Over the years there have been plenty of times when it seemed to me that everyone else’s business was so much better than mine. I had to work very long hours, struggle to make ends meet, deal with difficult clients and never really seem to get more than about a dollar fifty in the bank at any one time.
These were the times when I would look longingly at the local cafe and think how easy it must be to simply make coffee. Or the local newsagent, surely selling newspapers and magazines couldn’t be hard and they must make truckloads of money?
Well after working as a marketing consultant for many years, and having clients in pretty much every industry, I now realise that there is no such thing as an “EASY” business. Each one has its own unique challenges. Just because I have drunk an ocean of coffee in cafes doesn’t mean that I can run one or that if I did, it would be easier than the business I have now. In fact if you ask me, food businesses are the toughest of them all.
Plus, from the outside in, any business can look super successful – but from my experience, the flash car, the flash building etc., all mean a lot of debt. These things come at a cost, and it takes a lot of hard work to pay them off.
So why I am talking about this? Because I come across a lot of people who have a romanticised view about every other business but their own, and we need to put some perspective around it.
Whenever we find ourselves in that depressing little place, when things are not going right and we start to feel that every other business in the universe is so much better than ours, think again. We all have parts of our business that we really don’t like, but we have the choice to focus on them or focus on the bits that we really love.
I have this conversation with business owners all the time, as they complain that they are not making much money in their business. Focus on the great things your business gives you, things like freedom, not having a boss to answer to, the ability to work when and how you want, you get to make the decisions, you get the satisfaction of coming up with new ideas and making them work and having people pay you for what you sell. These are all things that I wouldn’t swap for a million dollars.
Sure, we all have bad days, but when I look down the list of the great things my businesses lets me do, I wouldn’t swap it for anything.