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    3 Replies Latest reply on Jul 16, 2010 5:28 AM by TheSoloGuide

    Need words of wisdom in going forward...

    bayley4 Newbie
      I have developed a brand new company (bridal/formalwear, an LLC) and after 2 years of researching, studying, listening & dreaming, and after 2 months of writing a business plan, I woke up today feeling hesitant for the first time and I honestly have moments where I wonder if other business owners had the same thoughts as I'm having. My ex-husband is a very successful business owner (retired at 38!) and I did learn a lot from him- I learned to be realistic & conservative, as well as the concept of risk vs. reward. I've also done my homework for this- I am a certified teacher with my M.Ed. but don't ever want to teach again! I have lots of experience in all aspects of the retail industry and creative arts as well, and I finally decided that I can do this- so many others out there do, but does one normally come to this point of hesitating on jumping off the cliff feeling this way, knowing its not guaranteed? I'm not fearful but I'm also not in denial about the realities of an unsuccessful business. I have gone through too much these past few years with the divorce that I can't afford to lose anything and gamble my home, my funds or my credit to follow my dream , although I will never be content until I try, that's just my nature. I'm a safe player but not to the extent that I want to continue in a career that my heart is no longer in...

      I was very fortunate in my divorce settlement and although things are secure, I do not have a lump sum of cash to put up (have equity in home, car, good credit, etc.) so I'd have to get a business loan (probably 130K to do this right), hence the ton of work I've done on my plan. Pasco county is exploding in every way (8th fastest in country) and the time is now. I simply KNOW that this would be a successful business, probably highly profitable, and many others agree...but before I continue one more minute and do one more bit of work, I still have many questions/concerns that my business counselor couldn't provide, it's just not that black & white...I feel like timing and intuition is important and I have that- if I don't do this, someone else WILL and I will be so mad at myself. And after reading this board for the past hour, I feel pretty sick to my stomach- things don't sound hopeful. I know what I'm capable of (quite strong willed, more than most) I must have passion in my life, and I've done the homework- but what will it take to push me over the edge and take a leap of faith? That concept certainly exists for me but does it exist in the business world?? I am really hoping there is something someone here can say that might nudge me just a bit, unless this is all a completely normal thought process at this stage. Yesterday, I was given some estimates on the build out for the store and worked so many numbers so I know that discouraged me a bit, but I also want to make the best decision possible for my 2 children and me...so any words of wisdom, insight, advice or info would be greatly appreciated. Thanks :)
        • Re: Need words of wisdom in going forward...
          okstatefan594 Wayfarer
          Dont know if it helps but I am in a similar boat. Me and a friend have always talked about starting our own business although nothing ever got serious. Well I have sold cars before and enjoy cars and he enjoys cars. I have a wife and three children. I have a good job with benefits. We started kicking the idea around a couple of months ago and the more we talked about it the more serious we became. We began research. We have planned virtually everything out. We decided lets go for it. Our target is to open next summer. I will be moving back to where I grew up and where he is from out of state to do this. I will be putting every penny I have into this venture and he is cashing out his 401K so we can do it. We will be financing our inventory and leasing a building but will buy everything else with cash.

          It is kinda scary knowing that we are rolling the dice. We have strategies that we think will set us apart from the rest of the dealers in the area to give us an advantage. But opening a business is not guaranteed. We could flop or have great success. I get nervous every once in a while while doing research or registering for stuff but I know that I dont want to not do this and 30 years down the road look back and say "I wonder what would have happened." I dont want any regrets down the road.

          I would rather fail now and pick back up and go get another job than to do nothing and keep working for other people the rest of my life.

          So to answer your question I would say most people probably have nervous thoughts and feelings when getting ready to open a business and I am sure some let their dream slip away without a chance because of it. However I will not let that happen. I refuse to sit back and do nothing about my dreams so we are going for it and I would encourage you to do the same. It sounds like to me you have a good idea and a niche in the local market so go for it!!!

          Hope this helps
            • Re: Need words of wisdom in going forward...
              bayley4 Newbie
              Thanks, yes I absolutely agree with you- sounds like we are in similar situations and have similar feelings about the creative & independent passion that drives us to do this. I also agree that the time has come where I can no longer sit back and say 'what if' any longer...life is way too short for that and I know I have deep purpose here, to serve others and to use my God-given talents and skills. I do know that in taking our time with planning and much intensive time doing research and learning, we are setting ourselves up for success- my ex always said slow and steady...when his company literally blew up into the national market, he almost didn't believe it until it was a done deal...but he was very smart and focused on the task at hand, he stayed on top of everything and always sought out guidance and advice. He did take huge risks and the money they played with was enormous compared to what you and I would like to do, but he truly believed in the whole concept. As a teacher, I always told my students to do their best, that's all I expect, and that meant being diligent, working hard, looking at all options then reflecting about what worked/what didn't, and always having integrity while doing so. That is all we can do. I believe some of the concerns/questions become answered the way they should, its just very hard giving up some of that control to the unknown. As a single mother, some days feel very scary because of the unknowns that I face every day, but I must keep going and I know what I'm capable of just as you know yourself. I encourage you to keep going forward and if you've been applying those principles, I am sure it will fall into place :)
            • Re: Need words of wisdom in going forward...
              Tracker

              bayley4:

               


              Let me share a quote with you.

               


              "I learned to embrace risk, as long as it was well thought out and, in a worst-case scenario, I'd still land on my feet." - Eli Broad

               


              From the things you've shared, it sounds like you are on the right track, but you are taking that last look over the cliff before you jump.

               


              You hesitancy at this point is common and it is positive considering that you are concerned about the well-being of your children. However, if the business you are planning is an extension of your strengths, your experience, your passion, your financial needs and wants, and your personal goals, and you do the appropriate research and planning, you are off to a great start.

               


              My partner and I coach people who are new entrepreneurs and struggling small business owners. Typically, you will hear that most businesses fail because they are under-funded. I disagree. Most businesses fail because the people that started them:

               


              1. Didn't have a clear vision supported by solid research and a strong business plan (leading to inappropriate expectations),

               

              2. Had little passion for their purpose other than the money they thought they could make and figured, "wouldn't being my own boss be fun",

               

              3. And don't have most of the key characteristics of an entrepreneur.

               


              It's hard to have enough funds to support businesses that people launch under these conditions.

               


              From what you are describing, it sounds like you are taking the appropriate steps. I can't speak to whether you have done enough research and if you have a solid plan without seeing what you have, but it sounds like you are making the effort.

               


              Since you are a single mother, have you developed an exit strategy in the event that if the business fails, you aren't left penniless with two kids? Please don't take this as being pessimistic, just realistic. Have a course of action in the event that your business starts to slide so you aren't left scrambling at the last minute. It's similar to going to Vegas and knowing once you lose a certain amount of money, you will stop gambling.

               


              We recently posted a piece on our blog titled, "Are You Living with FUD?" I think you will find this helpful considering the things you've shared.

               


              Good luck. Please let us know if we can be of further assistance.

               


              Doug Dolan

               

              Small Biz Break (http://smallbizbreak.com)

               

              "Simple, Spontaneous, Success"