Updated: May 2
Profit & Loss: A Blog About REALLY Owning Your Business
What does it mean to own a business? Is it about the time you put into perfecting your craft or product? Or is it about whose name goes on all the forms and checks? Maybe it's about who is the face of the brand, relentlessly marketing and networking until the company gains a solid footing in its chosen field?
Owning a business is about all of these, and yet there is so, so, so much more. There are the risks that don't always pay off, but you don’t know until you try. There are the surprise wins that can be capitalized upon to ride the momentum. There are the "WTF?" calamities that may not be your fault, but congratulations - they're now your problem!
Then there is the onslaught of unsolicited advice. Suddenly everyone thinks they know how to run your business better than you do and maybe they have some good ideas, but that doesn't mean they're the right ones for where you are or where you want to go. Also? Those same people will absolutely not roll up their sleeves and help you make those ideas a reality. At best, you'll have a cheering section, but it's more likely a group of armchair quarterbacks.
Then there is the stress, exhaustion, logistics, marketing, taxes, fees, bookkeeping, hiring (and firing), technology SNAFUs, IP protection, accessibility, sourcing, delivery, branding, packaging, production space, newsletters, social media, All The Emails™, and can someone who isn't me please take out the damn trash for once???
In reality, owning a business is about far more than the product or service you provide to your customers and many people find out the hard way that it's not really for them. That's okay - it doesn't need to be for everyone! Or it may eventually be for you, but just not right now. We all have a different path to walk and different reasons for walking it.
Here's what a business is not: it's neither a hobby, nor a volunteer opportunity, nor a "passion project" (I despise that term). It is a very real legal and financial commitment with its own opportunities and liabilities that need to be taken seriously. That can be extremely overwhelming to manage for anyone, especially someone who didn't really know what they were getting into.
So, I'm here to offer some insights into the 3-ring circus that is owning a business. I'll share my experiences, be they rewarding, disappointing, infuriating, confounding, or downright hilarious, because that's reality as a CEO - Chief Everything Owner.
May these tales help you grow as a business owner, or possibly decide if taking the ownership step is right for you.