Shortly after I decided to go into business for myself and was in the initial phases of doing a start-up of my own, I began the process of telling a few close friends and family members of my plans. This, of course, included my mother who, after a few moments of quiet consideration, said, “Why don’t you apply for a good job at a bank?”
Like many women of her generation, my mother did not have the benefit of pursuing a formal education. That’s not to say she’s not a sharp lady. Quite the contrary. Seven decades of wisdom from life experiences coupled to her devotion to Bible studies, daily doses of Oprah, Suze Orman, and most recently, Shark Tank, have all helped shape even further her discerning mind.
Mom comes from a generation where people might spend their entire career with the same company. Someone might occasionally inherit a family business, but people in her circles didn’t go around starting businesses from scratch. It was risky, she said — like swimming less than an hour after eating a meal. And risk was a bad word in my neighborhood.
I was raised to believe that mothers are always right, so imagine my surprise upon learning she was wrong about post-meal swimming. But mom was absolutely right about start-ups. The Small Business Administration reports that about one-third of businesses with employees fail within two years of start-up, with only half surviving more than five years. With stats like that, why wouldn’t you run to the nearest corporate gig that offered a regular paycheck, predictable hours, and benefits?
You have your reasons. And I’m guessing they’re a lot like mine. There’s something about you that makes you want to run your own show.
You have a dream. Maybe it’s a new dream, inspired by a new technology or invention; or maybe you’ve had this dream your whole life and have just been waiting for the right moment to take a leap of faith. You want to bake the world’s best cupcakes, craft beautiful furniture out of reclaimed wood, or distribute a perfect new blend of exotic fish food. You’d like to spend your days running the very best Cuban bakery, dry-cleaning shop, landscaping company, cardboard manufacturer, barbecue sauce bottling plant, uniform supply company, or flooring distributorship that your town has ever seen.
You may never achieve the epic success of Google’s Sergey Brin and Larry Page, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, or Amazon’s Jeff Bezos. But who’s to say that you won’t?
I have a dream as well, and that is to be here for you, as your Success Factor, advising, coaching and encouraging you — in print, online, and in person, through my webinars and personal appearances — sharing my lifetime of experiences with you, so that you won’t have to take this journey alone.
So be courageous; believe in yourself and your dream; and you will successfully mount a company with a specific product or service that is uniquely and distinctly yours.
Hold on tight. You’re in for the ride of your life.