Categorized | Business


“You Didn’t Build That!”
By Tom Irmen

Regardless of his intent, President Obama no doubt regrets ever having made this remark. But his remark started me thinking.

 If you’re a member of our self-employment community, welcome. And if you’re contemplating joining our community in the future, we anxiously await your membership. But if you honestly believe that some other person(s) or entity will be responsible for the future success of your small business, you’ll likely find yourself disappointed.

Self-employment, with all its ups and downs over nearly three decades since launching our first business, has been a most rewarding experience. And although there have been times of great frustration when I’ve felt like throwing in the towel, the truth is, I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

The most important lesson that I’ve learned as a self-employed is that it is a solitary journey. Fortunately, Judy and I have worked together since day one, and while we both admit to having considered throwing in the towel from time to time, it’s never been on the same day.

We have also been blessed with many great associates over the years who have been instrumental in our success, for which we are truly grateful, and without whose support, success would not have been possible.

Nonetheless, self-employment is often a solitary journey for most small business owners who must grapple with roller coaster sales, daily financial issues, cash-flow challenges, and payrolls.

But if you’re considering launching a business of your own, don’t be lulled into a false sense of security by thinking that someone, or some entity, will run to the rescue at the first sign of a problem. Hopefully you’ll have the support and encouragement of mentors or family members, but this aside, you’ll likely discover that you’re on your own. And while you’ll rely on certain existing government infrastructure, paid for by the way with your tax dollars, for your success, your success will have been earned through long hours, occasional sleepless nights, and a commitment to provide superior products and services to your growing customer base.

It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it. But nobody else will do it for you.

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