16 Truths About Starting A Small Business

January 13, 2008

1) You’ll have more freedom - you will be able to choose what hours you work.

2) You’ll have less freedom - for the first year or so, vacations may seem like a distant memory.

3) You’ll make more money - after the first few years, you should be making more money than you would in a job.

4) You’ll make less money - in the first year or so, your only source of income may be your savings.

5) You can work from home - no more long commutes to work.

6) You can work from home - you’ll be surrounded by work all the time and your home will begin to feel like work 24/7.

7) Your friends and family will be your biggest supporters - they’ll tell the world about you and you’ll get tons of work.

8) Your friends and family will be a drain on your resources - they’ll expect you to work for them for free or cheap.

9) It won’t feel like work - you’ll be doing something you love.

10) It will feel like work - doing accounts, tax returns and all the extra stuff that comes with the territory.

11) Your bank manager will be your best friend - when you’re doing well he’ll love you and give you a huge overdraft.

12) Your bank manager will be the biggest assh..e on the planet - if there’s a downturn in your industry he’ll squeeze you.

13) You’ll make valuable contributions to local charities - your friends and neighbours will think you’re the greatest.

14) You’ll make valuable contributions to local charities - your friends and neighbours will think you’re feathering your own nest.

15) You’ll sleep better, knowing you’re in control of your own destiny.

16) You’ll have sleepless nights, knowing you’re in control of your own destiny.

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14 Responses to “16 Truths About Starting A Small Business”

  1. Mike Goad on January 13th, 2008 8:09 am

    Whew! Interesting perspective on it. A lot of it won’t apply for me, as I’m trying to turn my online material into a business of sorts. I particularly like the last one, as I sit here at 2:10 A.M. ;)
    Mike Goad’s last blog post..Bye Bye, AdSense, Bye Bye

  2. Opal Tribble - Vegan Momma on January 13th, 2008 10:18 am

    What a great list. It definitely doesn’t feel like work because I’m doing what I love. I think #7 can go the other way also. I’m thinking of one friend in particular it was a struggle, emotionally, for one of my friends because he didn’t have that support from most of his family and friends. of course I supported him. I was one of his biggest cheerleaders. I still am.

    Another truth is family/friends sometimes find it hard to believe that a person is actually “working” at home. In total it’s been two years that I’ve worked from home some of them still think I “have it easy”. Gah!

  3. Catherine Lawson on January 13th, 2008 1:19 pm

    Hi Mike - no matter how many sleepless nights you have just remember - they can’t eat you.

    Hi Opal - it can be a real struggle when you don’t have the support of others - so it’s great that you friend has you.

    I know what you mean about people who think you’re not working when you’re at home. I have some neighbours who think like that. Not only do they think I don’t work - they also think I can’t hear through open windows!

    Never mind - it could be worse. I was reading one of Shoemoney’s posts ages ago and his neighbours thought he was a drug dealer.

  4. Tim on January 13th, 2008 1:20 pm

    Great list. But here’s another truth if you’re an American.

    “You will learn to protect yourself from the Internal Revenue Service”

    (Here, if you don’t incorporate and look for every possible tax deduction, the government will take as much as a third of your annual income)

  5. Catherine Lawson on January 13th, 2008 1:45 pm

    Hi Tim - I hear what you’re saying. The same applies here in the UK. My last business wasn’t a limited company and I paid way too much in taxes.

    Catherine Lawson’s last blog post..16 Truths About Starting A Small Business

  6. RacerX on January 13th, 2008 7:20 pm

    Very neat way in thinking about it!

    You are building the future, while worrying constantly about the future! :)
    RacerX’s last blog post..Common Investor Mistakes Revealed

  7. Apologies, Hiring, Updates, & Busy Times | Vegan Momma on January 14th, 2008 3:38 am

    [...] A Business Is Challenging The money isn’t going to magically fall into your lap. You have to work for it and look at the bigger picture. If you think you can make it up as you go you might not get far and you most likely won’t do as well. I’ve passed people that have been doing this longer than myself; however, when I’ve questioned their plans they didn’t have any. Running my business usually doesn’t feel like work. I love what I do at times sure it can be challenging. Please read Catherine’s post 16 Truths About Starting A Small Business. [...]

  8. Ian Denny on January 14th, 2008 6:29 am

    So true! All the entrepreneurial dreams of 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15 start the journey. Many who are jealous and assumptive see those same numbers too from the outside. Appreciating the even numbers is another matter.

    But at least the alot of even numbers can diminish or disappear eventually.

    Ian Denny’s last blog post..Junk Mail - It’s Doubled. So What? Let’s Ask Our Fairy Godmother

  9. dawn on January 14th, 2008 7:07 am

    So…isn’t all that why we want to have our own businesses?
    I think it’s all about perspective and clear vision, as well as a lot of faith in oneself…
    Number 8 is always the trickiest one. Even when we rented out a property to our son and his friends we had them all fill out the necessary paperwork and pay deposits. Business is business … that’s the only way you can make it successful.

    dawn’s last blog post..My Real Life Frugal Tips…

  10. Catherine Lawson on January 14th, 2008 9:58 am

    Hi RacerX - I suppose that’s one way of looking at it. The trouble is, many of us go into business beause we want the odd numbers and we’re often blissfully unaware of the even ones.

    Hi Ian - v true - outsiders do often only see the odd numbers. But you are right - once you have experienced the even numbers - you certainly know what to expect and you are prepared.

    Hi Dawn - welcome to my blog. Most people I know go into business expecting the odd numbers, then getting an unpleasant surprise when they experience the even ones.

    I know many people who “would love to work from home” but never really stop to think about the negative side of doing so.

    Catherine Lawson’s last blog post..16 Truths About Starting A Small Business

  11. wealthy_1 on January 14th, 2008 2:54 pm

    This is a neat list. Being a business owner again is a goal of mine. It is a lot of work, but I like the idea of being in control of my destiny. That’s the difference for me.

  12. cathlawson on January 14th, 2008 5:06 pm
    Hi Wealthy 1 - I hope you persist with your goal. Being in control of your own destiny is a great reason.
  13. Barbara on January 15th, 2008 5:01 am


    You nailed it again. Although we can work in our pajamas, and no one would know the difference (unless they came to the door), having your own business takes lots of sacrifice. For me, I wouldn’t have it any other way. The payoffs can be huge…at times.

    It is funny though, how people don’t think you really “work”. I know friends and family can’t figure out why my house isn’t spotless, because I’m home all day.

    Barbara’s last blog post..Blog Loses Massive Traffic Due To Profanity

  14. cathlawson on January 15th, 2008 5:09 am
    Hi Barbara - I sometimes work in my pyjamas in the winter. I got a new dressing gown for Christmas and it is so warm and comfortable. It is a great perk.

    I know what you mean about the tidy house thing though. Mine was far tidier when I worked from an office, as I wasn’t here to make a mess.

    A neighbour called round one day when I was out and she told Stuart that she thought it best to call round in the day, because I didn’t have much to do! Well, now when she comes round in the daytime, I pretend to be out.

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