Sunday, October 9, 2011

Not For The Meek or Weak

Image: renjith krishnan /
Owning a business is NOT for the meek or the weak. But if more people in this country owned a business or at least understood what it took to own one, this country would be in MUCH better shape.

I am self-employed... an entrepreneur... a business owner. What ever you want to call it.

As such, If my business fails and I become "unemployed" I do not qualify to receive Unemployment Benefits like other out of work individuals.

If my business does good, I pay way more in taxes than the average "employee."

If I want my business to do REALLY good, I will have to hire employees, which will provide me with the opportunity to pay even more taxes, do even more paperwork, keep up with even more compliance regulations, and fork out money for Workman's Comp.

I pay into the failed Social Security system, even though I know I will never see a dime of that money return to me once I reach "retirement age."

I do not qualify for a traditional healthcare plan. If I want one, I have to convince my wife to take a job for a company that offers a group plan or I have to pay through the nose for a policy that offers only minimal coverage.

To protect myself and my business from unethical customers and bogus damage claims, I have to purchase Commercial Liability Insurance.

I spend 60-80 hours per week working "in" my business and 10-20 hours per week working "on" my business. I spend time going over "the numbers" and tracking expenses. I spend time comparing this month's revenue to last month revenue and this year's profit to last year's profit.

I might get 3 - 4 hours of sleep per night.

Some might ask with all these things that are such obvious drawbacks and barriers to security why I keep doing it...

Frankly, I do it because I am good at it and I get paid pretty well for doing it. Yes it's about the money. Money is not evil, nor is it the often misquoted "root of all evil" (that would be the "Love of Money").

Profit is not a bad word.

I do not apologize for being in business. I do not apologize for wanting to make more money instead of less money. I do not apologize for sticking my head above the crowd and refusing to participate in a culture of complacency. And as far as "security" - there's no such thing as "security" when you are relying on someone else for your livelihood.

The following is my (partial) adaptation of a reading I heard years ago in a church service.

I am part of the fellowship of the entrepreneur. The die has been cast. I've stepped out of my comfort zone. The decision has been made.

I won't look back, let up, slow down or back away.

My past cannot hurt me. My present cannot define me. My future cannot contain me.

I'm finished and done with low living, sight walking, small planning, faithless dreams, mundane talking, cheap excuses, and dwarfed goals.

My face is set, my pace is fast. My road is narrow, my way is tough. My friends are few, my mentors are many. My purpose is pure and my mission is clear.

I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, turned back, deluded, delayed or denied.

I'll not flinch in the face of sacrifice, ponder at the pool of popularity, or meander in the maze of mediocrity.

I won't give up, shut up, let up until I've stayed up, stored up, prayed up, paid up, and stood up for the right to determine my own destiny.

I will fight when others faint, go when others won't, give 'til I drop, and work 'til the task is finished.

So why are you in business or why have you chosen to stay on the sidelines and not go into business? 

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