The Unsexy Part of Being a Business Owner

Eula M. Guest

As many of you are ready to face the next fiscal year, entrepreneurs are using this time to do the unsexy part of running a business.  Being in magazines, newspapers, getting dressed for galas, being on panels, flying to business conferences, video-taping commercials, doing photo shoots and interviewing famous people is all the sexy part of running a business.  Having people walk up to you recognizing you can be very exciting, but what most people don’t see is the unsexy stuff.

  • Getting your books together for the accountant, invoicing your clients
  • Data entry – having to input all those business cards information into your database
  • Filing – filing away all those papers and contracts you let pile up in the bin – the endless hours of necessary evil
  • Marketing for your clients and your events on social media
  • Setting up meetings with potential clients, playing phone tag with potential clients
  • Contract negotiations, independent contracts and agreements – another necessary evil
  • Keeping in contact with past clients
  • Newsletters – adding content that is current and time to research the current trends
  • Crew schedule for projects, hiring staff – endless resumes that come in to review
  • Running multiple projects at one time and keeping track of your staff while doing these projects
  • Clients that decide midstream during a project that they want to change directions
  • Keeping up with trends in your industry
  • Preparing for panel discussions, training a group on social media, e-mail and video marketing
  • Building relationships and partnerships
  • Follow-up on e-mails and or calling people you met at business events

All this is the unsexy stuff that people do not see. While most of you are sleeping at 2:00am in the morning, entrepreneurs are busy working on answering RFP (request for proposals), RFB (request for bids), and RFQ (request for quotes), writing proposals, answering request for quotes, recertifying their business with the city and state in which they do business. When people see you they don’t see the journey the hard work, the sacrifices, the disappointments, the project that you did so much pre-work on fall through.

People don’t see the struggle, the slow period, and the loneliness of being an entrepreneur when you are not sure which direction to go and when you don’t have a board or mentor to bounce ideas off of.  When your family and friends can’t understand why you left that “Good Job with Benefits” yes it can be very lonely and only another business owner and an entrepreneur can understand why you are doing what you do.  Yes, this is the unsexy part of running your business and if you ask another entrepreneur if they would do it all again?  Most would say yes and even enjoy the unsexy stuff.


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