Over the last several years my company has received thousands of applications from entrepreneurs seeking guidance for their start-up.
Here’s a summary of one of those applications:
Current Occupation: School Teacher
Current Income: $37,000 per year
Business Experience: None
Business Idea: I want to sell something online
Financial Goals: I want to make $500,000 in the next year
I guess with all of the infomercial and sales letter hype that’s out there promising immediate financial rewards, it’s hard to blame him for his unrealistic expectations.
Look, the great thing about entrepreneurship is that, in fact, a school teacher making $37,000 a year can go out there and start their own company and make $500,000 a year. It absolutely can happen. It happens all the time, actually.
But it won’t happen in a few months. It will probably take many years. And that’s ok, because the journey can and should be invigorating and enjoyable.
In regard to the time required for success, John Jantsch of Duct Tape Marketing summed this up recently. He said, “I know you need the quick fix, you want the result now, you need the hot new thing. Ask yourself this question–How long do you plan to be in business? If it’s more than a year…start planting seeds for your long-term growth by investing in foundational marketing practices that may take time to bear fruit, but ultimately produce the greatest returns.”
I think you should definitely go for those big, daring goals that excite you. But if those goals include making large amounts of money and being in business for the long-term; then expect a 3 to 5 year investment of sweat and discovery.
Just decide in the beginning to enjoy every day of the journey. It’s well worth it.