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Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Building a business is a long term process

Would you like to make a six-figure a year (or better) income while you sleep, take a vacation, or work from home? Who wouldn't. Whenever I tell people about running an internet business they all wish they had a rack of servers somewhere practically printing money. But having gone through the 8 year process - I know why so few people are doing what we are doing - because they don't want to put in the upfront time to make it happen.

How can this be? Most people are working 40 hour weeks for less than half of that pay and have to put up with a crappy boss and depression. Well... the road to being a successful business owner is long and hard.

I remember starting a business in late 2000 right after the dot com bubble burst. We would work full days in the corporate world, then meet at an apartment with out laptops and crank out code for website ideas. This involved working everyday after work (often napping on the floor) and working most weekends, and as young single bachelors we did this for about 18 months before we ever paid ourselves a dime. In January 2002 we finally paid ourselves for this hard work - and of course over time the work was less and less business start up and more maintenance and growth. Now 8 years later we have very little business maintenance and focus almost solely on how to grow our business (no easy feat in these crazy economic times). The monthly income grew as well - though it was never really predictable. Ad rates, customer spending, competition - they never stop moving all over the map.

What I love most about being an entrepreneur is that I don't even feel that successful, we are still very small fish and our businesses aren't publicly well known - but that's also the great thing - you can be a wealthy anonymous person. Not everyone will invent the next google.

But the success and wealth at the end of 8 years of work often doesn't seem to justify all the hard work. In fact if I knew going in how much work we would do I'm not sure I would have signed up for it - though I also probably didn't know how much I would enjoy the business process and struggles. Anytime you are working for yourself you feel much better about having to do the grunt work because you directly benefit from your hard work.

I just love this post by Adam McFarland where he puts together a timeline of his entrepreneurial success. Be sure to poke around his blog because it is a great "real life" example of entrepreneurship.

As I am sure you know by now we believe in these real stories of business start ups and ignore the "get rich quick" schemes you see on TV. In our opinion - that's not what REAL entrepreneurship is all about.


1 Comment:

Adam McFarland said...

Tom -

Thanks for the link and the kind words! Cool blog - I just subscribed in my feed reader. Keep up the great posts!


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