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Business Unplugged™
This blog features Carol Roth's tough love on business and entrepreneurship, as well as insights from Carol's community of contributors.

Why Entrepreneurs Swing Both Ways

Written By: George and Mary-Lynn | No Comments

Seasoned entrepreneurs rarely talk about it. New entrepreneurs are never prepared for it.

Mere mortals can’t handle it. It takes a special kind of person to endure it.

But you can pretty much count on it – once your business is up and running, you will experience it.

You will swing both ways.

You just got your biggest order ever. The money isn’t in the bank yet, but you’re counting it anyway. You share the news with your people. You take your spouse out for dinner.

Life is good. All is well in the world.

That was yesterday. Today is a different story.

When you got to work, you were told that your biggest customer has cancelled their last order. They are moving to your competitor. This customer is the difference between making money and losing it.

How will you meet payroll?

How will you pay your bills?

How will you keep your company going?

The lows come from anywhere and everywhere… customers, employees, investors, and even the government.

But they all have one thing in common. They lead to that sinking feeling in the pit of your gut.

Fear… all humans experience it. But there is a special kind of fear reserved just for entrepreneurs. It’s entrepreneurial terror.

You stare into the abyss. There is no one there but you. You wonder how you went from such a high yesterday to this place today.

Welcome to life as an entrepreneur. It will make you feel like you’re bipolar. You have to learn to go with it. You have to swing both ways.

You will never love it, but you will discover how to accept it. Or you won’t make it as an entrepreneur.

While you can’t always control the lows, you can avoid two traps that entrepreneurs often fall into. They both have to do with how you spend your time and money when you are on a high.

We would like to say that we are sharing these with you from observation. Unfortunately, we speak from personal experience.

Too busy to market

You’re so busy that you don’t know what to do. You’re running beyond full capacity. No matter what, you know there is no way possible for your business to crank out any more volume.

So, you slow down your marketing efforts. You may even stop them altogether.

And the next thing you know, business drops off a cliff.

Now, you need customers. You need sales. But you don’t have enough leads in the pipeline.

You were so busy getting the work done today, you forgot about tomorrow. You stopped doing those things that produced the high. And now you’re experiencing a low.

You need to consistently and persistently invest time and money in marketing to keep highs from turning to preventable lows.

Being careless with money

Emotional highs often coincide with periods of high cash flow. No surprise there, right?

But, too much money can create its own problems. You okay that major capital investment. You add additional overhead.

You’re feeling so good about things that you decide you can give yourself a nice bonus. So, you buy a bigger house and then, a cooler car.

The next thing you know, you are feeling low. Cash flow is down for one reason or another. Business is off. Your cash reserves are drying up.

This is an especially difficult one to handle because it is so preventable! Even when times are good, make sure you can see how you will get a return on every dollar you spend.

You will never eliminate all of the lows. But you can prevent some of them or at least smooth them out.

However, as a client of ours recently reminded us, swinging isn’t just something successful entrepreneurs accept as part of their gig. They revel in it. They willingly swing because it makes them feel alive. Swinging is what makes the journey so exciting.

So, while you can flatten the peaks and valleys somewhat, the better goal is to take on a bigger challenge. Move the peaks and valleys to a higher elevation. Always be looking for the next, higher mountain so that you can climb to heights you never imagined!

How do you deal with the highs and lows of being an entrepreneur? Does the joy of the high make up for the yuck of the low? Please leave a comment below and share how you deal with swinging.

Article written by
George Krueger and Mary-Lynn Foster are the co-founders of BIGG Success, your place for entreprenurturing(TM). They also co-host "BIGG Success in a Minute," a syndicated radio show now playing on stations around the United States.