So my only (career) goal in life has been to run my own business.
I think that sentence sums up a lot of ‘entrepreneurs’ and their mindset. But everything I have done over the last 5 years has specifically led me to this moment, so this is a big deal to me. Since leaving school I have started a couple of small businesses that crashed and burned in a very small way (fortunately).
So i thought of ways to increase and speed up my chances of success. After all, I am going to end up running my own business anyway, i just need to get to the stage where I have the skills to run a business. So I enrolled at a University on a course that seemed to tick every box for what I wanted, learn about entrepreneurs and small business, meet entrepreneurs, have the chance to pitch for funding to start a business and get business support from lecturers.
I drank the koolaid. The after-taste was bitter… After those 3 years I realized that, had I started the business I wanted to start (the current one) that I would have learned more than I did at school, even if it had failed several times. I would also be 3 years ahead of where I am now. Hindsight sucks. But whilst there I did get to start a business (which had very marginal success).
That brings me to now.. I am starting a business selling renewable energy technology to homeowners. It’s a competitive market, but it’s one I am passionate about and one I feel I can make a real difference to. I have signed up almost every supplier I need. I had leaps of joy today as I learned my business bank account and most importantly my business overdraft had been granted. This will give me cashflow to fulfil any sales I can make. I even won a very small amount of grant money £1500 and a mentor. My mentor has been incredibly helpful and helped me zoom ahead with strategy and planning.
So I have pretty much ticked every cliche of a startup…
But now I am in a sticky situation. You see I have just finished University, I now have a large overdraft to pay (£2,000) plus a business loan for a failed business (£2,000) and living expenses which total upto about £1,000 per month.
I have 3 options:
- I get a job and pay those bills
- I start a business, sell product and pay those bills
- I go bankrupt
Now 3 just isn’t an option, 2 is my ideal but 1 is a backup. I have got myself a junior sales job earning £25,000 per year in London at a Tech business. This is my Plan B and I have had to hedge my bets, so in reality if I fall on my arse I have a rather soft pillow to break my fall.
Back to the title of the post. It’s D-Day.
I have 5 prospect leads lined up fully qualified and ready to get their brains sold-out, infact one is booked for tomorrow.
But now I am anxious, full of nerves and self-doubt.
If I can’t pull this off and make a sale within the next one-month I can’t afford to do anything but shut the business down and take the job. I am not the best salesperson anyway and I am operating in a very competitive market.
So here is hoping that I can make that sale (or two) and turn the secure job down, make myself a living and finally build the business I have dreamed of.
I wish the best of luck to anyone else starting a business, the best advice I can give is:
- Get the sales in as quickly as possible
- Just do it