So you made a decision to start your own business. Good. That’s a great first step. A huge life altering decision. And once you make that initial jump over the chasm, you feel a tremendous weight being lifted off of your shoulders. I know I did.You are free. Free from the corporate politics. Free to do what you want. Free to come and go as you please. Free to pay attention to the things that really matter in life like your health, your friends and your family.You are going to reconnect! “Yes! That’s it. I am going to get dialed in!” You are going to shed those extra 20 pounds with all of the time you would have taken to commute into the office. You are going to be present at every important event in your child’s life. You are going to turn the page and rededicate yourself to finding balance.The whole experience is going to be life changing, right? It can be. After all, how hard can it be?
But you see, in reality, all of these things that you are now treating as a priority aren’t really free at all. It comes at a price just like anything else. Now read the fine print. The price is uncertainty. The price is anxiety. The price is losing your sense of identity. The price is your relevancy in the industry you have committed yourself to for the past 20 years. You think to yourself, “Out of sight, out of mind. The world has moved on without me.” You process information differently now. You are forced to internalize now more than ever in many cases because there might not be anyone to use as a sounding board. You struggle with your decison.“Was it the right thing to do? In the pursuit of happiness and balance, did I give up the only certainty I knew?” Meanwhile, you’re building your new world brick by brick. You need to employ a team, contractors, suppliers. You need to worry about many different things you didn’t have to worry about while you were harbored in the port of “the corporation”. You are fielding the same question over and over again….”So. How’s business?” But you know they aren’t REALLY interested. Unless you can say it in 140 characters or less, they don’t really want to hear your story do they? You struggle to boil your life down into a 139 character elevator pitch because you never know when you’ll get the chance to tell your story again. These are the things small business owners really think about but will probably never admit to. That’s the hidden truth. Above and beyond the challenge of building your brand and landing that new customer these are the things that I think about. And sometimes it helps to know there are other people out there who are just like you. Behind the professional twitter pics and marketing facades resides a human being at the end of the day. So in this series I’m not going to speak “at you” about the “Top 10 ways to covert your twitter followers to paying customers”. I am going to speak from the heart. I am going to share my wins, losses, and lessons learned during this life altering process and my pursuit of happiness. And hopefully- somewhere along the way- something I have to share helps you on your journey as well.
Confessions of an entrepreneur- The Hidden Truth- One man’s guide in the pursuit of sanity and success is a series by Jason Bleakley, Principal of Steelmark Business Services.