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Before Printing Your Business Cards…How Should You Go About Playing “Big Businessman” These Days?

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For many, it seems like the ideal life. You’ve got power, money, and the freedom to do what you want. And from the outside looking in, who wouldn’t want to be their own boss? But before you start fantasizing about what it would be like to be Elon Musk or Richard Branson (but a little bit trendier, obvs) what does it take to set up a business?

Not a business, but one that actually makes money? And while we’re at it, have you got what it takes?

What’s Your Business Model?

What do you want out of your chosen business? Many people end up choosing a franchise because it’s less of a hassle, as it’s a business model that appears to work. But this is, by no means, a guarantee that you’re going to be rolling in the Benjamins. Choosing a business model that is profitable is much harder than you would think. Besides, before you even get to this point, you’ve got to learn about the more mundane aspects of a business.

It’s not just about registering your company and off you go Gordon Gekko! There are various types of business entity, from a C corporation to an S corporation, to an LLC, and if your eyes are sinking already, you’d better give some reconsideration so if you want the business lifestyle. While numerous media sources have shown that running a business is a fantastic way to set your own pace, you have still got to get the fine print down way beforehand. This is the tip of the iceberg.

Are You Prepared For The Long Hours?

Yes, there’s something romantic about being in that boardroom, pointing fingers at clients, and rattling off talk about stocks and shares, and “show me the money”- if you think this is what running a business entails, let’s bring you back down to earth. In reality, running your own business requires more than just an ability to talk the talk, you’ve got to walk the walk!

If you don’t have the stamina to sustain long hours at home, where yet another client hasn’t paid you for the services you provided 6 months ago you’ve got to give consideration as to whether this is the arena for you. Business is brutal. It’s a place where you can get chewed up and spat out more times than a dog biscuit. And to begin with, you’re doing more than is asked of you for little thanks. It’s long hours, but it’s also very frustrating.

Is It Worth The Effort?

During the first year or so, where everything feels so overwhelming, it’s at these dark moments, at 3 in the morning, when you’re wondering “why have I chosen this path” that you need the stamina to push through, and realize it’s just a blip. The effort you have to put in to make your business fly is probably more than anything you would have ever done before. Not only is it long hours, but it is also for relatively little money at the beginning.

And the one thing that will keep you sustained is the belief in your ability that this business will go far. It’s an overwhelming statistic that 9 out of 10 startups fail within the first year, so what’s going to make you buck the trend? It’s not just about skill, it’s about determination, luck, and the ability to navigate inconsistencies and those moments where you’re struggling to make ends meet. But if you have the passion for the product, and you feel that this is the right path, it will be worth your time and effort.

Everybody thinks about it because it’s a very attractive prospect. The ability to set your own hours, and do what you want. But there are going to be times when you’ll be banging your head against the wall, and it’s at these moments where you will need the combination of skills, stamina, and sheer passion. Because it’s these things in combination with each other that will keep you going.

Let’s make no bones about it; it’s a difficult line of work, not just because of the risk, but it’s also about the fact you’ve got to keep yourself motivated, and when you build up a name for yourself, it becomes harder, because, for every new plateau you break through, you’ll have more competitors willing to step over you. So if it’s a dream, but you don’t necessarily have the knowledge at this moment in time, there is no stopping you printing out your business cards, but before you do, you’d better make damn sure you have what it takes!

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Robert D. Cobb
Founder, Publisher and CEO of INSCMagazine. Works have appeared and featured in places such as Forbes, Huffington Post, ESPN and NBC Sports to name a few. Follow me on Twitter at @RobCobb_INSC, email me at robert.cobb@theinscribermag.com

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