10 Hard Truths Business Owners Should Accept

As a business owner, being optimistic and enthusiastic about your venture’s potential for success is essential. However, accepting certain hard truths about running a business is also important.

By acknowledging these challenges, you can better prepare for them and increase your chances of long-term success. Here are ten hard truths that every business owner should accept:

1. Habits beat inspiration every single day.

While inspiration can spark your initial motivation, the habits you form will keep you going in the long run.

Once the initial burst of inspiration fades, the habits you’ve cultivated will continue to drive you forward.

2. Failure is a possibility:

Success is not guaranteed, no matter how much effort you put in.

The reality is that building a successful business requires more than just hard work and determination. 

It also requires a bit of luck and timing and the ability to adapt to changing circumstances and pivot your strategy when necessary. 

Success is not solely dependent on the effort you put in, and that failure is not necessarily an indication of a lack of effort.

Failure is ok – it doesn’t make us weak. We learn, and we grow from it.

3. You can’t multiply zeroes.

No matter how much you try to scale a product, it won’t matter if you work with an ineffective business model.

In other words, if your business model is not generating revenue or is not sustainable, trying to scale will only multiply your losses.

4. Your health is more important than your business.

As an entrepreneur, your business may feel like your life’s work, but it’s important to remember that it’s just one aspect of your life.

Without your health, you won’t be able to run your business effectively; in some cases, you may not run it at all.

Don’t work yourself into an early grave. Set boundaries for work and home and take frequent breaks.

5. Cash flow is king:

No matter how promising your business idea or product may be, if you don’t have a steady stream of cash flowing in, your business will not survive.

Keep a close eye on your cash flow and take steps to improve it when necessary.

10 hard truths business owners

6. You will need to accept that you may not be the right person to lead your company through all stages of growth.

As your business grows and evolves, new challenges will arise that may require different skills, expertise, and leadership styles.

This means that you will need to be honest with yourself about your strengths and weaknesses and be open to the idea that someone else may be better suited to lead your company through certain stages of growth.

7. Your self-respect is more important than your business.

It’s important to remember that as an entrepreneur, you can set the terms of any deal and negotiate from a position of strength.

This means being clear about your business goals and values and being willing to walk away from an investment that doesn’t align with them.

8. There are no big wins.

Small incremental steps will get you to a big win. Stop looking for the giant leaps – excellence is a habit.

9. You must be comfortable with uncertainty and taking calculated risks.

This may require you to step outside of your comfort zone and take on risky or unfamiliar challenges. But remember, without taking risks, there can be no reward. 

The key is to approach risk-taking in a strategic and calculated way.

10. You need to stay organized:

Running a business requires keeping track of many moving parts, from finances to inventory to customer data.

Staying organized and having systems in place can help you stay on top of things and make better decisions.

Embrace these realities and use them as motivation to build a successful and sustainable business.

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Hilda Mwangi

Hilda Mwangi

Hilda is a Chief Financial Officer at HAZ Financial Advisors. She leads the M&A, Tech, and Healthcare groups working with numerous clients across multiple verticals.

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