What are some hard truths about running a business?

  1. There’s a very real almost 70% chance that you will fail.
  2. Not everyone should be in business. Sorry. Hard dose of reality. Choose wisely:

    -Option A: If you love baking, work at a bakery
    -Option B: If you love baking and being your own boss, be a freelance baker. Just know the dough won’t be as steady (see what I did there?)
    -Option C: If you love baking and money, work for a corporate bakery or a major bakery consulting firm, but know it comes at the cost of your soul a lil bit.
    -Option D: If you don’t mind baking and you love business (and you are stubborn as hell and you are willing to starve so you can give other bakers a job), open a bakery. Just know at the end of it, you’ll hate baking, but you’ll still love business.
  3. Good ideas are a dime-a-dozen. Good ideas that solve an existing market problem in a novel, not-easily-replicated way that you can deliver on for 20 points less than it costs you to deliver said solution are businesses. If you miss it all after “good ideas,” you’re in la-la land.
  4. This ain’t the Field of Dreams and people won’t flock to you even if you have all the qualifiers from number 1 above. Have a solid, actionable, vetted marketing strategy before you start.
  5. Don’t be too arrogant to say you made a poor decision and don’t be too stubborn to change direction entirely. Markets change, you will need to change with it.
  6. Sales is only half the equation. Don’t think about sales teams or marketing teams. Think about revenue teams united with the shared objective of growing revenue.
  7. The business failure rate is so high because there are a great many people whose friends and family weren’t ballsy enough to tell them that they should never open a business. Some people just aren’t cut from that cloth and that’s okay.
  8. Welcome to having more bosses than you ever thought possible. Opening a business means your employees are your boss, your suppliers are your boss, and your customers are your boss.
  9. The legendary “absentee model.” It doesn’t exist. Never believe it.
  10. You can outsource. But that in and of itself takes a vast skillset to manage.
  11. Nothing is without risk. In fact, run away screaming because chances are high that whoever said this is about to stab you.
  12. Whatever time estimates you are given, triple them, if nowhere else but in your head.
  13. Whatever cost estimates you are given, quadruple them, if nowhere else but in your head.
  14. Whatever scope estimates you are given, multiply them by 5, if nowhere else but in your head.