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Mar 29

Is Business Easy?

Posted by: Steve Marr

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I received an inquiry from a person wanted me to help him find a business idea that “would make my life easy, make me a lot of money and require a small investment.” I thought if I had an idea that fit his request, why would I give it to someone else?  I would start the business, sit back, relax, and collect the cash.
Business, like most endeavors, requires hard work, focus and many hours of effort to be successful.  When I was CEO in an international trade company, I knew some people looked at my position and felt I had it made. They thought I could just sit back, relax, and enjoy my view from the top of the company. The reality was that I arrived most mornings by 6 am and didn’t leave early.  I also had to travel quite a bit. On the airplane I didn’t read novels, but took a briefcase full of work to do while traveling.  I’m not saying this to impress anyone with my work ethic, but to reinforce the truth that business is hard work.


To answer the inquiry that began this discussion, I decided to have a brief telephone conversation with the person who asked the question. I wanted to verify whether he really meant what I thought he asked. He did.  Rather than waste a lot of my time I sent him my business book, Road Map to Success and asked him to contact me after he read the book. I would be surprised if I ever receive a follow-up call.
I don’t want to be flippant or treat these inquiries casually. However, whenever people have a complete misconception of business; I help them understand the commitment involved.  It is possible in some situations after mastering the business concept that one can sit back and manage with less than full-time effort.  This is only accomplished after gaining significant experience and using that experience in the business.  Also part of the price one pays is that the business doesn’t grow as rapidly when the owner steps back.  Still, from a lifestyle point of view, this may be a good choice.
Agur wrote, “First, help me never to tell a lie. Second, give me neither poverty nor riches! Give me just enough to satisfy my needs. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, 'Who is the LORD?' Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God.” (Proverbs 30:8-9, NLT) A wise person understands how much is enough.
When I work with somebody contemplating starting a business, I help them count the cost financially as well as in time and effort.  Before anyone embarks on a business, one really does need to understand reality.  In this situation the aspiring entrepreneur is likely not well suited to become a business owner because of his failure to grasp the key concept: business is not easy.
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