Business Redo’s

REDO

REDO

One of the neat things about playing video games is the “redo”. Whether you’re playing Mario Brothers, Call of Duty, or Pong (some of you remember that one) if you lose the game you get to start over again—you get a redo.

When it comes to starting a business you can get redo’s as well…but at a price. Let’s face it, some of the most successful entrepreneurs, politicians, and leaders (notice I separate politician from leader) had their share of redo’s.

Famous Redo’s

A famous example of a leader’s redo was that of President Abraham Lincoln. History records that the future president of the republic would fail in business, fail in love, and fail several times in bids for public office. At the same time, he also experienced several victories along the way. Bottom line—he didn’t give up and learned from his successes and failures.

In business, take a look at Henry Ford. Destined to become one of the greatest industrialists of the 20th century, as a young man Mr. Ford had a couple of his own redo’s. It took two false starts before Henry Ford was able to come up with a winning combination that endures today.

Not to put myself in the same league as a Lincoln or Ford, but I too have had my share of false starts and redo’s.

3 Tips to Avoid Redo’s

And with every false start and redo comes learning —or at least it should. If you’re just starting out, or considering starting a business here are three things you should consider.

  1. Go cash only. Yes, I’ve heard, and you’ve probably heard as well, of all the “big” businesses out there that started by running up credit cards, borrowing on the home, etc. FACT—­for every successful business, 19 have failed. Just starting a business means the odds aren’t in your favor. At the end of the day, if the business succeeds YOU get to keep everything if you don’t borrow money. If it fails, you’re not left owing an arm, leg, or your first-born to debt collectors. Give this one some serious thought.
  2. Do your research. It’s easy to get lured into a business that isn’t a good fit for you. The promise of little work for high pay is one which pays a lot of bills for so-called gurus. For the average person—not so much. I agree with Michael Gerber of The E-Myth and The E-Myth Revisited fame in that one doesn’t need to be an expert in something to be a successful entrepreneur, and in fact being an expert in a field can be a detriment. But I do believe if you’re thinking of going into business you need to take the time and research whether this business will be a good fit for you.
  3. Pay for expertise. Be willing to pay for a good Certified Public Accountant, lawyer, and business coach. The old adage, “You get what you pay for,” is especially important here. If you’re researching a business you may be interested in, be willing to pay someone already in the business for their time and trouble to ask questions about the business. You’d be surprised how most business owners won’t view that as competition but will instead be willing to give you good advice. Keep in mind those business owners are probably where you’d like to be in the future if you open that type of business and you can learn a lot by modelling them.

Starting a business can be fun and rewarding. It can also be a daunting task. Taking a few simple steps can, and should, keep you from having to do a redo and make you a successful business owner. In the end, however, in the famous words of Sir Winston Churchill, “Never, never, never give up!”

For an interesting snapshot of President Lincoln’s success and failures, go here: http://www.abrahamlincolnonline.org/lincoln/education/failures.htm

A great article about Henry Ford’s early failures and learning from them can be found at: http://www.fastcompany.com/3002809/be-henry-ford-apprentice-yourself-failure

What’s your story? Have you had to do a redo with your business? Can you share some of your thoughts and advice for our readers? We’d love to hear from you.

Keith is the resident writer and troublemaker at Empowered Pros.
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