For many years I dreamed of owning my own business. Like Bruce Springsteen, I loved the idea of being my own boss. I liked the idea of making my own money. I thought that starting your own business sounded badass. Because that entrepreneurial leap seemed like Evel Knievel jumping a whole fleet of school buses on his motorcycle. And I wanted to try it myself to see how it felt.
My Leap Year Leap
4 years ago this week I did it. I launched the advertising and idea agency The Weaponry. And the leap certainly has offered an Evel Knievel-type thrill. Yet with very little risk of broken bones. Which is nice.
However, the things I have enjoyed most are not being the boss, making my own money, or feeling like a badass. In fact, I could not have predicted the things I have enjoyed most ahead of time. They are benefits that you have to take the leap to discover. Unless of course someone takes the leap, writes those things down, and shares them with the world in a blog post. Like I am doing right now.
The Top 4 Things I Have Enjoyed Most About My 4 Years of Entrepreneurship
1. Getting To Say Yes To Anything.
People long to get to a position in life where they can say no to things they don’t want to do. But that is small thinking. When you own your own business you get to say yes to anything. Kinda like Meg Ryan in When Harry Met Sally. If an opportunity comes along that seems too small, too crazy, or needs too be completed too fast I can say yes to it anyway. In fact, I can decide to work on anything that interests me. The budget can be small, or nonexistent. And I can still say, ‘Yes, we will help.’ In business, that is a super power.
2. Paying People.
I always imagined that making your own money as an entrepreneur would be amazing. What I couldn’t imagine was the feeling of sharing thousands of dollars with others for their hard work. And then tens of thousands of dollars. And then hundreds of thousands of dollars. The first day that I noticed The Weaponry had paid people over a million dollars I just stared at my Quickbooks screen and smiled, like a perv watching online porn. Ironically, the payouts have been the great reward in the adventure. Because I know we are positively impacting many lives. Not just mine.
3. Creating A Valuable Tool.
Early in my career I was in a focus group full of power tool enthusiast. And when asked what his favorite tool was, one Tim Taylor-type said, ‘My favorite tool is the right tool I need right now.’ Then he grunted.
I’ll never forget that. Over the past 4 years we have developed The Weaponry into a valuable problem-solving tool. Our clients turn to us because The Weaponry is the right tool they need right now.
This business is a valuable tool because it helps convert opportunity into reality. It helps make the invisible visible. It opens new paths. And it magnetizes brands and helps draw people to them. When clients call us they are saying, you have the tool our business needs right now to be successful. Which makes building and owning that tool extremely rewarding.
4. Having Wet Clay.
Before I started The Weaponry I thought of a business like an office with people and desks and a logo. But once you create your own company you realize that a business is really wet clay. And as an Entrepreneur you have the ability to shape and reshape the business any way you want. In fact, it is your responsibility to continuously reshape the clay to improve and optimize it. As businesses respond to the COVID-19 crisis, we are all reshaping the clay to make sure we are prepared for what the world needs today, and tomorrow. Because the world needs small businesses.
Entrepreneurship offers one of the greatest adventures on the planet. It is empowering, rewarding and infinitely creative. It offers the opportunity to positively impact others in ways that are hard to imagine before the journey starts. Thank you for sharing in my journey. I can’t wait to see where we go next!
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