ever done. You invest your money, your time, work hard, and the business immediately takes off, right? Eight times out of ten, this is wrong. After six months to a year of being in business, your reality may not exactly add up to your expectations. The chances of an entrepreneur finding immediate success or even getting it right the first time around are slim. Some of the most notable entrepreneurs of our time failed a time or two before finally hitting it big. Some of these include the founders of Twitter, Linked In, and Amazon.

Our experience in entrepreneurship fits right alongside these scenarios. I (Taneisha) have tried a multitude of business ventures. When I decided to start my first business, it stemmed from my enjoyment of creating. I dabbled in selling handmade baby items. This business required more of a financial investment than I could muster at the time. Next, I started a design business creating logos, flyers, and print materials, but the workload was overwhelming and hard to handle without a team. Since I did not have the funds to finance building a team, I scaled back and only take occasional work now. My next business venture was a financial services business. I obtained my life insurance sales license, I poured myself into studying every IRS publication, enrolling in Annual Refresher courses, and even taking courses to become an Enrolled Agent. I’m now in my fourth year of business, but if I had decided to quit because I wasn’t making six figures after my first year of business like I expected, I would not have seen the steady growth that the business has had over the years.

Our first joint venture was the product distribution business. We created a business plan, we worked our plan, and had expectations to earn a certain amount of money within the first year, but it didn’t work out that way. We also pictured ourselves being our own boss within the business, which is a reality, but we do have multiple outside factors that influence how we run our business and the income we are able to generate. That is our number one tip to aspiring business owners, when creating your business plan/strategy be sure to consider every outside factor that could play a role in the success/failure of your business.

Other expectations business owners could have includes thinking other people will love their product or service as much as they do, and they acquire loads of customers within a short period of time. The reality is that it takes time to build a loyal clientele and when you do amass them, you must appreciate them and always figure out new ways to keep their interest. Another expectation is that as a business owner you have a lot of free time. Initially this is not true, it takes a lot of time to build a business. What you put into your business is exactly what you will get out of it. In addition to time, it takes a great deal of hard work, planning, patience and most of all faith to build a business. It doesn’t happen overnight. It could take months or even years (depending on the business) before you start seeing the fruits of your labor. If you truly believe in yourself and that you are fulfilling your purpose, you will find the determination to stick with it.

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