How Hard Is It to Start A Business? Ever Pushed a Boulder Up A Hill?

Sisyphus, entrepreneur, starting a business, small business advice, action coach

Sisyphus king of Ephyra forever rolling a boulder up a hill. 

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Published by Jim Woods President of InnoThink Group @jimwoods_


Starting a business is easy. Building a successful business? Well despite the quotes below, is not for the faint of heart.

You’ll feel as though you are walking around with heria and no one gives crap. It took me from living in my car, to food stamps and back before I built a successful consulting business.

Having a noble cause is marvelous. But let’s talk turkey here. You can expect to be embarrassed. It won;t be at all like Google. You will never have enough money.

You’ll have to be patient with those who can’t grasp your vision and passion. Am I Debbie Downer yet?


Having the passion to start an idea is award for those not understanding the urge. Perhaps, one can say the pilgrims on the mayflower had the same passion …………… and fear. The trepidation of the unknown combined with the anticipation of discovery and danger.

Anyone striking out on their own or a team soon recognizes a successful business takes twice as long to prove profitable than experts tell you. You also expect to spend more of your own money or lose more than your friends money.

You can expect to fail several times.

Want to quit more times than you can imagine.

As motivational speaker Zig Ziglar once quipped about his first sales job, I sold a lot. I sold my watch, I sold my car.

Expect more nay sayers than cheerleaders.

Suggestions below are noble. I’ll be honest. You can expect everything you have been told about the good aspects of starting a business to be a lie by well meaning people. You will feel absolutely similar to the Greek character Sisyphus. He was punished for chronic deceitfulness by being compelled to roll an immense boulder up a hill, only to watch it roll back down, and to repeat this action forever.

From Entrepreneur Magazine:

You become part of a family. The entrepreneurial culture is almost like a big family — and you won’t find a better group of people willing to offer advice and help than fellow entrepreneurs.

You control who represents your brand. The team you surround yourself with plays a major role in your success — you can assemble a team of like-minded individuals that share your same drive and passion.

No dress code. CEO and Founder of Vivint, Todd Pedersen, was recently on the TV show Undercover Boss and stated that he wears a company-branded baseball hat daily. He is the boss — he can wear whatever he wants.

You have the opportunity to change lives. Have an idea for a product or service that has the potential to make a huge impact? Go for it — nothing is stopping you!

You have full control over your workspace. Do you excel in a creative environment? Want an office with dry-erase paint so you can draw on the walls and a full espresso bar to keep you full of caffeine? Make it happen!

It provides a rush that is hard to duplicate. There is no greater shot of adrenaline than the one you receive after reaching a goal and knowing you worked extremely hard to get to that point.

You serve as a role model. As an entrepreneur, people will look up to you. You have the ability to be a role model for family, friends, employees and community members. Your success serves as motivation and inspiration.

You will never be bored. There is always something to do and you will more than likely always have a mile long to-do list. Every day presents new challenges and new opportunities to keep you on your toes.

Freedom to travel. Modern technology, remote employees and the Internet allow you the freedom to travel while still running your business. Being able to see the world while creating an amazing company is a realistic possibility.

There is no age barrier. Entrepreneurs are starting at very young ages — some straight out of college, some while still in high school and even children as young as 9 years old that want to create healthy treats.


Jim Woods is president of The Jim Woods Group. A management consulting firm. Go here to see his work He advises and speaks to organizations large and small on how to increase top line growth in times of uncertainty and complexity. Some of his speaking and consulting clients include: U.S. Army, MITRE Corporation, Pitney Bowes, Whirlpool, and 3M. See more at his website

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Posted in Entrepreneurs, Small Business, Startups

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