Starting A Business
Starting a business can be exciting, scary, unpredictable, fun, challenging, and the list goes on and on. Most of all, owning a business is a lot of hard work and long hours trying to make your business successful.I have owned over 17 businesses since 2000. I believe I got this business mindset from my father. My father always worked hard and was always looking to own his own business. He had a tremendously strong work ethic. He set a fine example and led for me to follow.
I started my first business in the mortgage industry in 1999. Every business I have run has faced challenges and I learned from each mistake ensuring not to repeat them as I moved forward, while incorporating those lessons in new ventures as well. There are risks involved in owning a business and it is ultimately up to you to make it or not make it.
Owning a small business involves a lot of stress and making smart decisions. It also involves learning your own shortcomings and figuring out ways to overcome them. I am a people pleaser, which can be bad in business. I always want to help everyone out. In my mortgage business, that meant lending out money, paying for employees’ electric or utility bills, buying employees groceries, and even giving employees a place to live. Over the years I had to learn to say “no.” If I had not learned that vital skill then I would have gone bankrupt time and again. I still help out on many occasions, but I need to mindfully measure each decision and not have “yes” be my go-to reply. This remains difficult for me because I always want to see everyone doing well and hate to see anyone struggle.
In owning businesses, you get a lot of opportunities to invest with other people who want to start their own business. I have helped several of my employees go out and make it on their own. I have always found it very rewarding to me to see others be successful. I have no formal college degree. I studied Criminal Justice for a year and switched over to education to become a teacher and coach sports. I always felt like I wanted to help kids and coach. I never finished my degree. So, I was always learning new stuff with each new business I opened.
I have owned a mortgage broker business, title companies, settlement companies, marketing companies, a restaurant, a cryotherapy center, a youth sports facility, a pizza franchise, a real estate claims business, several other businesses, and even learned investment and day trading.
As you can see, I have a well-rounded background in learning everything from finance to making pizza dough and working with kids. You name it I have probably tried it or thought about it. Some businesses did well and grew while others did not do so well. Of course, I did not always make money and had to close some ventures, but with each experience I became more successful, learning from past mistakes. I have found that if you (the owner) are not fully working and involved in your business they typically fail and close. Once I learned this lesson, my businesses have been better and more successful. I have to work at the business and be involved daily to make the business work and do so with pride and joy each day.