Christian Life

What I learned about business planning, failure and letting go…

” by Stuart Miles

Nothing ever turns out the way you plan it. You hear some people say, “If you are confident and you believe in yourself, then everything will work out.” That is great; however, we have no control over external circumstances (market, financial collapse, unexpected family events etc.) that may delay or derail our plans. You can plan and plan, but if it isn’t meant to be, it won’t be.

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” Jeremiah 29:11

As an entrepreneur, you have a vision, a plan, and you work tirelessly toward your goals. You make it happen! In some cases (like in mine), it doesn’t always work out the way you envisioned. You are taught to revisit plans and tweak them; to continue tweaking until something works. But there comes a time when tweaking doesn’t work anymore. That is what happened to me!

I had a vision, goals, and a business plan, and then life happened.

Esperanza Publishing is the name of my, now defunct, start-up. Unfortunately, this business idea/plan didn’t work out for personal reasons. As hard as I tried to make it work, it didn’t. It wasn’t the right time (for me and my family).

Let’s look at the bright spots! Not all is lost. I gained new skills, met new people, learned what not to do the next time around (God willing, there will be a next time!), and learned a few things about myself. This is important- with every failure comes a lesson learned. At least, that is the hope, right?

This is what I learned from my experience:

Jump in when you are ready– You don’t have to be 100% ready to jump into “shark-infested waters”; however, go in knowing that your plan will not go as planned. Be comfortable tweaking your plans, daily.

You hear stories of entrepreneurs who just jump in and get things going and are successful. And you think, “I can do that too!” What may work for some, may not necessarily work for others. Do what works for you and your business!

Passion is key- Make sure that your passion overflows into major aspects of your business. I am passionate about spreading the Word of the Lord and I like to write.

Are you  okay “living, breathing, eating and sleeping” your business? If you aren’t, then think long and hard whether or not that is the direction you want to go in.

Be prepared financially– Have a sound financial plan. Make sure that you have saved enough start-up capital, especially if you are in an industry that isn’t high-growth (publishing).

I didn’t save enough! I wanted to jump in right away and get started.

Unfortunately, with student loan debt (who doesn’t have those?!) I knew that I couldn’t afford to borrow money for my start-up. How was I supposed to pay it back while I got the business going?

Meet with a financial planner, if you need to.

Is this too risky?- Know how much and what you are willing to risk. That means different things to different people. The most common being financial risk; among others, valuable family time, exposing yourself by taking on a new task (Am I doing this right? Are they bad-mouthing me?), or shutting down a business (I am a failure! I am the talk of the town).

Do what is best for you, your finances and your family. It is not a one-size-fits-all situation!

Know when to let go- We can’t ignore the fact that not everyone is willing or able to risk everything that they have for a business. One

lesson I learned from one of my aunts- she knew when she had to let go. She didn’t sulk or continue to sink money into a business that wasn’t producing.

This is important. Learn to let go. It is okay to grieve for this loss. It is a loss that is important to you.  Take your time to grieve.

Ultimately, I made the right choice  for me and my family, at this time. I thought about my decision long and hard  and mourned for months. Perhaps, the reason why I felt relief when I made it official (filing appropriate paperwork with the state).

Believe it or not, life goes on and you will be just fine. You will come out stronger! I decided to continue blogging about life and my passion- Jesus. I learned to lean on Him more.

Life happens and I am okay with it (now!).

 

God bless you and yours,

Ivette