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  • Writer's pictureErika Andresen

Hard Truth: You Don’t Want to Succeed

Success requires work. Not just work, the work.

There is putting in work and doing all the things you need to to get off the ground – taking the classes, getting a coach, getting a mentor, showing up to the countless free zoom webinars about [inset all the things you need to do to start your business]. Great – you did “work.” But it’s not the work.

You bought the chess board, you read the instructions, took some lessons on how to play (hey, The Queen’s Gambit inspired a lot of new chess players!). Does that make you a chess player? Sure, in the most basic sense of the term. A good one? Probably not. There is always an exception if you are a prodigy, but that rarely happens.

It’s so easy to start a business. All the resources are there. You incorporate, get a website, and a product or service. Heck, you might have even opened a business account, confident it will be filled with the money you’ll be making from all the customers rolling in! You don’t need to be a business continuity expert to know that’s likely not true. If you’re reading this blog, you have a business or know business and you also know this likely isn't true. But some people haven’t had that exposure. They think they’re good at something and once they decide to make a business out of it, presto!

That’s not the way it works. Especially if you want to be successful and grow.

“Marketing” is a buzz word. Will marketing keep your doors open AND cash flowing during a snowstorm? Or when your team quits on you? Or when your supplier fails to deliver to you? Business continuity is easy (thinking about lots of things is fun) but it does require effort. It does require setting aside time to do it (even if you pay me to do it, you still need to be involved to make it effective and tailored to you). It requires action beyond identifying that you need it.

I attend a weekly meeting in-person for entrepreneurs who help other entrepreneurs. One of the presenters has an ecommerce business and they would like to grow to multiple states and even have a viral moment. Two things that stood out in their presentation: 1) they were making their social media platform choices on their personal preference, spontaneously admitting they used no data to support that decision; 2) they want to let momentum take them wherever with respect to inventory (my BC mind went bananas here). Then during the Q&A, when given a great idea to become viral, they deflected and said “well, not really that viral.” Okay. You can’t help the person who doesn’t want to do the work.

I asked a friend in attendance to explain how this "business" is not a hobby. Ouch, right? Hard truths hurt. They proved they didn't actually want to be successful. I was nice enough to not raise that point during the Q&A, but even if I did, refer to the last sentence of the previous paragraph.

So, do you want to be someone who knows the basics of chess or a chess player who knows the moves and how to consistently win? Do you want to have a successful business you can grow, or do you want to have a glorified hobby that allows you to say you’re a business owner?

And that’s fine if you don’t want to be successful. Just make sure you let all your customers, stakeholders, investors, allied partners, and especially your employees know they are doing business with a business owner stuck in the hobby lobby. You owe it to them and yourself to want to do better. They're all counting on you.

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