The American dream or nightmare
When my husband and I got married we had many hopes and dreams, did you? We dreamt of a large home to live in. The house would sit on the property for our babies to run and play on. A nice car and yearly vacations to relax and enjoy were often part of our nightly talks. Then as the babies came along the bills mounted. Each year it seemed we owed more and more. Would we ever be able to pay off the credit cards and bills?
Owning our own business was like speaking Greek. Rich worked for a local lumber mill and had for over twenty years when we met. The likelihood of him leaving was zilch. My job at the bank was exciting and fulfilling to me. I had no plans of going anywhere either.
Like most people who come from working in corporate America, we were used to someone else doing all of the thinking. The systems of the process were in place when I started working at the bank. Senior employees trained me and I was off and serving the bank’s customers. The same scenario went for the mill. Rich simply showed up and did his job, a small part of the whole operation.
It did not take long to learn that it took more than one paycheck to support a family. My husband and I both had to work to pay our bills, clothe our babies and pay the mortgage. Like most other people, we knew we also had car payments, credit card bills, and more. After a while, harsh reality dashed our hopes and dreams. We started to wonder if we would always be in this situation. We just never could see ourselves getting ahead.
What will they think of me?
Then a friend introduced us to a part-time home-based business, otherwise known as network marketing. There are many names for businesses like these but they all carried the stigma, “Oh, it’s one of those things”. Regardless of what product or service the business sold no one wanted to buy what I was selling.
Nevertheless, our hopes and dreams for a brighter future burned deep within us. Those dreams are what we focused on instead of the naysayer, negative relatives, and friends. We were determined to succeed, to earn extra money for those annoying bills and vacations of our dreams.
Some success comes slowly
Following the leader has always been simple for me, except when it came to being someone else. It is simple to watch what someone does and do it to the best of your ability, right.
As I learned the business, experienced the products I got good at presenting the business plan. The product presentation was easy I just told my story. That story saved my life, literally. I would not be here today if I stayed with traditional medicine from my medical doctor.
For three years, my husband and I attended weekly meetings supporting our local teams. Doing our best to invite guests to the meetings, we found ourselves alone in the back of the room. It was encouraging to watch as others brought guests and their checks grew. Why wasn’t it working for us?
We attended personal growth training seminars monthly. Those seminars, called First Steps to Success were instrumental for my success today. Have you ever attended a seminar like that? Still, with all of the hard work, meetings, and training we were not making the part-time money we wanted to make.
As our lives moved on and our part-time home business slowly grew so did our paycheck. I learned that we hear what we want to hear and do what we want to do. Years later, I would figure it all out, the business that is.
Fast forward ten years
When we launched our new auto transport business six and a half years ago, we did not know if we would succeed long term. All I really knew for sure was I was sick and tired of building businesses for someone else. It was time for me to get serious about our future, our financial future.
You may have read my story about getting started in auto transport, but if not you can read about it here. This story is about thinking and acting like a business owner. Making the decisions and acting on them in a timely, thought-out manner. What I am about to share with you might be scary to some of you; it was for me big time.
However, if you want to play with the big dogs, you had better put on the armor of a rhino and be prepared to play the game, head-on. You see, in business, there cannot be an emotional attachment. My best friend once told me, when I complained about a situation to her, “It’s nothing personal, it’s just business”. Wow, that stung!
She was right though. From that moment on, every decision I made in our auto transport business was based on data. The decisions were not snap decisions; well thought out, based on fact decisions. Little did I know those baby decisions were preparing me for years down the road and a MAJOR decision I would make in my business life.
Come back to read about what that major decision was; how we dealt with the emotional side of being a business owner who makes tough calls and the benefits of stepping up and out to making the right decision for us and our clients.