I will never forget the day I got laid off from my corporate job. On a professional level, it is one of the best things to ever happen to me. No doubt you have often heard the phrase, “When one door closes, another one opens.”
That lay-off opened the door for me to start Thread Logic.
Now, when I worked for someone else, I thought I was a hard worker. But once I started working for myself, I can honestly say I have never worked harder.
It took me a while to really understand what owning and operating my own company really meant. Thread Logic was probably 3 or 4 years old before I could really articulate it to someone else.
It came to me one day when I considered my father-in-law. My wife grew up on a farm and her father, although at retirement age, still does some farming. It occurred to me farming is a lifestyle. Simply put, you do the work you have to do when you have to do it.
Put another way, your life is intertwined with your work.
Owning a small company is not a job, it is a lifestyle.
When you have a job, you have some sort of work schedule. You generally work between X and Y on these days and your employer pays you for your time and performance. There is generally a dividing line between your professional life and your personal life.
What people don’t understand is when you own your company you are always working. I am thinking about Thread Logic constantly. On the golf course, in the shower, during a movie, it’s always on my mind in some form or another.
The last time I worked a 40 hour week was the last time I worked for someone else. Now, I have 40 hours in long before Friday.
But I think a lot of people don’t understand what it takes to run your own company. A lot of people don’t understand that it is a lifestyle. It’s one of the reasons 97% of new businesses fail within 5 years.
The perceptions that people have of business owners is very interesting. The first thing people think is “You must be rich!” While I am not sure what “rich” is anymore, I can assure you most of us are not.
The second perception is that small business owners have the ultimate work schedule because they can leave work whenever they want to play golf, attend a school function or take a long weekend. While that may be true, the work still needs to get done. Most people don’t always see business owners working. For example, I am writing this at 5:37 a.m. on a Saturday morning.
Some people would get crushed under the stress of the business ownership. Some thrive on the challenge. Frankly, I am one of those people. Thread Logic will succeed or fail based largely on the decisions I make and what I do. “OK Jeff, let’s see how good your are!”
And to be honest, I love it. I think I would die a slow and painful death if I had to go back to a corporate job.
There is no question, whether embroidering logos on shirts, printing business cards, building website or repairing computers, owning a successful small business is a lifestyle. And it suits me well.
How does it suit you?