What I’m Learning So Far As a Business Owner

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The most common emotion I have as a brand new business owner is uncertainty. The next two emotions are fear and optimism. Somehow they go hand-in-hand.

I’m beginning to think it’s going to be a long while before I know what I’m really doing. Until then I must be content flying by the seat of my pants, believing in my ideas and my team, and play the role of the good news prophet.

There’s a difference between being a prophet who bears good news and a manager who wants to their ears to be tickled. We’ve all worked for bosses who only want to hear the good news. To me, that’s problem avoidance. One of the first things I told my partners when I selected them was that I want to hear the bad news. It’s my job as the founder and owner of Endever Publishing Studios to figure our how to clean up the mess. And if I can’t come up with a solution, then I ask for help. I wouldn’t have invited my teammates to be apart of Endever if I couldn’t rely on them for help.

After all, I’m just a business owner. I’m not perfect.

So what do I mean by being a good news prophet? While fear an optimism go hand-in-hand, I must not let my fear show. It’s imperative that I keep that part inside and display my optimism as much as I can. I must forecast good news so that my team and my writers will continue to believe in Endever.

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Does that mean I make stuff up just to lead them over a cliff?

Absolutely not! I’m busy working and reworking my business foundations until I feel I get something right. Pioneering a new publishing company means plotting out a succinct process for our book productions, routing book sales to benefit all parties involved and help the company grow, deciding what roles are most needed and what jobs those roles will consist of, and so on.

That’s where I’m at now as of the writing of this post. That way, when I get all the wheels greased and spinning in the right direction, I can forecast good news. I can be sure of myself because I will have sought out advise from key people, and in the end I will believe that I’ve made the right decisions for Endever and everyone involved.

That’s handling and cleaning up problems and prophesying good news. That’s freeing my teammates to do what I’ve instructed them to do within their area of expertise. And to me, that’s creating a safe and healthy environment for authors and other key players to join in the future.

I’ve got a long way to go, but like hopscotch, I’m doing my best to land straight in all the right spots.

Published by Andrew Toy

Writer when I'm not being a husband or dad. So mostly just a husband and dad.

26 thoughts on “What I’m Learning So Far As a Business Owner

  1. Interesting post; been there (several times) and I know the thrills and have the scars from the bumps.

    If I may offer some advice:

    1. Watch the cash. Nothing destroys the time available to a business founder than a cash crisis, and they can happen awfully quickly when things don’t go as planned.

    2. Keep updating and amending your business plan. Review your performance against target at least monthly. As well as cash, are your costs and sales on plan? And what about non-financial targets like web hits number of submissions etc.

    3. Keep shareholders and investors informed; when things get tight they are your salvation. Don’t shy away from bad news, particularly if you have solved it.

    4. Make sure your team understand the basics of the business, how you make money and how much their tasks cost. They need this to succeed just as much as you so give them the information to help them build a success.

    5. Find a confidant as chairman or mentor and make time to spend with them, ideally 30 minutes to an hour a week.

    I hope that is not presumptuous and am sure that you probably knew it anyway.

    Good luck and have fun!

    1. Sir,

      This is incredibly helpful information. Though some is basic, even the most primal tips are helpful when I’m sure to lose my head. I’m copying this and pasting it in my list of things to remember. I cannot thank you enough for this.

      1. Andrew
        My pleasure. If you do only one thing, do point 5.
        Less of the “sir”, my name is paddy. Feel free to contact me via paddybc@btinternet dot com
        Best of luck.

  2. Remember the Stockdale paradox: As a leader, you must retain faith that you will prevail in the end AND at the same time confront the most brutal facts of your current reality. During the second world war, Churchill demonstrated unusual courage in facing reality. He established an independent Statistical Office whose job it was to continuously feed him unfiltered facts about how the war was actually progressing, no matter how brutal the truth. โ€œFacts,โ€ said Churchill, โ€œare better than dreams.โ€ Yet even in the darkest hour, he believed that Britain would be victorious over the Axis.

      1. I stole it from Jim Collins mostly. His book “Good to Great” is excellent. He actually interviewed Admiral Stockdale, the highest ranking US prisoner in the Vietnam war, and the Stockdale Paradox” came from that conversation. If you haven’t read GTG, I highly recommend picking it up.

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