Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The Question (Tradecraft)

Prudent prospective small business owners inevitably come to this core question:

How do I predict my revenue numbers?

In other words,  how do I know if people will come, if I can successfully advertise, if my business plan makes any sense at all? How do I know if it will work? This is a critical question that separates the entrepreneurs and small business owners from those who don't have the stomach for it. The answer, of course, is you don't know.

It's a leap of faith. You can research this leap, calculate the distance, the acceleration required to make it up your variously sized capital ramp, but in the end, it's a leap. Those who crash and burn sometimes have miscalculated but others were victims of variables that were unknown or changed faster than they could adapt. The public will call those people fools, public including your friends and family who might snicker behind your back.

Those who succeed at the leap are not applauded for having balls of steel or predictive powers. Nope. They got lucky. Perhaps they tapped into some American business cabal that allows them into the upper echelons of society. Because small business owners are rich, right? People don't know anything about your leap because they've never contemplated The Question. They also don't know you make more leaps, more calculated risks, all the time. After the first couple of volatile years, your chance of failure is level, but it's just as high in year four as it is in year fourteen.

Once you start a business, successful or not, people will see you as a cow to be milked, an ever present source of money to be given back to society, since you didn't really earn it anyway, due to your lucky stunt ramp. Every school will see you as a potential donor, the state will insist on fees and taxes the public is unaware of, some of which they just created, and the federal government will hold you to a tax rate big business would scoff at. Especially in the beginning, every one of the people asking you for money probably makes more money than you do, including government employees, teachers and enlisted military personnel. All of them.

My original point though, is there are those who will have a crazed glee in calculating the ramp angle and those who will shake their head, dismissing the insanity. Know which one you are. Crazy ramp angle calculators need people to help construct ramps too. If you're stuck in a job, doodling ramp calculations, make the jump. You'll never stop doodling, ever, even if you fail.  If you're working a job and just can't wrap your brain around the lunacy of these people, let it go. It's as crazy as you think.

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