Between the peaks of success, valleys of despair, nights with lost sleep, and uncertainty, it's no wonder entrepreneurship isn't for everyone. Owning a business isn't for the faint of heart, nor is it for whiners or complainers.
It's easy to stress if you're a business owner struggling to level up. Still, you might actually be more successful than you think. I've definitely been there, and I've learned to measure progress differently than most people do.
If you're in the throes of starting your own company, it's possible you're in a better spot than you realize. Here are six reasons why:
1. You have a solid business plan.
Don't forget that you need a business plan to make it in today's competitive marketplace, but you also need time to get your business off the ground.
When I broke off and started my own wealth management firm, I had a solid business plan but still had some doubts. Fortunately, these fears disappeared once I allowed enough time for my business plan to work. If you believe in your business plan (and you should), make sure you give your plan time to run its course.
2. You have emergency savings.
According to a GoBankingRates study in 2017, 39 percent of American families have less than $1,000 saved for emergencies. This is a paltry number indeed, and it just goes to show how ill-prepared we are for life's "what ifs."
If you're a business owner who has emergency savings--or what I call a "freedom fund"--this statistic also shows you're in decent shape and better off than most.
My wife and I saved up 12 months of emergency funds before I started my own business, which gave us an enormous amount of security. If you have a freedom fund of your own, you're in a good spot to cover cash flow issues in lean times and ward off some of the biggest financial problems you'll face.
3. Your net worth is on the rise.
While your cash-on-hand, receivables, and debt all play a role in what your business is worth, you should also pay attention to your own net worth--a figure reached by subtracting your liabilities from your assets. Your net worth matters because it measures your wealth over time while taking your debts into account.
Most business owners forget to account for the fact that equity in a business grows as it gains market share and a loyal customer base, so make sure to account for the value of your business and its holdings as well.
4. You're enjoying the journey to success.
Owning a successful business is a phenomenal feeling, but it's not everything. You want to chart a path toward financial prosperity for sure, but it's also important to enjoy the ride.
Unfortunately, I spent the first five years of my financial practice telling myself we couldn't afford a simple vacation. I made myself believe I couldn't take time away from my business, only to find out later this was a lie.
When I finally let go and took my family to the beach, it was such a light-bulb moment for me. I could enjoy life while I built a business, and so can you. If you're stopping to smell the roses as you work toward your business goals, you're one step ahead of the game.
5. Your personal life isn't in shambles.
Money is important, but not if the pursuit of money ruins your marriage or relationships. Don't believe me? Ask Tiger Woods how it felt to have the world at his fingertips but lose his wife and self-respect because he put her needs dead last.
Unfortunately, too many entrepreneurs put their businesses first and think of their relationships as an afterthought. I wanted to avoid this situation early on, so my wife and I have made a commitment to go on one date per week--even if that's just going to lunch together.
Remember to nurture your relationships as you grow your business. Otherwise, you might live to regret it.
6. You're optimistic about the future.
Last but not least, don't forget to keep your head up. During the 2008 financial crisis, my book of business dropped to where it had been five years before. It was devastating, but I knew the stock market falling was beyond my control.
Fortunately, I was able to focus on the positives--including the fact I had an amazing opportunity to build my business into something better than before. If you focus on the positives, even the worst-case scenario can work out in your favor.
So, keep your head up and maintain a positive attitude at all costs. Trust me--you're going to need it.