I’ve been getting a lot of emails lately from people who want to support their family with a small business.
My typical response is, “That’s wonderful! You won’t regret it!”
Then they tell me that they need to start supporting their large family from this endeavor alone within the next 6 months.
To which I respond, “Unless God supernaturally intercedes, that isn’t going to happen.”
I want to be clear that I fully believe that families can support themselves with a small business. And that God can intercede. But (almost always) building a business takes time and resources. And because we don’t recommend borrowing, if you don’t have many financial resources, it takes even more time.
I recently saw this quote posted online. It comes from the book “Rework” by Jason Fried. I haven’t read the book yet, but this quote is so spot on that I’m going to read it. Anyway, here’s the quote:
The myth of the overnight sensation
You will not be a big hit right away. You will not get rich quick. You are not so special that everyone else will instantly pay attention. No one cares about you. At least not yet. Get used to it.
You know those overnight-success stories you’ve heard about? It’s not the whole story. Dig deeper and you’ll usually find people who have busted their a**es for years to get into a position where things could take off. And on the rare occasion that instant success does come along, it usually doesn’t last – there’s no foundation there to support it.
Trade the dream of overnight success for slow, measured growth. It’s hard, but you have to be patient. You have to grind it out. You have to do it for a long time before the right people notice.
I agree with him completely! If a small business is something you desire, start working toward that goal now. Teach your children how to work. Teach yourself how to stay organized. Start saving money. Start reading business books. And when the time is right, start slowly… but definitely start!
6/15/12 Update: I recently recorded a podcast with more information: Starting a Small Business.