Dear Aunty B,
I started my own business at the beginning of last year after I left a high paying executive job. I have struggled on with barely any profit and taking a low salary and I am wondering if I should stick it out.
I have always thought there was great potential for the business but now I am wondering if that is right. I have had an offer to buy out my share of the business which I am tempted to take.
The trouble is I have days where I love what I do and I don’t want to return to working in a large corporate environment. One of the reasons I left was because I wanted to make a contribution to society instead of pushing papers around a big desk.
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Now listen here. You have just got the second year itch. We all go through it. We get through the first year on panic and adrenalin. And then the second year is even harder! What the hell! Our energy flags. We can’t see the end of the tunnel and we do exactly what you are doing… thinking, if only we could get out of this!
And then my friend, we get to year three. We have a brand. We have a culture. We have staff who tell us what to do. We have, in effect, a business, a market and a future.
You have days where you love what you do. So when you have a tough day, get up from your desk and go for a walk. Remind yourself the next day will be better. And before you know it you will be running a successful business and feeling very grateful that you didn’t exit.
Of course, you don’t want to go back to a corporate job. I was reading Harvard Business Review on the weekend and this statistic hit me in the face. In a recent survey by Pew Research only 21% of respondents thought business executives contributed a lot to society. In fact they came last on the list – after lawyers!
What you need to do now is set up a long-term strategy session and then decide on short-term targets. Keep fit and build up your bank of supporters.
You can do it!
Your Aunty B
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