Not every entrepreneur will be good at everything, and you don’t get to practice your core professional skills all the time.
You have to spend most of your days dealing with investors, your bankers, your landlords, your employees and your vendors. Client face time and doing your actual work is the fun part.
The hard parts are the spreadsheets, the vendor forms, the financial stuff and staffing. This may be where having a partner with complementary skills can save your skin.
Having partners can be crucial, especially if he/she/they have complementary skills and a very different personality than yours -- which is kind of the whole point of the partnership.
But while this arrangement can save you, this is inherently an awful lot like a marriage, and we have seen enough statistics to know what that can lead to.
There are books out there plus articles and other online and in-person resources to help business partners, but dealing with the emotional intricacies of a partnership will always have to be a line item on your to-do list.
Many aspects of being a small business owner are tough, but perhaps the hardest is dealing with your employees.
This can be the most satisfying part of your job or the most horrible, depending on the random confluence of personalities and situations.
There are scads of books and presentations you can access from real experts on how to deal with employees, but aside from always being careful to follow the law and your own personal ethics, a lot of this will come from you and how you interact with people.
6. The stab in the back:
Treacherous behavior is hard to plan for.
You can be prepared with careful legal documentation of all of your agreements and policies, protection for your professional secrets and non-compete agreements. But even with all of that, you can’t always predict what a business partner, a formerly friendly rival, a client or your employees might do.
It can seem sometimes that the more honest you are, the most faithful and reliable and concerned you are, the worse people will treat you.
You simply can’t let other people’s choices define you. You have to stay true to yourself, your principles, your professional standards and your own beliefs, and deal with the negative stuff like any other business problem.
You will solve it one way or another. But you can’t let it get you down for long. Besides, your own personal happiness is the best revenge.
7. Success or failure:
We all know that not every business will succeed.
Some restaurants stay open for fifty years, others open and close in just a few months. Some businesses succeed wildly and become huge and go franchise, others grow just a bit, still others remain constant and others will fail.
Is it you? Is it the times? Is it the growing need being met by the perfect solution?
Perhaps it has to do with your connections, your expectations or your circumstances.
Changes are all three had a lot to do with it. But making a lot of money doesn’t make you a good person, and a business failure doesn’t make you a bad person either.
Hang in there. You can do this.
About the author
Carlos E. Garcia, born to Mexican immigrant parents, grew up in East Los Angeles and attended Pomona College, UC Berkeley and National University (BA, MA and MBA respectively). He has over thirty years of experience in the field of US Hispanic consumer research, twenty one years at the helm of his own company, Garcia Research. Most recently SVP at GfK: Knowledge Networks, where he headed up their Hispanic research efforts. He's gone full circle and now back at the helm of Garcia Research, a Hispanic market and Multicultural-focused research firm.Website