Wednesday, February 27, 2008

In Celebration of National Entrepreneurship Week: My TOP 10 List

February 25th was the start of the second annual Entrepreneur Week. To recognize the importance of small business, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution in 2006 (Resolution 699), advocating an annual week in support of American entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship education.

Coincidentally, I am "celebrating" my first year as an entrepreneur so I thought I would share some of MY entrepreneur education over the past year in the all-so-original Top 10 list format...

TOP 10 LESSONS LEARNED IN MY FIRST YEAR AS AN ENTREPRENEUR

10.) Having a boss sucks. Having 50 bosses sucks more.
- Nobody ever told me the word "client" was a synonym for "boss."

9.) Two weeks as an entrepreneur is equivalent to 2 days as an employee.
- Time flies when you have to find the money to write your own check.

8.) There is not such thing as "paid vacation" or "sick time."
- No workie = no money (at least as a start-up company).

7.) The expression "it's a small world" isn't just B.S.
- I'm convinced that everyone in Columbus knows someone who I will have to interact with at some point. I've disliked people in the past, but because I'm relatively P.C., I kept that to myself and now some of those people have made me money! Ahh.. finally a reward for being fake! YES!

6.) Government is the anti-start-up!
- Self-employment tax, payroll tax, income tax, workers comp insurance, social security contributions, state tax, sales tax, city tax, making it freaking impossible to be legally compliant tax!

5.) Everybody gets paid... but the owner.
- I'm envious of my vendor partners. I cut them checks like it's going out of style.

4.) 9-5 isn't so bad after all!
- 8 hour days are a blessing in disguise.

3.) The best way to get approval is not to need it.
- My biggest pet peeve is people who respond to a huge amount of work and go right for the negatives/changes and make no mention of the 95% that was perfect!

2.) There is no such thing as stress or worry.
- Or at least I tell myself that twice a day.

And my biggest lesson about entrepreneurship in my first year...

1.) Everything takes longer than expected. Especially the money part!
- When you project future earnings, if your spread sheet shows that by Year 5, you can buy Canada and sell it to France... you're probably a little optimistic.

2 comments:

Scott Hepburn said...

Talk about a real eye-opener for anyone thinking of starting their own business...I bet a lot of your clients can relate.

Justin, I'd love to see you do a list of the Top 10 Reasons You Love Being an Entrepreneur. And if any of your readers have similar experiences -- positive, negative, lessons learned -- I'd love to hear those, too!

Justin Spring said...

In response to Scott and a few other reader's comments:

This posting was meant to be satirical in nature. There are definitely MANY MANY benefits to being an entrepreneur that make all the "lessons learned" worth every bit of it. Sure, at the end of your first year starting ANY business, you'll have most likely not made it through to the glorious side of entrepreneurship. But there are indeed many benefits even immediately...

Great suggestion Scott! I'll post a Top 10 Reasons I love being an entrepreneur list.