Not long ago, I was talking with a colleague about what it takes to run a successful business.  He had been trying to break into the photography market for some time and was having difficulty but didn’t understand why.  We spoke at length about the demands on his time that entrepreneurship requires and what he was willing to sacrifice to build the business he dreamed of.

As a father of two little ones, much of his time was divided between his kids and his job.  He was a great father and his children adored him but there are only 24 hours in a day and despite what they say…You might be able to do it all…but you can’t do it all well.

Here is the harsh truth: Success or failure in business is directly tied to your customer’s experience when dealing with your company. No one wants to hear that their project is delayed because you had to pick up little Sarah from school.  In business, the customer comes first…always.

When you talk to people who work regular 9-5 jobs, there is a perception that owning your own business means having a ton of free time.  That is true…to a certain degree.  Business owners and entrepreneurs MAY have a more flexible schedule, but in order for that business to be successful, it takes many, many, long hours that tend to eclipse everything else.

I believe that one of the reasons many businesses fail is due to of a lack of understanding of what is really required to build and sustain a successful business.  Understand that I am not advocating child neglect, but a choice has to be made about how you will prioritize your time.  I’ll say it again.  No matter how you slice it, there are only 24 hours in a day.

We get calls regularly from people looking to start their own business and wanting to know how to begin. When we advise clients about their next steps, one of the first questions we ask is “What do you want to get out of this business?  Is it just a side business to create some spending money or do you want to build an empire?”  The caviat being, the bigger the dream, the greater the commitment.

Everything comes with a price.  Whether you’re looking to make some money from your favorite hobby or become the next Richard Branson, the level of commitment must be commensurate to the desired outcome. What are you willing to sacrifice for your dream?

Monica Jones
3D Studios, President