Think about not having to get up early in the morning, rush to work, answer to a boss, and come home at the end of the week with a paycheck that makes you hang your head in shame. Imagine not ever having to stress about getting laid off again, but instead your main concern being what place you’ll visit this month with your significant other. Sounds like a dream, doesn’t it?
This is the same magical feeling I had one Friday night a few years ago while on my way home from work. Like many of you, I too was working a regular job in corporate America and wondering what it would be like to take control of my life and have the freedom to do whatever the heck I wanted. To take vacations whenever I felt like or wake up any time in the day without worrying about getting to work late.
Once I decided to start my own business, this is when the reality of how tough it really is set in. After trying, and often times failing, at a few ventures such as eBay selling, an online store and even website design, I realized that a lot of the principles that apply to dating also apply to starting a business.
What type of business do you want?
The first rule I learned was that you must know what type of business you want in the first place. While magazines such as Inc. and Entrepreneur are great at teaching you how to market and grow your business, they can’t tell you what type of business would be right for you. Only you can decide this for yourself. I can remember having stacks of magazines piled up to the ceiling like pillars in a temple, hoping one would contain the magical business idea that would one day make me rich.
This is the equivalent to not knowing what your goal is when dating. Are you looking for a wife, long term relationship, friends-with-benefits or a one night stand?
Similarly, when starting a business, there are some questions you must ask yourself. Would you prefer a business that’s seasonal? Will it be a part-time or full-time venture? How much do you need to make in order to live the lifestyle you desire? Selling kites for only the summer months is not going to make as much money as selling used car tires all year around.
In business, passion matters
When I first got into starting a new business, my only goal was to make tons of money and live like a movie star. I’d spend hours looking through those magazines. reading all the stats telling how much each business could possibly make. The missing ingredient was passion directed toward a particular endeavor.
This is comparable with dating. You should know what type of woman you’re seeking. Does she have to be artistic, an animal lover, an amazing chef, very social, etc? When dating with the potential of forming a relationship, you should have an idea of what personality types and interests would be most compatible with yours.
Next, you must decide how much risk you’re willing to take financially when starting your new business. I had little money to start with, so obviously I wasn’t able to take so much risk like some people who put their house up for collateral or borrow large amounts of money.
According to Alex Wise, a co-founder of Loveawake dating site: “in dating, the risk comes when approaching women. Deep down inside, you have this fear to start a conversation with a woman because you’re afraid of the embarrassment you will face when she turns you down, especially when in front of others. But like in business, the greater the risk, the greater the rewards.”
Running a business requires total commitment
Every business has its challenges, and eventually things are going to get tough, because it takes time to master the skills necessary to run a business. You have to market, manage daily operations and balance cash flow. Whenever things get tough, you can’t just decide to quit because you’re not making enough money or the business isn’t growing as fast as you thought it would.
Alex from Loveawake says: “The same applies to dating. If you’d never been on a date in your life or always had a hard time getting a date, it’s going to take putting yourself out there and possibly facing a lot of rejection until you find out what works or doesn’t work. There will be times when it seems impossible to get a woman to say yes to a date, but with determination and sacrifice you will eventually become good at it, just like running a business.”
There are going to be times when you will fail and it feels like a huge giant bat is hitting you in the face with the word loser engraved in it. I know what the swell marks on the side of your head look like because I’ve been there myself. The only difference between winners and losers is the fact that the winners never gave up. They just got back up and kept at it until they finally did succeed.