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Things people tell you about running your own business and the truth behind those statements…

Posted on March 22nd, 2013 by Gerhard

We all heard some of these things before, and it’s normally passed on from one generation of people working for bosses to another, like the ring in that long-distance walking movie Lord of The Rings.

Below I will name a couple of these and then give you the truth as I see it in my day to day life.

I understand that different businesses might have different views on the points below, but I can only write it the way I see it in the constraints of my own business. 🙂

If you can think of more statements like these, please write them in the comments below and I will try and cover them in a future post.

“You can work whenever you want!”

This is true, but it turns out that “whenever you want” means “all the time”. The reason for this is simple. You want your business to succeed, and there is a LOT of work to be done to lay a good, solid foundation for the future. When it comes to core parts of your business and planning you don’t want to hand the responsibility off to someone who works for you, so you will end up doing it.

Add that to production time, dealing with new and existing clients and tons of paperwork (the silent killer), and you will find yourself in front of your computer at 2AM before you know it.

“You will make tons of money!”

Let’s just say you shouldn’t run to go buy that Ferrari just yet. I’m not saying you should do worse than you did in your last position of employment in regards to money, but making sure you get out roughly the same each month might not be the worse place to start. In my opinion it’s more important to build something sustainable, by being honest and treating your clients with respect than trying to rip clients off for a quick buck.

I’m sure that the money is there, but it’s in no way a get-rich-quick scheme.

The only exception to this rule, at least in my line of work, is if you get to build one of those R40 million rand sites for some government institution and you don’t think it’s ripping anyone off for a quick buck. In which case, enjoy that Ferrari! 😛

“You don’t have to deal with the dumb decisions your boss is making anymore!”

This is true, but you need to realize that you are now that boss making decisions and the decision you make today might be viewed as that “dumb decision” by a future employee. When your boss makes a decision like that and you don’t agree, you can be upset, but eventually you will need to fall in and just work with it without any responsibility of repercussions that might affect the client or office in the long run.

If you are the one making the decision, all the responsibility lies with you. If you think that you never make mistakes and you are OK with that, then this statement is 100% true for you.

“You won’t have to deal with that asshole boss of yours!”

This one is also correct, but you will need to start dealing with “asshole” clients, which is way WAY worse. I put that in inverted commas because they’re not always real assholes, they just have a different expectation than they might have been able to communicate, and once you lock down the correct requirements it’s all smooth sailing. (The only exception to this rule are the ones that don’t pay, they really are assholes. 😛 )

The big problem with bad vibes like that is that it doesn’t just die. If you have someone working for you, you might end up passing it on to him or her, making you “that asshole boss”.

The way my business partner and I try to get around this is by rather giving each other shit and then sorting it out in an almost brother-like fashion. This way the employees doesn’t have to get the tail-end of something they really don’t need to hear about. So far I think it’s working really well.

Posted in Business