The Life of A Startup – Being A Small Business Owner
Beep… Beep… Beep… Is that my alarm?
It can’t be 7:30am already, I just fell asleep right?
Oh wait, that’s right, I didn’t go to sleep until 5am.
Time To get back to work!
Being a Small Business Owner is Tough!
So you started your own business, huh? Or maybe you are just forming the idea now, and you plan to make your business soon?
Chances are you have already started to notice some of the difficulties you will be facing.
After all, nobody said owning a business was easy!
The Life of a Startup
Of course, it doesn’t always have to be difficult. It’s just that most startups are the dangerous combination of underfunded AND understaffed.
And if you are as crazy as me, understaffed actually just means that you are the only employee!
Let’s start with the hard parts about being a small business owner of a startup company.
Sleep vs Social Life vs Work
Choose two. You can only choose two.
Starting a company is something that everyone should strive to do. There’s nothing better than knowing that you are your own boss, and that you (and your skills) determine your success.
With this being said, it’s almost impossible to live a “balanced life” as a startup business owner.
You can be the best business owner ever, and still get enough sleep, sure! But I guarantee that you won’t see your friends.
If you are like me, chances are you will choose work and a social life over sleep. This is certainly possible to do (I mean, I’ve been doing it for 7 years now), but it’s a busy life! My calendar constantly looks like I’ve lost a game of Tetris, and I actually have to set a few hours at night on the calendar as “sleep” or else I simply won’t do it!
With Great Power…
… comes great responsibility. That’s how the saying goes, right?
The thing is, it’s totally true. If I ever did have a night off to sleep (which I don’t), I wouldn’t actually be able to sleep.
Want to know why? It’s because all of my employees are depending on me to run my company the right way so that there’s enough work for them and so that they can make a good living too.
You see, as soon as you decide to hire employees for your startup company, you enter into an unspoken agreement that you will do everything in your power to make sure that you can take care of your employees.
This is what keeps me up at night. Am I paying my employees fairly? How can I find the work needed so that I don’t have to let anyone go? Am I micromanaging too much, or not giving enough guidance?
It’s a lot to take in.
Now that I’ve made you second guess your decision to make a company and be a small business owner, let me walk you through why you absolutely should, despite the hardships associated with it.
It’s Your Brain-Child
Are you the sort of person that is proud of their accomplishments?
So am I.
Starting your own business is the ultimate accomplishment, especially if it becomes successful. Imagine how cool it would be to create something that outlives you, or to create something that people are talking about for generations to come.
Since I’ve started Destroyer Marketing, I’ve gotten nothing but support and respect from my family and peers. It’s truly an amazing feeling to know that everyone you care about wants to see you succeed and is proud of you.
You Are Still You!
While it’s true that you may have to give up some sleep to accomplish it, I am living proof that you can still have a flourishing social life while you grow your startup business.
In my case, I also am doing a PhD program for Chemical Engineering. If I can do all that and still have a social life, so can you.
What this means is that, all the things that make you who you are will still be there. Your real friends will still be there (even if you can’t see them quite as frequently as you used to).
You can still do the things you love (for me, that’s video games, hockey, and TV).
Plus, you’ll have some extra money so you don’t need to worry about picking up the tab for your buds at the bar! (That should make up for them not seeing you as much anymore).
Think Of All the Cool Things You Can Buy!
When you start a business, you don’t usually make too much at the beginning. As you make more and more money, you start to realize that you can spend some of it on the business.
And oh man, there are some cool things you can buy for your business!
Standing desks, fancy printers, super-powered computers, I’ve purchased them all… and it’s AWESOME! These are things that I would have never been able to afford on my own, but with my business, anything is possible!
Better yet, since these things directly impact my ability to do my job well, I can write them off as a business expense on my taxes!
The Business Expense – A Small Business Owner’s Best Friend
A business expense means that I actually don’t have to pay personal taxes on the money that I spend on expenses for my business.
As an example, I’m at my desk working all day, every day. It’s terrible for my health to be sitting all day, and it also makes me irritable on sales calls sometimes.
To fix this, I purchased a standing desk for around $600 so that I can stand instead of sit. Since this has a direct impact on my ability to successfully make sales for my business, it obviously qualifies as a business expense.
Now, that $600 comes directly out of the Destroyer Marketing bank account. Since it get’s filed as a business expense, it’s as if I never made that $600 in the first place according to the government.
In other words, they won’t tax me on money that I’ve spent on the company. Just money that I’ve “gained” when the year ends.
Just think about the possibilities…
Some Final Notes
The one thing that I haven’t talked about yet is the fact that a startup business can only be successful if the small business owner is able to be passionate and motivated.
It takes a certain mindset to be able to make a startup business thrive, but the good news is that anyone can do it.
The key is just to find out what motivates you. Turn that into your passion! Take it, and make a business out of it.
Do it well, and you won’t regret it. Even if you start a business and it fails on you, just try again.
I’ve gone through literally hundreds of ideas before I settled on digital marketing. It turns out that I’m just good at it, so I went for it!
You will never know unless you try, remember that.
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