By: Jennifer Murray

The Road to Becoming a Work at Home Dad {Part 6}

This series of Brad’s journey from unemployment to entrepreneurship is coming to a close soon {yet our adventure in owning/operating a home business continues}, so if you’re behind here’s where you can catch up…

the road to becoming a work at home dad

We started 2011 with so much confidence.  The last quarter of 2010 was my best by far and I could see nothing but growth in the future.  The year did start really well, but there was another drought coming that I did not yet know about.  I did not have any prophetic dreams of skinny cows to warn me, and no Joseph to help me plan.  {Genesis 41}

We were learning that there was so much more to running a business than the skill set you brought to the marketplace.  There are three basic categories that all have to be balanced consistently, or you fail: marketing, production, and administration.  Marketing includes any time or resources devoted to drumming up more business.  Production is simply doing the work that you have already been hired to do.  Administration encompasses every little detail that doesn’t fit the last two categories (billings, payments, taxes, setting goals, etc.), but still must be done.

Have you ever tried to juggle?  Throwing one ball into the air is pretty easy.  Add the second ball, and it really gets tough.  It takes a LOT of practice before you can even get the third ball going, let alone not drop it immediately.  I would throw the marketing ball up long enough to get some work, then drop it and throw the production ball for a while.  This created a feast or famine roller coaster that could nauseate anyone.

Throughout 2011 and 2012 we continued to learn to juggle.  Over time, all three balls were more consistently flying.  There were new challenges around every corner and more than anything else, owning a business takes endurance. Problems are not solved overnight, and progress is not made without many discouragements and disappointments.

If you decide to start this process, there are a couple things I want to warn you about up front that might help you prepare for your business endeavor…

  • Starting a business requires endurance.

There were new challenges around every corner and more than anything else, owning a business takes patience, steadiness, and endurance. Problems are not solved overnight, and progress is not made without many discouragements and disappointments. There has to be a serious commitment to staying the course even through this rough patches.

  • Entrepreneurship is not always the popular decision.

Since most of the world are not entrepreneurs, many will view your decision to leave a job and start a business as risky, or even irresponsible.  Some of these warnings are valid and you should consider them!  Don’t assume they are just trying to cut you down as they may very well have a point.  Proceed with caution when those you love think you are being unwise.

While carefully considering their concerns, I want to also encourage you that they may not know what they are talking about either.  People typically have great fear of the unknown, when much of that fear is just due to a lack of knowledge.  After being let go from my job, suddenly loosing 100% of my income, I now consider 4tunate Design to be much less risky than a job.  If my business ever fails, it will most likely do so gradually.  All of my clients are most likely not going to call me one day and fire me at the same time.  This gradual decline should allow me time to adjust and fix the problem rather than just being cut loose.  Having a job could be in fact be a a riskier business.

  • Beware of small business taxes

    I also wanted to warn you about your “greedy uncle”.  If you have never owned your own business, you will learn that he is especially greedy when you go out on your own and try to create new jobs and growth in the economy.  If you are starting a business and read nothing else in this post, hear this: YOUR TAXES WILL BE DRAMATICALLY HIGHER AS A BUSINESS OWNER!  If they are not higher, your CPA (highly recommend getting one) is either helping you cheat, or cheating for you.  Don’t trust everyone who tells you that you can write off everything under the sun.  Get an honest CPA.  Nothing would be worse than to finally succeed after years of sweat, blood, and tears, only to have an auditor from the IRS bring the whole thing crashing down.

The future is extremely bright for 4tunate Design, and the growth potential unlimited.  I am excited to share my plans with you next post, and let you know how you could help me further!

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