Update 11 September, 2015: When originally written in 2005, this blog post accurately represented where I was. It’s not where I am today, nor would I endorse many of the choices I made years ago which led to the unfortunate circumstances I, my wife, and my team members went through. I’m not proud of the mistakes I have made, and I only share them so others can avoid them. Some of the experiences are humorous, but many are not. These days I’m happy to say I have reasonable work schedule that allows me to spend plenty of time with my family, be healthy, and run a better business. Now, here’s the original post:
A lot of people think they’ve got entrepreneurial experience. After all, they started or ran a business, and isn’t that what an entrepreneur is? Maybe, if that’s your definition of an entrepreneur. Here my definition.
You might be an entrepreneur if…
4. You’ve borrowed money from friends and family.
17. You’ve had to explain to your employees that in order to save up money so that you will never be late on payroll again, you have to have at least one month where you make more money than you have to spend to stay in business.
20. You’ve ruined personal relationships over business matters, despite the fact you thought this would never happen to you and you’ve always tried to not do this.
26. You hire an accountant and after looking at your books he comes in with a frantically worried look on his face and says “You’re going out of business!” and you calmly smile and say “No, that’s how we’ve been running the business for the past few years. It’s nothing new.”
29. 6pm feels like 11 am.
37. Your wife’s car breaks down and since it costs more to fix it than the car is worth, you end up making do with one car because you can’t get a loan on a new car because you already have loans on both cars including the one that is now junk, and you can’t even take that car to the junkyard because that would require paying off the loan, which of course you can’t afford to do, so the car is sitting in someone’s driveway.
41. You feel euphoric just thinking about what it would be like to not owe anyone any money.
46. You’ve had to ask your employees for rides to work because you have no money to buy gas for your car.
47. You’ve told someone not to start the same type of business as you, not because you’re afraid of the competition, but because you can’t bear the thought of someone going through what you’ve been through.
50. During the past year you’ve paid the federal government more in taxes than you’ve paid yourself in salary.
51. You’re able to get back all the personal taxes you’ve ever paid because you had such a bad year last year.
53. You’re an expert on what does and doesn’t count as a business expense.
55. When your wife gets pregnant rather than being thrilled all you can think about is “How in the world are we going to be able to afford this child?”
57. One of the major things keeping you from killing yourself is the guilt you feel about handing all this mess over to someone else who isn’t nearly as well equipped to handle it as you are since you’ve already been going through it for several years.
61. You’ve seriously considered buying a cot for your office.
63. You wonder if everyone who owns a business and is financially stable is dishonest.
65. You haven’t cleaned the inside of your car for over a year because you don’t have the time.
66. You wonder where the last five years went.
67. You’re amazed by how much you’ve learned in the last month, because you weren’t sure a month ago how you could learn anything else after what you’ve learned over the past five years.
68. You’ve gone to that furniture store on Saturdays where they give out free hot dogs in order to save money on meals.
69. You’ve tried to convince your wife to let you cut her hair.
70. You realize your wife must be a very special person because what other woman would put up with all this and still like you?
71. You’re jealous of a school teacher’s salary.
72. You look at a paperclip that costs a slight percentage of one cent and think “I bet the guy running the company that makes these is making a lot more money than I am.”
73. You see all the big houses around you and wonder “What in the world do all these people do?”
74. When a life coach tell everyone in the room “Think about what you would do if you had a million dollars in the bank–now go out and do that and don’t worry about the money,” you get the impression you’re the only person in history who has actually done this and if the life coach had actually done it he might stop telling other people to do it.
75. You’re able to write a list like this in a half hour right off the top of your head.Liked it? Share it!