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Betting On Yourself to Win

Risk takers.  Gamblers. The restless.  What happens when you take a common set of personality traits and aim them in a positive direction?  I can tell you: You become a serial entrepreneur.  I am one of them.

Entrepreneurs make up a very small portion of the population, because being one is not for the faint of heart.  We take chances – with our money, with other people’s money – all in the pursuit of our business ideals.

Be Smart.  Calculate Your Risk.

Starting a business from scratch is no small task.  There’s a ton of planning around the business plan, which should be comprehensive, well researched, meticulously articulated and carefully executed.  Even the best business plans need to consider unforeseen events and allow for adjustments as circumstances change. There will always be things that weren’t considered and other surprises.  I guarantee it.

Demand is crucial.  Your future business should fulfill a need in the marketplace.  You need to solve a problem for your customers. When your business idea does not, it’s likely you’re spinning your wheels on a dream (which can be very difficult to admit to yourself).

An acquaintance of mine once pitched a few different ideas – many of which required large capital investments, years of research, and development.  As a potential investor, those ideas (while fun) left a lot to the imagination. My advice was to start small, move slow, and consider the perspective across the aisle, as a customer, investor, or even a skeptic.

The internet is your friend.  A quick Google search will reveal how difficult it is to build a business that stands the test of time.  It’s a long shot! Don’t take more chances than you need to. Be calculated. Most businesses will fail in the first year.  More in the second – and even more in the third. Many hit a wall before gaining momentum, due to under-funding that could’ve been avoided with slightly more patience.

Start-up businesses don’t always require huge amounts of upfront and operating capital.  But they should require a high amount of confidence in the first 6-12 months of operating capital.  In my experience, that’s enough time to effectively evaluate the future, necessary planning, and your ability to execute.

Stay Healthy.  Professionally and Personally.

Entrepreneurs work extremely hard.  They work long hours. They shoulder all of the responsibility.  They stress. A lot. They’re often unhealthy, sacrificing proper work/life balance.  I’ve learned that the key to managing a healthy lifestyle while pursuing the American Dream is an appropriate amount of sleep, a healthy diet, and regular exercise.  If you’re working as hard as most entrepreneurs, I recommend an equal level of commitment to taking care of yourself. While no business is worth compromising your health and happiness; many overlook the fact that it’s possible to compromise your business by being unhealthy – because the two go hand in hand.

Stay Humble.  Stay Driven.

I’ve served as CEO, CFO and COO for many of my start-up businesses.  I’ve also served as a janitor, project manager, retail clerk, and chauffeur.  Don’t let the potential glory and flash of being your own boss cloud your judgment.  Stay humble. Always do what’s best for your business. Be honest about your abilities.  Do as much as you can. But be prepared to do things you may not enjoy, that are still required for your success.  You’ll wear a number of hats in order to save money. Lead by example, so your future staff does too.

For most of us, new and viable business ideas aren’t constantly entering the mind.  Success is often a culmination of timing, cosmic alignment, divine intervention, and certainly a little luck.  That may sound a little hocus pocus – but I’ve started businesses that I felt were properly researched, executed, and funded – only to find out the idea wouldn’t perform long term.  At the same time, I’ve been blessed to have some businesses out-perform my wildest expectations. My preference is the latter of the two. But you get the point: You can’t perfectly plan for everything.  The market is the casino.

If that entrepreneurial itch strikes and you’re considering a new business idea, do the research.  There’s a ton of resources that can help. Start with a coach or mentor. Leverage their skills, experience, and network against your own.  Hedge your bets, like the great gambler that you are.  

Don’t be scared.  Don’t be careless.  Don’t be hasty.  

DO be cautious.  DO be careful. DO solve problems, internally and externally.

Hard work, due diligence, and calculated risks have a way of appeasing the entrepreneurial gods.  Stay humble and press forward. That good karma could be rewarded with good timing and market demand – that launches your business onward to meteoric success.

Thank you for reading.

Author : Jeff Tacy – CEO , Franny’s Brand

Jeff Tacy has launched two successful online public offering fundraising campaigns that raised $535,000 for Franny’s Distribution, the first of which sold out in a record 7 days. He recently launched a new online public offering StartEngine campaign for Franny’s Manufacturing.