The Cost of Entrepreneurship
Growing up, it's not like I had a passion for lifting couches or moving dressers...
I started my own company, Coulee Region Moving Services, back in the Spring of 2014. It was just meant to serve as a part-time job to earn some extra income while I was in college. The fact that it turned into a six-figure company after the second year in business, and with hopes of someday becoming a seven-figure enterprise, is beyond what I could have ever expected. A lot of people see and hear the triumphs and successes that my moving company has had over the past four years, but not many people fully understand what it has taken to get to this point; and it has been anything but glamorous.
I feel like entrepreneurship has been put on a pedestal the last decade or so. Ever since Mark Zuckerburg came out publicly in his hoodie and jeans and introduced the world to Facebook, every college student felt like they too could somehow start their own company. Now, I'm not quite old enough to say what it was like to be an entrepreneur in the 80's or 90's. However, from the people I know who were, if you were an entrepreneur back then, it usually just meant you couldn't find a real job. Entrepreneurship takes a very unique personality to be successful, and you have to sacrifice a lot in the beginning, to eventually make it in the end.
If I had to put a number on it, I'd say entrepreneurship is about 5% accepting the successes and glory of owning a business, and 95% learning from your failures and grinding through the shit no one else wants to deal with. If you want to be a successful entrepreneur, you have to absolutely, without a doubt, love the process and the hustle of building a business. No one sees me at the office 7 days a week (except during football season) coming up with new marketing ideas, crunching numbers, sending estimates and invoices, or stocking equipment. When things go wrong, you have to fully accept that everything that went wrong was YOUR FAULT. Not your employees. Not the customer. YOU. You did not prepare or equip yourself and your team properly, and because of that, you failed.
Now, the nice part about failing, is that it is the best way to learn so you do not make the same mistake twice. Once you do get it all right the next time around, that part goes into that tiny 5% bucket of success I was talking about earlier. And that tiny 5% part of success feels damn good when it does happen, and it makes you want more every time.
I also think entrepreneurship has a lot to do with luck; but you create your own luck. Let me explain:
To me luck isn't so much about just being inherently lucky of unlucky in life, luck is about being open to opportunity beyond ways that a certain task or situation presents itself. It's about always keeping your head on a swivel for the next move forward. It's about trying to see the possibilities and potentially positive outcomes from things that most people wouldn't blink twice at. Entrepreneurship is not always about pursuing your passion; sometimes its about chasing opportunity where no one else is. Growing up, it's not like I had a passion for lifting couches or moving dressers... But when I was in college, I identified an opportunity to exploit, then I got good at the opportunity, and finally, I learned to love the opportunity (and teach others to as well). Now in 2017, and heading into 2018, we have an unstoppable crew of movers we like to call Industrial Athletes; and we're just getting started.
Stay tuned next month for more ideas and motivation from the studs at Coulee Region Moving!