Just a quick disclaimer, for context:
We talk a lot about how to be a wise business owner, so I wanted to take a few minutes this week and next to touch on five values that would compel someone to even start a business. These five points helped guide me in starting my business, but they also continue to guide and protect me as a business owner.
I realize that some of you aren’t business owners but I think these five points can be applied in other areas of life, and I want you to be thinking about other ways to express and protect these values in your life— business or not.
STARTING A BUSINESS
Starting a business is hard, really hard, but it’s one of the best decisions I have ever made. As a company, we have been through a lot: In our first year of business we were almost sued, twice, both with no grounds for a lawsuit. We have had to fire clients and at points other clients have needed to leave. We even took a huge leap and sold a piece of our business in order to reshape our company into what it is today.
Why am I telling you all of this? Because even though we have been through a lot over the past few years, I wouldn’t change a thing. We have learned from every experience and are really excited for what the future holds. So today I want to encourage you, if you are thinking about starting your own business, STOP thinking about it and get under way! My first sentence is true, it won’t be easy, but it will be great— unlike the regret you may face in later years if no action is taken at all… Get under way, and don’t look back.
Right now lets look at two of the five reasons/principles to start a business.
Living From Value
As some of you may know, I am a follower of Jesus. He defines who I am and how I live my life. Only because I started my own business am I able to bring Him into life at work. It is something I am not willing to compromise and because I have my own business, I don’t have to.
Have you ever worked a job and not really agreed with the values of your boss or the values of the company as a whole? I know I have. But unless you plan on quitting, there really isn’t much you can do. As a young man I see many in my generation unaware of the value of having and stewarding morality and character, but learning to acknowledge and have guiding principles is so so important. Having your own business allows you to develop not just your dreams, but also your own self.
Some people are able to “climb the corporate ladder” and get into leadership roles rather quickly. However, for most of us, this isn’t reality. More typical is that getting ahead is hard and we don’t have much to show for our hard work, even after years of pushing. For me personally, the thought of grinding it out for years only to have the boss promote their friend makes me sick and disheartened. Corporate America is often so backwards, but that is another discussion for another day.
Where am I going? This is my point: Do you want the advancement of your career to be in your own hands or in the hands of someone else? People always say that starting a business is risky and there is way more job security in working for someone else. I couldn’t disagree more. I have witnessed companies first hand lay off hundreds of employees, many of whom had been there for 20+ years. Where was the job security there? The harsh reality is that a company is going to choose it’s bottom line over your job 10 out of 10 times. I am sure many people will disagree with me but when a corporation is backed into a corner, they are going to protect themselves first and foremost.
Bottom line: We need to acknowledge that there is always risk. Why/How is risking your future for someone else “better” than risking it for yourself?
People are stronger than they think they are, and your dreams are worth living. I hope these first two points make sense. You have my contact info, if you want to push back on any of my points, or you just need help, please get a hold of me.
Next week we’ll finish up with the last three reasons.