Start your own business… Are you crazy?!?!?
Originally Posted January 2, 2014 on the Engraving Amore Blog
Some reading this blog who know us may think, “Wow. Jerry and Andrea already have a very busy life. How on Earth do they expect to start a business with everything else they have going on?” Anyone who says this would be right in thinking we’re a normal, busy family. But the question shouldn’t really be “how are they going to do it,” it should be “why are they going to do it?” Once the second question is asked, if the answer provides enough desire, the time can be worked into one’s daily life.
There are a million reasons people come up with to not do something, especially starting a new business. A current job. Having to take the kids to team practice. Cleaning the house. Taking part in a community or church organization. These are all very important aspects of life and cannot be ignored, and they are topics we personally face literally every day. So why would we take on something as huge as starting a business? I’m glad you asked!
So Much To Do!
Starting a business is quite an undertaking. Coming up with an idea for the business you want, writing a business plan, performing a market assessment, creating a marketable product, equipment evaluation, putting processes and policies in place, evaluating software, and the learning curve for all of these take time and energy. Note that time and energy should be valued as much as any other asset a person or a company has! All of those are just part of getting started, and don’t take into consideration the sales, marketing, production and other daily operations that will be required once we get off the ground! We’re still in the initial planning and research phases and we haven’t even decided on a company name yet! But we have ideas. LOTS OF THEM! And since we are just starting out, we have a lot of flexibility in timing that won’t necessarily be there once we are delivering our products to our paying customers. We can’t, however, allow this to let us just keep putting the responsibilities of our business aside. That is why we are putting together a timeline for when we expect to get certain things done. Creating milestones and timelines will help us have goals to meet, which can be a great motivator. But I still haven’t answered the “why” question yet, have I?
Why Why Would Anyone Want That Workload?
The question of WHY really is a personal thing. For us, there are tons of reasons. We want to build something together. We want to make some extra money we can use to put our kids through college. We want to be our own bosses. We have creative minds and are looking for an outlet for our ideas. We like working with people. Our particular business choice, personalized engraved gifts and prints, gives us the flexibility to be creative and also help people celebrate the best moments of their lives. Andrea and I both currently work in support fields where people come to us when they have problems and need us to fix things. The skills we’ve built over our careers will help us provide our customers with an excellent quality of service that will keep them coming back. There are so many ways our current careers (and life experiences) will help us with our business, one example being problem resolution (one of the most important aspects of being an owner).
The Secret Is In The Balance
So how do we plan to get things going? Carefully. Patiently. Well-thought out. With crazy busy lives, we need to understand that there will be times that other aspects of life will take precedent. No one should put their family on hold. Kids need parents. Spouses need attention from each other. By setting realistic goals and taking personal lives into consideration during the whole process, we will be much better equipped to get our new business off the ground and not have a negative impact on what’s really important in life. A wise person once said, “No one ever said on their death bed that they wish they had spent more time at the office.” Truer words have never been spoken. We are starting this business to give ourselves the freedom we want, and maybe have something to pass down to our kids someday. But we both know that we can’t let our new venture overtake the personal time we need with our families, home and other responsibilities. That would actually be against the whole reason we are doing it, and against the core values of our business. We’ll post more in the future about what those values are, but at the forefront of the list are family values and community service. Our business will be based on celebrating family and life’s events, as well as giving back to the community. We can’t do this unless we start by always celebrating our own family, right? We are building a “Family Business”, and as with that title, family comes first.
Include the Family!
In my last post, I wrote about our trip to Jim Thorpe, PA for a business weekend, and how we incorporated a lot of “couple” time as well. As we talk to our kids and families about our business, we want them to know what we’re up to, and we hope they share our excitement. For something as important and time consuming as starting a business, we know there will be times we need to lean on our kids, parents, siblings and other family members as much as we lean on each other. Maybe that will involve asking a grandparent to watch the kids. Maybe it’ll be bouncing new design ideas off of family members at Christmas dinner. Or asking the kids to help with some extra chores around the house so we can meet a production deadline. Whatever the situation, that’s what family is all about – having someone to lean on, and letting them lean on you. Andrea and I have already had times in this business where we’ve needed to lean on each other, and we’re just getting started!
You Still Think We’re Crazy?
“How on Earth do they expect to start a business with everything else they have going on?” – A very important question. More importantly, think about WHY. If we have the right, well-thought out approach, we will be able to come together closer as a couple, and involve our families in various ways. There is a lot of potential for great experiences here. We’ve all got busy lives, and there are always reasons to not do something, but what are your reasons for wanting to do it? Is it enough of a motivator to give you the drive to take your shot?
In an upcoming post, we’ll be writing about some of the ways we fit time for working on our business into our daily lives. As always, we would love your input. Let us know how you fit your business responsibilities into your everyday responsibilities.
Thanks for reading.
I’m currently (and slowly) moving the posts Andrea and I wrote for Engraving Amore to this, my personal blog. Last month, I wrote a blog about us closing Engraving Amore. Yes, it is tough to work on something of that magnitude and then have to work on all of the pieces to then shut it down. But, as I mentioned in that post, another door is opening for us. Always continue to grow. Andrea and I are working on our next fun project, and you may really like it. More info to come on that soon. In the meanwhile, it’s good for me to read the post above and remember how important it is to focus on what’s important when you’re trying to start your own business.