What does it mean to Start From Where You Are? (click for video)
Anyone can be an entrepreneur. Having a good idea, a few dollars and your articles of incorporation make it legal. The reality is that nothing in business is easy. Not every entrepreneur has an MBA from a great business school and the innate ability to be a super entrepreneur. Some entrepreneurs become business people by shear necessity or desperation. Others enter the competitive business environment because they believe in their dreams.
Super entrepreneurs need nerves of steel. It is strictly a matter of time before every new business runs right into looming disaster. Regardless of why the change in your plan occurs, it is almost certain that you will have serious issues arise that will test your ability to cope. You must have nerves of steel to keep your business alive.
The types of problems a business faces are never foreseen. The foreseen issues are planned for and anticipated. Anyone who takes the chance of starting a business must have the confidence in their ability to see it through. Obviously every business is different and faces unique challenges. Old sayings like “hind sight is 20-20” and “if I had known then what I know now” became well known because they are true.
Super entrepreneurs must be prepared for any eventuality. Changes in the marketplace, new legislation, public attitude toward your product, new competition and internal operational crises all can have a disastrous impact on your business. In many cases, these are either surprises or inevitable changes in your industry.
The recent disaster in Japan changed the future of nuclear reactors around the world. While no one you know may be in the nuclear reactor business, power companies which were interested in pursuing such a program have had to rethink their plans.
Every business has an unexpected change that affects their business suddenly. Forrest Gump began to catch lots of shrimp after a great hurricane destroyed the competition. But even during the storm, with no idea what to do, the creators of Bubba Gump Seafood became super entrepreneurs. Forrest and Lieutenant Dan road out the hurricane that sought to destroy them.
Recently I had a similar experience. For what ever reason, my imaging center became caught up in red tape. While business was strong, the cash flow dried up completely. After more than twenty years in business, an unforeseen and unplanned storm of financial disaster passed through my organization.
While I had seen just about every adverse force try to ruin my businesses in the past, I had never experienced this level of irresolvable carnage. We were providing services as usual, incurring the ordinary expenses to operate the business when cash flow stopped for over six months.
For all practical purposes, it is enough to know that in the medical imaging world of South Florida, “winter season” is when you make your money to last you through the long hot summer. How do you handle your entire business doing well and not collecting for the services rendered?
While weeks turned into months, the situation grew dire. I had a working line of credit that saved me and my business, along with vendors and contractors who simply had to wait for their money. For the first time in my entrepreneurial career of more than twenty years, I was dodging creditors.
The county was threatening to put a delinquent tax notice on my door. The doctors who worked for me had not been paid in five months. The bill collectors called me day and night. Every thing about my business was running great except I was close to shutting down for lack of cash flow.
The line of credit in place was quickly being used up and the resolution to the problem had included hiring expensive consultants and a direct working relationship with my local congressman and his office. Things were becoming desperate as the current debt became overwhelming.
For one month, I had to borrow money to make payroll. Things were so bad that I hired a bankruptcy attorney. He required a ten thousand dollar retainer. If I had ten thousand extra dollars I would not need him. My plan had been to cover the shortfall through a line of credit but things went one on for months longer than expected. Things were really going wrong.
Mistakes and coincidences continued to hamper my ability to collect my money. Through no fault of my own I was on the verge of closing my imaging center in May of 2011. Then as if it was the first time I had ever gone into business, I recommitted myself to the project and pulled out all of my resources to borrow more money from the bank.
People kept asking me how I was able to stay in business. They could not figure out how I kept as calm as I did, (I lost it more than once). The reason was that I had anticipated this in advance for this with a line of credit and other plans in place. Super entrepreneurs must maintain nerves of steel.
It is their money on the line. They are the last ones to get paid while making sure that everyone else is taken care of during desperate times. Super entrepreneurs believe so completely in their project that they will sign on a loan to keep things going.
When you are the owner of your dream business, you are the one who has to take care of every thing all of the time. You are the super hero in your organization. Others work hard and are committed to the business but at the end of the day you are the one who has to make your dream come true, and find the money to do it.
Super entrepreneurs are just like others, only they will go the extra mile and are committed to success and honoring commitments and debts. Super entrepreneurs not only have nerves of steel and an iron will, they also have hearts of gold. They know others depend on them and regardless of what evil forces attempt to close them down, the super entrepreneur will save the day.