Initial Cash Flow vs. Supporting the Family
One of the most frustrating experiences as a new entrepreneur is the lack of cash flow for my business, but here's how I've learned to deal with it.
As a "new" entrepreneur, my biggest business frustration is money.
Cash flow, in specific.
I have no problem keeping the books, sending the invoices, collecting the payments or anything of that nature.
It isn't hard for me to budget for the business expenses, mitigate overhead, or identify alternative means of making sure the necessary things are covered.
I even manage to do all of this without using any form of credit for financing.
The pinch is that I have a family to support, for which this is the primary income and a lack of cash flow in my business has made our finances tight.
That means that right now, while I am just starting out and still slowly building a client base, finances are extremely tight, and there are times when I'm forced to wonder if I am doing right by my family by pursuing entrepreneurship.
If it were only me, it would be no issue - my material needs are comparatively insignificant.
But every time I update the books, file the taxes, and pore over the invoices, I'm faced with making the call on whether or not starting and running my own business is the right choice.
I am forced to look at my non-cash flow from business in the face.
Up to this point, I have handled this largely by reminding myself that part of why I started doing this was so that I could set my own hours and spend more time with my family.
Finally, after seeing them miss out on some wonderful opportunities, I've realized that - for the time being - the most logical thing for me to do is to return to the "day job" world, at least part-time.
The idea is to subsidize my family's living expenses through the day job, while taking all proceeds from my business and re-investing them for business growth.
It's not ideal, but it's logical and probably the most prudent course of action for the next few years, until a steady customer base is established.
It will also help ease our lives until I can produce cash flow with the business.
The non-cash flow from my business has evolved into a stressful situation.
Even friends and family have politely commented on the frustration and tension they see in me.
This has led to much more time reading, both for pleasure and for development.
I've returned to a few old hobbies and discovered some new ones.
Working out at the gym has become a daily thing, and I am now almost ritualistic about going to bed at a decent hour.
What it really comes down to is doing the best I can to specifically set aside "me" time - a block of time that isn't devoted to family, business, or anything else stressful.
And it's about taking proper care of my body, so that stress doesn't have as direct an impact on me, both psychologically and physically.
Is starting and running my own business still worth it?
I won't let my non-cash flow business activity hold me back because building a solid business and a solid cash flow from the business takes time.
And I promise, I will come out of this as a winner.
It's just going to take gutting it out and MAKING things work for a few years before things start to truly fall into place.
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