Do I really hate my own business or am I just frustrated?

Discussion in 'Self Improvement and Being Successful' started by bronj, Aug 8, 2012.

  1. bronj

    bronj
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    I feel like I need to air this out in a public forum and get some opinions and advice from people who have been in a similar position. I feel like friends, family and colleagues are just going to tell me what they think I want to hear.


    I am 30 years old and have been an entrepreneur since I was 17. I have only worked a couple of times for other people and it was usually just because I needed to make some money to keep the business going. For the past 5 years I have only focused on one business - an advertising agency. I loved every aspect of it, the creativity, the business side, the long hours, the travel, etc. At it's peak I had about 9 full time employees and we were growing rapidly (2 years ago). We lost a big account and I restructured the business and changed our focus.

    During this transition I decided I would keep most of the employees freelance (lower overhead) and hire just a few very well seasoned professionals. It was a great idea and gave us a lot of flexibility. The restructure was working and we were gaining a lot of momentum. The problem - we weren't closing any new business.

    The worst part - most of it was for reasons out of our control. We didn't lose business to other agencies, or because we weren't qualified - it just seemed like the majority of the clients we were pitching decided to abandon projects, go another direction, or put it on pause for a long period of time. After 9 months with the new employees I had to make the tough decision to let them go. Financially we just were not sustainable.

    This loss of momentum has been really tough on me. I feel like the past few months I just haven't had the 'fire' that I used to. I come into the office get what must get done and then that's it. I am not pushing to grow the business, I am not up all night excited because of prospects, I am not even taking some opportunities that are passed my way because I feel that it will just slow down the business overall. I don't care as much about our projects, and I feel like a lot of what we do is just a time suck and not moving us forward.

    This morning I sat in the office and was wondering what the hell I was doing. Am I completely sick of this? Do I need a change of pace? Do I need to think about starting a completely different company in a different industry? Do I want to call up one of my entrepreneur buddies and ask for a position? (scratch that last one, I hate working for other people).

    I just don't know. Sorry to vent on this forum, but I need some outside opinions.

    Am I really sick of this, or am I just fried because things are not where I want them to be?

    Any thoughts?


    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Fergal

    Fergal
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    Welcome to Business Advice Forum bronj and sorry to hear that you feel that way about your business. Times are tough at the moment and a lot of business owners find themselves going through very difficult times. When we have spent most of our working life in an environment where things were getting better and business is growing all the time, it is difficult to adjust to a situation of negative growth. Unfortunately, as you know, the advertising industry has been particularly badly hit as the recession has resulted in a lot of companies drastically cutting their advertising expenditure.

    Have you taken a holiday recently? A break might help you to relax and unwind, then come back to your business with renewed vigour and energy.

    I'd also suggest using short term goals to help keep yourself motivated. Something as simple as taking a couple of minutes every morning, to write down your goal for what you want to achieve that day and a goal for that week, could help to keep you motivated and moving forward.

    Good luck with it all and remember that "this too will pass".
     
  3. MarkTaylor

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    Hi Bronj,

    Thanks for a very interesting and honest post - I don't mean to sound like a counsellor but I think acknowledging the problem exists is the first step towards a solution. I don't believe that there are hard and fast rules for dealing with this situation, or indeed, any quick fixes, but three things spring to mind:

    1. Take a long holiday - even if you are worried about the effect on your business, a long break might just reinvigorate you.
    2. Speak to a business advisor, mentor or coach - some are very good at helping you blow away the cobwebs.
    3. Shake things up through a merger or by forming a joint venture.

    I hope this gives you some ideas and good luck with whatever you do next.

    Best wishes,

    Mark.
     
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  4. DeniseTaylor

    DeniseTaylor
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    Hi bronj

    I think a lot of people can relate to your post, given the current economy. So many people are becoming familiar with the feel of bricks hitting against their foreheads as they try to move forward. It can be disheartening and discouraging.

    I sense a bit of burn out coming from your post and I agree with Mark.

    I think you need some perspective on your situation. Get away and stand back. Get yourself to a higher place so you can see the big view, then decide what direction to take.

    Sometimes, just taking a break, the answers will come to you. Being too close to the situation doesn't allow that.

    Best of luck to you! You sound like a mover and shaker, so I suspect you'll get this sorted out soon.
     
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  5. Jay

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    First off, welcome to the forum! It seems to me as though you are upset at the results you are currently getting after years of hard work and dedication. Right now you're feeling like just quitting, but trust me, don't. You don't want to throw away years of work just because you are temporarily coming across a hurdle. Loosing your biggest paying customer would make any entrepreneur upset, but take this opportunity to build a passion for working even harder and coming up with new ways to attract even bigger clients! Be unique and introduce something that hasn't yet been introduced in the advertising agency before, i'm almost certain this will attract many people!
     
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  6. lwonnaco

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    Take a moment and think back those many years about how you started up in advertising. What was the simplest ad you did? How many did you do? That is your baseline, that is your basic platform from where your success started. Take 48 hours and go out into the surrounding 25 miles and find people, places and businesses where you can make 12 of those simple, basic ads. You can do it. I hear the fire and passion in you. Besides, you know your business better than anyone else so get busy and do it. Once you have done those 12 ads, ask each customer to refer you to one other person/business they know. Jump on those referrals within 24 hours. Roll up your sleeves and get it done. If you go sit on a beach, you'll wonder why you have "abandoned" your business. If the resuscitation needs to be done on your business, you have to be the one to do it. You are not taking a step backwards, you are just reinforcing your own success knowledge. Get busy and do it.
     
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  7. even

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    everyone needs a time out on everything. I think you're just burned out with everything especially with stress. So take a vacation, you will be able to think better after that. That's when you will know what you really feel about the business.
     
  8. pandaa

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    This was basically what I was going to say. Running a business will wear you down after awhile, and I think that's what's happened. I bet if you can find some way to take a week off, you will love your business yet again. Good luck!
     
  9. OneWing

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    Fantastic Advice. Just one thing to point out - our world of advertising and marketing, like technology, has been advancing and changing at a rapid clip. Client budgets and interest for creating traditional ads has since been largely replaced by PPC and social media marketing. Making a mark-up on ad-buys is close to obsolete unless you are a super hardcore high volume ad-space buyer. Clients who once turned to agencies are now subcontracting freelancers and using monetized marketing services for design projects, web design, content creation and PR. Logo design services that once = 1500 - 1500 in revenues have since been replaced by online services that charge 99 - 250$. A true strategic marketer and designer will know the difference in services, but does the client really care? For many, the vast savings are enough to skew their decision making. It has been a sucky ride for many lightweight agencies, but some have created innovative ways of surviving and thriving. As for throwing in the towel - I am in no place to give such advice. I'm here seeking the same answers to the same pain.
     
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  10. AnushaJain

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    Hi Bronj,
    you should firstly choose in yourself what you want in your life,that means what are your ambitions where you have to reach,what are your strenghts,what are your field areas.

    Always keep one thing in your mind and remember it:
    "there is something connection in your thoughts and universe,the things which you think connects you with your destiny,mind just complete the picture of your thinking and gives you the vision to connect yourself with the universe"

    so just be postive,regain your energy back by doing what are your passions and hobbies,then set up your mind:)nothing is difficult,nothing is impossible,just get yourself back in this lost world,the world will be yours.
     
  11. aspecialist

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    • Promtional Links are not allowed in normal forum posts. This post has been edited to remove a promotional link.
    What happened to you and to your business typically happens to every business owner. In reality 80% of businesses go bankrupt in 5 years and the other 80% in the next 5 years and in the next 5 years, in the end only 10% can survive in the next 5 year to come. Dr. Sundardas who is in the business for about 25 years also experienced struggles, but he never quit and find a solution on how to increase profits.
     
  12. MCDA CCG

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    Bronj - I absolutely love your post and welcome to the forum.
    Now, I can tell that you do not hate your business or you wouldn't of taken the time to post on a forum like this. All I see is a little bit of frustration, nothing that can't be overcome.
    I hate to see business owners in this position, that is what inspired me to start my business.
    I want to give you a little bit of advice. You obviously have a very talented entrepreneurial mind to be able to run your own business, but I would encourage you to look at where you are spending your time. Are you creating the advertisements yourself, are you marketing, selling, managing staff, etc. Write down how much time you are spending on your daily activities and then prioritize yourself. So many of my clients discover that they are focusing their time in the wrong places. I teach them to refocus and plan their day differently. If you are struggling closing deals or finding new customers make sure that you have enough time allocated to that part of the business. You will work through this you started from nothing and grew to where you are. This is just a small hurdle that you can easily jump over, just focus, relax and create a little bit of work life balance for yourself.
     
  13. cwvps

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    I don't think you are sick of it. You cannot spend eternity being awake all night and thinking about work. I believe your body and mind are telling you to pace yourself and balance different aspects and areas in your life. Find a way to vent and be happy for other things too, not just your work.
     
  14. Kgord

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    I think the ideas others mentioned about taking a vacation or a holiday is the way to cope with your burnout. Sometimes it just takes a rejuvenation of spirit to get your mind where you want it to be. You may also want to read some business related books to give you focus and a new direction. I am sure you are not the only business owner to ever face this situation.
     
  15. bjdea2

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    I can relate, the reality is periodic downturns will ALWAYS come and go and they will ALWAYS zap your energy each time they come. Just hang in there and while you're riding out this slower period, get into some other activities like exercise at a Gym, walks, bike riding, gardening, fix up the house, seeing family and friends, etc. Give yourself some rest and most of all don't keep analysing your "state". For example don't compare your motivation now to past enthusiasm for your business. Its humanly impossible to be passionate about any one thing forever......the key is to re-direct your focus somewhere else for a while and rest. You'll then have enough rest to think over things again and start coming up with new ideas and new enthusiasm again.

    To specifically answer your question "Do I really hate my own business or am I just frustrated?" No you don't hate your business, you've just had some setbacks and are discovering you're human and aren't able to keep up constant enthusiastic 24x7. No one can keep up a high level of enthusiasm for one endeavour forever, inevitably there will ALWAYS be low periods.
     

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