March 1, 2011

Only Running a Business Prepares you for Running a Business

There really is nothing more to it. You can read as many success stories, books and blog posts as you want. You can go to as many business courses, seminars and get as many MBA related degrees as you want. Nothing can possibly fully prepare you for actually jumping into the deep-end.

Everybody knows its tough and grueling starting a company and bootstrapping it from literally nothing. Its a lot harder than those people imagine, unless they’ve gone that route themselves. I did this one year ago, and am only now starting to see the rewards coming in. I thought I was prepared for the year ahead, but only once I started actually doing business did I realize that everything I had read about only scratched the surface of the monumental mountain I began climbing.

The truth is, reading up on business before starting one (as well as during) is necessary. It is necessary in the sense that if you don’t, you will be almost hopelessly lost. If you do, it will give you, at best, a minor advantage in the market place. You are still going to bump your head many, many times. There are a million and one things that you cannot possibly learn about business without actually doing it.

Why? Because a lot of business is based on networking with the right contacts. Running a business also relies on heavy intuition, which is only heavily developed once you’re in the deep end. Managing a copyright infringement suite, an online CRM nightmare, closing the deal with a skeptical customer, pushing your staff to their limits while still having them love what they do – none of this is learnt until you’re in business, yet is crucial for business success.

Its a bit of a chicken and egg problem, and that is why most successful CEOs have failed and hit rock bottom at least once in their lives. Seriously, if you’re thinking of starting one. Do it. Its the most intense, exhilarating and rewarding experience you will ever have in your life. Never stop reading, but don’t use reading as an excuse to delay your dreams even one more day.

If you are thinking of starting one, or have recently started a business and need some advice – please don’t hesitate to contact me. I will try to help you where I can.

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