What You Don't Know Could Hurt You
This post is about the stuff most people don't talk about because it hits too close to home. But I don't want you to be caught like a deer in the headlights as you grow your business, so I'm telling you the real deal on some of the most personal issues you will encounter if you are successful in your business.
These things apply to just about any business, but they are especially important to prepare for if you are Indie, meaning you are not only running a business but also managing a home and trying to have a fulfilling personal life at the same time. Like any girlfriend worth her salt, I'm going to tell you like it is. If you don't know already, it's not all sweetness and light, as some would have you believe.
1. You Will Have to Say "No" to Your Kids For the Sake of Your Business
Yesterday, I posted about how great it is to be available to my kids as I also run my business. That is true, and everyone says that. But the part I saved for this post is also true: I tell my kids "no" a lot. If I was at a full-time job, someone else would be telling them "no" a lot. I'm glad it's me, but the fact is that, because I'm here all the time, they ask me for a lot of things they can't have. All the time.
For example: As I wrote this post at 1:30pm EST, my 6-year old daughter came into my office and asked if she could take a bubble bath. Right now. If I was not here, she'd be with with a baby sitter and she wouldn't even ask the question. Following the advice I always give her to ask for what she wants out of life, she asks to take a bath, even though she knows the answer is going to be no.
So, as great as it sounds to always be around, get ready to be the bad guy a lot.
2. Your Spouse or Significant Other May Not Support You
OK, I know your spouse or significant other is wonderful and I'm not hating on them. But I have seen this more than once so I have to tell you the real deal. Once your business starts making money, you may find yourself making more money than your spouse. Many spouses can handle this with no problem, seeing as it means they will benefit from your success too.
But many will also become a little on the jealous side. They may become a bit defensive as they see you raking in more cash than you did last year, while they are still making the same amount of money, and having to stretch each dollar further in this weakening economy.
How do you respond? Don't get bogged down in their perception of your success. It's their problem, not yours. If you feel as though you are fulfilling your God-given calling in life with your business, then don't compromise that for anyone. It may mean having to change the dynamic of your relationship. So be prepared. Always walk blameless before the people you love, but be careful not to compromise your principles in order to accommodate their warped perceptions of your success.
3. You May Gain Weight
These days, the success of your business hinges significantly on your ability to use technology. In order to use technology, you have to be still, at least for a period of time. You can't be doing an aerobics class at the same time you are programming your new shopping cart, updating your website, figuring out how to use Twitter, tweaking your business plan or writing your next book.
Try to get some exercise. Don't be like me and wait until so many years into your business before deciding to shape up.
See? I told you I would tell you the real deal, from experience. I'm a no holds barred kind of Indie.
4. Haters Will Abound
If you are financially successful, the haters will come. Sometimes, they don't mean to hate, they are just unable to handle your success in the face of their lack of it. There's nothing you can do in advance to handle this. Just be prepared for it and understand that it may mean that your interaction with some people may have to change. Always surround yourself with cheerleaders. Non-cheerleaders should be fired from your inner circle.
If you find that some haters are family members (and you most likely will), well, I guess you can't fire them. But you can minimize their adverse impact on you and your business. How you do that depends on the hater and whether they are willing to change with you. If they are not, be prepared for a tough road.
5. You Will Not Have Enough Money
It would be great if, as you make more money each year, you also had enough money each year to expand your business exactly as you desire. Alas, this will hardly ever be the case. If you have not experienced this yet, you just haven't been in business long enough.
For this reason, it is critical that you adopt a frugal mentality. Watch every penny and don't let go of a cent unless you have to in order to provide quality products and services to your customers. This is the only way to keep more of the money you make.
So what do you think?
Am I touching any nerves? Have you found these things to be true? Or am I way off base? Would love to know your experiences too.
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