I have been in the construction and design industry for 15 years and have only been in the manufacturing business for two. But just like most of us, I have some mistakes under my belt that I wish I never made. The first one is not starting a business sooner!
This mistake is critical, because we all have great ideas, and we want to help people, but most importantly we want to help ourselves and our families. I truly believe that I can’t help others if I don’t take care of myself first. A business is a great way to make more money and pay less in taxes by taking advantage of the business and tax laws our country created and promotes for us. This then provides a sense of freedom where we can be entrepreneurs and strive for economic and financial independence.
Next on my list of mistakes is not working for that dream company you always thought of or looked up to while in college. How can you do the work you think you want to do if you never do it or experience it from their end? The experience, whether it be positive or negative, will certainly be of tremendous value. I, however, did not get this type of experience and learned via other ways that were just as useful, just not the way I planned.
My third mistake is not buying a house sooner. I started having children with my wife at a young age. We rented our last home for over seven years, and rented two apartments before that. Moving was not fun and paying rent and throwing money out the window every month was also not fun. The only good thing about renting was having the flexibility to move (almost) whenever you wanted, and not having the feeling of being tied down to one location.
Moving into advice for running or growing a family business, I’d have to reiterate what I said earlier. If you want to have your own business, it does not cost a lot to start it. Just file for the company, create a logo, trademark it if you’re going to be selling items with it and figure out the rest along the way. The bigger you get and the longer you wait, the more expensive the startup costs will be.
Furthermore, don’t undersell yourself. Keep up and profit beyond inflation. Every year increase your prices to make sure you’re covered. I hear so many stories about people complaining about how they have to spend more on groceries, gas and insurance, but they refuse to increase their fee.
Finally, don’t separate family and business life. Find ways to incorporate the two so your family can see and appreciate what you do and how it is making your lives freer. I never understood the mantra of what happens at home can’t be discussed in the office or why an awesome deal or event from work shouldn’t be talked about at the dinner table. It’s like money. If you limit yourself to how often you can think or talk about it, then you shouldn’t complain about having less of it. I want to maximize my life and doing everything I can with everyone I can is going to ensure I am fulfilled.
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