How Can I Even Out the Ups & Downs of Being a Business Owner?

What business owner doesn’t feel the reality of the entrepreneurial roller coaster?

This crazy ride is part of the reality of making the choice to step out on your own. It’s inevitable. It can be:

  • Thrilling
  • Terrifying
  • Paralyzing
  • Exciting
  • Devastating

How to Tame the Entrepreneurial Roller Coaster

You name it! It depends on the person. It depends on the day.

So I often get asked, how can I even out these ups and downs? How can I tame this rodeo bull known as my business?

Ultimately you can’t. You can’t make it all rainbows and unicorns.

But you can build your courage and resilience to navigate it better.

  • You can take strategic actions in your business to stabilize cash flow.
  • You can make wise decisions that will minimize risk, maximize opportunity, and generally feel right.
  • Most importantly you can take care of YOU and the things that matter most to you in life so that you do everything from a strong foundation.
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Think about a tree. Without strong roots it would fall over even on a breeze-free day. Yet when the winds pick up it not only doesn’t fall down, it sways in the wind, allowing the wind to move through it and with it. Trees do not fight the wind. You cannot fight the inevitable ups and downs of being self-employed or you will be exhausted and resentful much of the time.

First you must accept that this is just how life and business is…uncertain and unpredictable.

Then you must take actions and make wise decisions for where your business is today and where you want to grow.

You do this while letting go of the very human desire for some guarantee. There are no guarantees (except death and taxes).

Take the time to tend to what makes you healthy and strong in body, mind, and soul. This is your most powerful and precious tool. When you feel solid in your own roots and willing to move with and through the inevitable winds of change, emotion, and successes those ups and downs will still be there but they will inform, not rule your experience.

Want solid business and life strategies for navigating these ups and downs? Contact me for a discovery session to learn more.

3 Ways to Increase and Stabilize Your Cash Flow

Every business owner knows that cash flow is king. Without it, no amount of zeros on your top line revenue matters. Yet cash flow is the stormiest and most unsettling parts of being self-employed. After all, you can’t make your mortgage payment without it.

I find I am particularly sensitive to cash flow, especially when compared to many entrepreneurs. My mother got it right when I was young when she bought me a sign that says: “Happiness is a positive cash flow”. While I deeply believe happiness is much more than a positive cash flow… it sure does help!

One of the best ways to sustainability and sanity is to temper wild cash fluctuations and stabilize cash flow. Here are 3 ways to do that.

How to increase & stabilize your cash flow

Change Payment Terms

Review payment terms you have with clients. Are you leaving significant portions of your cash flow up to the whims of your clients and hopeful projections of project milestones? This move is not about making it be “all about you” or shortchanging the client by any means. It simply more accurately aligns cash flow with the work you do and value you provide. If you always collected 50% at start and 50% at completion, how might your cash flow change if you collected 50% up front, 25% at a midpoint milestone and 25% at the end? This is just one example so play with the numbers and percentages. Consider adjusting your payment terms (due on receipt, 15 days, 30 days, etc.) as well.

Need a confidence boost that this line of thinking is acceptable? Consider the construction industry where they get paid 90% before work is complete (with only a 10% holdback). Some service providers require 100% up front. [Read more…]

How to Prioritize When Everything is a Priority

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