When I was young, I subscribed to all of the typical middle-class viewpoints. I believed that mutual funds were “safe” until I lose 60% of my life savings in one of the safest and most renouned funds. I believed that having a job was safer than having a business until I couldn’t find a job and then got fired from a job after spending a lot of time trying to get it. I thought that having a home in my name was safer than having stocks since stocks were “risky” until I saw people get fired and lose their home along with all of the equity.
Then, I came to my senses and discovered that life is dangerous — after all there is a 100% fatality rate. We all die, it is just a matter of time. With this attitude, you become more willing to take calculated risks, face fear, live on the edge and accomplish something with a do or die attitude. The most successful entrepreneurs I know are from Israel, Lebanon or Palestine and those folks were born on the edge. Feeling too “safe” is bad for business. It makes you not try as hard ot imagine scenarios that are out of your realm of possibilities. So, what am I getting at here?
Business is dangerous. You could go out of business, lose your livelihood, life savings, and pride all in one swoop. This is why I am cautious about my business and put in a lot of extra work to make it the most stable business in the industry. I’m paranoid to be honest. People ask me why I work so hard. I remember the two months I spent unemployed when I was 25 and the horrible taste in my mouth is still a bitter memory. If I lose my business I lose it all. That is why I work so hard to provide the best online directory searches that the world has ever seen. I have been in the online directory business since 1999 and keep getting better at it although it is a tough business and an ongoing struggle!
But, maybe i’m the one who’s safe. I have had the same self-employment lifestyle for two decades. I have stable savings. I have the freedom to take time off several times per year. People I know who have jobs have been through many jobs in the time I’ve been in business and typically have little savings to brag about.
But, business is like war. Your competitors are really like enemies. They could put you under if you aren’t careful. So, you have to always be watchful. I watch my online stats analytics daily and make sure I’m not losing ground. I keep track of what my competitors are doing (which is generally pathetic.) Business is an endless fight for survival just like trees compete for sunlight and fish compete for algae or whatever they eat. So, never stop fighting my friends and always believe that if you fight harder or smarter, then you can put the other guys out of business and then they can work for you — if they’re lucky!
I’m excited about business and want to grow my empire. It happens little by little and trust me I’m not a pro at growth. Growth is hard, but at least I’m achieving it in small ways. And now I’m investing in the stock market, so if I don’t get growth from my business at least my investments might get lucky!