10 Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting My Business


1. Getting comfortable being uncomfortable

Success and failure rests squarely on my shoulders. Being an entrepreneur means there is nowhere to hide, no one to blame, there is only me. There is a constant, raging battle to determine if it’s fear or my gut instinct trying to tell me something. Determining the difference is a delicate balance that requires me to trust in myself.

2. There is no such thing as work/life balance

Family always comes first for my team and myself, however, as founder and CEO, there is no calling in sick. No long vacations away. I’m incredibly grateful that I have a team who shares my passion and who can help carry the load. They are as precious as gold and needed to be treated as such.

3. It takes a village

Like raising a child, growing a business required tremendous help from everyone around me. I could not do it alone, I surround myself with passionate people who want the best for my business whether they be employees, customers, suppliers, family, and friends.

4. You will be broke

Financial wealth seems ever elusive. Regardless of how hard my team and I work, there is never enough money. I willingly sacrifice my personal wealth for the financial health of your company whether it be investing in my people, technology or growth. I am and will always be, last to get paid.

5. It may take a decade to become an overnight success

I work harder than I ever imagined for longer than I ever expected, and I may still never achieve the success I dream of. Being an entrepreneur is a long game, one where I may never win. But I know I can’t win if I don’t stay in the game.

6. You will feel lonely and overwhelmed most of the time

I alone am accountable for all decisions and their consequences. Input from my team and advisors is helpful but the buck must stop with me. I often have to make decisions with little time to assess and consider their consequences. The weight of that often feels overwhelming as I know my decisions affect not just me but my family, team, their family, my customers, and suppliers.

7. You will want to quit often

A day does not go by when I don’t question my sanity and consider quitting. I consider going back to that cushy well-paying corporate job or getting a “real job” where I can count on a steady pay cheque. At those times I think about “Why” I started my business, my family and helping other entrepreneurs like me and that always gives me the energy to just keep going. “Just keep swimming” as someone wise once said.

8. You better get good at stuff you may hate

Like most entrepreneurs, I started my business because I had a passion and skill in a particular area and so decided to create a business around it. I’m an expert at Supply Chain and Procurement but I had no idea I would have to become good at things I had no clue how to do like bookkeeping, sales (eek) and marketing. Eventually I was able to hire people to support or take on some of these responsibilities, but I must still understand them or risk losing control and accountability for my business.

9. Make time to rest and recharge

Despite #2, there is no work/life balance, I force myself to rest and recharge my batteries, otherwise I know I will eventually burnt out. It’s like they say, you must put your oxygen mask on first before helping others. I can’t help anyone if I’m passed out or worse, from exhaustion. It really does take a village; I’ve learned to delegate tasks to my amazing team, so I can come back rested and ready to forge ahead.

10. A bad day as an entrepreneur is better than a good day working for someone else

No matter how difficult my day is, the task or the failure, pursuing my dream as an entrepreneur is by far more fulfilling than the thought of returning to a corporate job. Call me crazy but I love knowing the decisions I make can mean success or failure. I love working with my amazing team who really care about the work we do and always deliver exceptional service to the customers we genuinely care about.

Are you an entrepreneur? What do you wish you knew before starting your business?

Jill Button 

President & CEO  

ProcurePro Consulting  

ProcureHub Marketplace 

For more information about ProcurePro Consulting visit www.ProcurePro.ca