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The Entrepreneurial Roller Coaster Ride

When you own your own business, you have your highs and you have your lows. And it seems like you rarely have any in-betweens.

George said  …
I never talked about this for years. I thought it was just me. Then I got up the nerve and mentioned it to my sister, who also owns businesses.

She said she knew exactly what I was talking about! So that encouraged me to ask other business owners about it. So far, every single person I’ve ever talked to about this knows exactly what it means. You can see it on their face as soon as you bring it up.

But it’s something I think a lot of entrepreneurs don’t talk about.

Mary-Lynn added  …
With Bigg Success, I’m experiencing business ownership for the first time. And I feel like I’m on a roller coaster. There are days where I feel exhilaration from the ride and there are days when I feel sheer terror and want to get off the ride.

Entrepreneurial terror

If you’ve never experienced it, count yourself lucky, but most people in business have.

You can feel terrified at times even with a job. You may fear you’re going to lose yours when you see other people’s jobs getting cut. But it’s still different for business owners.

George …
I remember one of the guest speakers for my class who talked about the number of mouths he had to feed now. A lot of the most successful business owners I know take personal responsibility for their people. They don’t look at just putting bread on their table; they worry about their employees as well.

That can keep you up at night!

Inc. published an article (way back in February 1987) called Entrepreneurial Terror. A portion of it has been republished on Wachovia’s Small Business site.

It was written by Wilson Harrell, a serial entrepreneur and author of For Entrepreneurs Only. He said:

“… the ability to handle terror, and to live with it, is the single most important
– and, yes, necessary – ingredient of entrepreneurial success.”

This company doesn’t love misery

He says that you shouldn’t share your lows with your friends and loved ones, because you’ll just pass the worry on to them. Unless they’re your partner in business.

He adds that you should always share your highs, though.

How highs turn to lows

The way you spend your time and money when you’re on a high often has a lot to do with how low you go. Let’s look at two examples:

  • Too busy for marketing
    When you’re so busy, you may even be running at capacity, and you know your business couldn’t crank out any more volume no matter how much you wanted to. So you slow down – or even stop – your marketing efforts.

    George …
    I’ve done this! It’s easy to do – there’s no time! But that insures the next down cycle because you’re not doing those things that you did to get to the up cycle.

  • Being careless with money
    A lot of times cash flow is at its peak during an up cycle. That’s part of the reason you’re on an emotional high. So you make that major expenditure. Or you add to your overhead. The next thing you know you’re on a low because business and cash flow have slowed down and you have little or no cash reserves.

You may not be able to avoid the highs and lows. What you can do is conduct business so that your lows are higher … and your highs are higher!

It may not feel any different, but you know it is. You’re reaching ever higher levels of success! Now that’s bigg success!

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It’s the journey, not the destination

By Dana Mancuso
Bigg Success Contributor
01-06-09

pursue_happy

The United States Declaration of Independence could not have been a better predictor of America even generations later.

"…Among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness," it says.

Americans desire happiness. We've developed technologies, gadgets, appliances, and luxury items with the goal of having an easier, better, more exciting, "happier" life.

As the year-end holidays come and go, I can't help but think of what one might call Christmas Let Down. There is so much anticipation, activity and doing to get ready for whatever holidays you celebrate in December and early January. Then the holiday comes…and goes. And there is the inevitable let down. We sent the cards, got the gifts (returned/exchanged the gifts), ate the food– and yet it does not satisfy. No magic happiness showed up on our doorstep at the end of the rush as our prize for working hard to get it.

We have determined that we the hunters will pursue happiness until we catch it. Then we'll have it, put it on display. Like the 10-point buck forever mounted for us and everyone else to admire.

"Wow, Bob, that's the biggest happiness I've ever seen! Took you a long time to catch that, didn't it?"

We've gotten it wrong. The pursuit of happiness is the happiness we're pursuing. If we can't find glee in the anticipation, exhilaration in the activity, and delight in the doing, we don't really deserve the Christmas Day. 

It's sort of like a making a snowman. People actually go out and make a snowman and enjoy the process of making one. They are building it with friends or loved ones. They take pleasure in rolling the snowball or selecting the right nose. But with the holidays, the build up might be a chore, something to get through in order to actually eat the big dinner or have those guests over. Were we waiting for happiness to land in our laps in one fell swoop instead of building it as we go, bit by bit? Isn't it true that although we're sad to see the snowman melt, we remember how fun it was to create it, not so much what color mittens it had?

Thomas Jefferson worded it right. As we wrap up another holiday season remember this: continually pursue the pursuit—therein lies true happiness.

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