In the early 1980s I had a small part-time photography business to go along with my job as an insurance executive. Also I had a summer street-vending business. I couldn’t help it; I have a bent for being in business for myself. The problem was I was struggling. I really wasn’t making any money and I was busy all the time. Finally I received help from a man who was my General Agent but also ran a huge dress business in our city. He was in my mind a business genius. He was willing to help me because we had become close friends.
You must have sufficient cash flow in your business.
If your business doesn’t make enough money you have to use credit and the cost of the use of money will further hurt the operation however at the same time you must have a sufficient line of credit for emergencies.
This friend was willing to co-sign a five-thousand dollar note for me. This gave me working capital I had never had before and allowed me to keep prices stable and wipe out a couple of personal loans. I paid it as agreed and as a result had a line of credit without the need of a co-signor.
In business be honest. You must be willing to forfeit your pride.
I would never have gotten help had I not been open with my friend about my circumstances.
You can’t eat an apple in one bite.
One of the reasons I was always busy was I didn’t have things that needed to be done organized. In other words if a task required seven acts then I would try to do them all at once or worry if I did not get them done. My friend (we’ll call him Herb) taught me you can only take a bite of the apple at a time.
I began to channel a certain amount of time for each business and when the time was over it was over.
Allow only so much time for tasks.
Before talking with Herb I would start working and not worry how long a task took. When I began to a lot only so much time then if I wasn’t done I would quit any way. I began being more realistic about setting time for tasks.
You need to sacrifice some things.
I spent way to much time on the summer business for the return. I loved dealing with the summer programs but it did not pay off. As much as it hurt me to do I shut down the summer Vending business and it was amazing the impact it had on my time and money.
From Herb I learned a good businessman had to make tough decisions and had to make sure there was plenty of money and time.
He taught me the saying that I use every day of my life: “Failures simply are unwilling to do those things that successes will do.” Believe it or not that is the only difference. A person truly determined will make it.