We need to stop sugar-coating the start-up grind

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We’ve all heard the industry experts who make comments along the lines of this: ‘it’s never been a better time to start a new business. You don’t need lots of money - you just need a laptop, a phone, a social media account and off you go.’

Statements like these are the whole reason that the vast majority of businesses fail. Sure, to start a business, you might just need a laptop, a phone and a social media account. Go for gold. To truly grow a sustainable business, you need a lot more than that… And yes, you need money.

The main reasons why businesses fail? Lack of Cash flow, lack of customers or failure to retain them and lack of business skills and expertise. Even businesses that are making money, can still die from these very factors.  You see, winning work is just the first hurdle in a saturated market and making money is not the sole indicator of success. Businesses can be making millions and burning millions while struggling to break even due to poor business practices and expertise.

The reality is that hundreds of thousands of women are entering the world of business and entrepreneurship without truly understanding what it actually takes to be successful - and I talk about women because I work with women. They are drawn to it by the glamorous images of people ‘living their purpose’, working from luxurious locations, flexible work opportunities or making money while they sleep, combined with promises that ‘’it’s so easy to start a business these days.’ All these options are possible, no doubt, but to achieve this kind of business success takes grit, it takes grind and much sacrifice. This is what many business owners are glaringly unprepared for because not many talk about the real that goes behind their shiny website.

Many business owners end up leading a double life – portraying the ‘ideal’ entrepreneurial lifestyle on social media and to those they interact with, whilst secretly suffering and wondering how they are going to afford their next meal, because they didn’t realise it would be this hard. This continues the endless cycle of people chasing their entrepreneurial dreams without being adequately prepared.

The key to ensuring you give your business the best opportunity to survive and grow is to firstly understand you’re not alone and secondly, to focus on overcoming problems as opposed to just focusing on problems. The truth is that anything worth having is worth committing to and investing in. This is why investing in your development in business is not just a nice to have, it’s actually the very fabric to your success. In the words of Marie Forleo, ‘everything is figureoutable’ when you have the right expertise and support on your team.

In fact all the best and most successful entrepreneurs and business owners are dedicated to investing in overcoming the very problems that hold them back in business and understand the crucial role this development plays in their business growth. Your willingness to invest in yourself and your business is what will ultimately differentiate you from the 80% who fail. It is here in the 20% that you will find the best parts of business - the rewarding experience of making your mark on the world and being paid for doing what you love, on your terms.

If you’re currently living a double life and would like to chat about how together we can get the results you want and need in business to live the life you want, please feel free to get in touch.

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Shevonne Joyce