Do Not Start A Business!

June 13th, 2012
[ General ]

In the last couple of years my response to the question “should I start my own business?” has changed dramatically. I used to encourage people. I used to try and build them up, entice them, talk about the good life.

My standard answer now is an emphatic “No! Do NOT start your own business”.

Wait there’s more…If you have a decent job, and can keep it, do not quit that job to start a business. Keep your job, live the good life. Starting a new business will destroy everything good in your life. It will ruin you, your friends, your family.

After that I pause to see their response. Why would I respond with such a negative response and discourage someone from making a leap to starting something new? Simple. Everything I said was true and if all it takes to throw you off this path is me saying this, then I just did you a massive favour. I saved you a ton of cash, pain, and I saved you a good job!

After that pause, a small portion of people will push me further. They’ll explain why they aren’t able to keep their current job, how it’s destroying them inside and why starting their business is their only option. For those few I will go on to explain that starting something new from nothing is the greatest thing you’ll ever do. It’s the most rewarding stuff you’ll ever be involved in but it is only for a select few. It will make your friends, family and everything around you better, stronger, richer.

“Call it passion, tenacity, stick-to-itiveness, true grit, or just plain stubbornness. Whatever it is and wherever it comes from, it’s the most important quality an entrepreneur can have.”

I’m not exaggerating when I tell people I literally have days I’m so stressed out I feel like I’m going to puke on my own shoes, or flip-flips which is clearly worse. After days like that, I hang with my kids, I walk, I read, I rant to my wife, I speak with friends, advisors, I sleep it off. I get up the next day having schemed a solution and excited beyond belief to attack yesterday’s impossible problem and kick it’s ass.

I usually say something to my wife like “so that problem I mentioned last night, it’s ok, I figured it out”. She nods knowingly as she’s seen the pattern hundreds of times.

That process can’t be avoided. You can’t make problems go away, they are in fact your greatest source of learning. You have to look them in the eye, face them head on. That’s painful. You can’t outsource it, you can’t hire to solve this. You also have no idea if you can do this until you try it with your baby.

So please do create something new from nothing but only if you’re ready to puke on your own flip-flops every now and again.