Your First Year in Business: A Survival Guide


Launching a business is one of the most exciting and terrifying times of your life. Much like having your first baby, you’re executing a lot of “firsts” without a manual to guide you through it. You’re thrown into the deep end of the hardest job you’ve ever known, relying entirely on instinct. Basically, you’re blindfolded and lost in the woods, and there’s no one guiding you – except you.  

It still astounds me how many businesses close within the first three years – 60% of businesses fail in those early years.  

So why is that 60% of businesses fail before they even reach the three-year mark? 
It’s often WILDLY misunderstood just how much it takes to start, sustain and grow a business.  

Here are some of the biggest mistakes I see in start-ups: 

  • They don’t understand what they stand for  
  • They misunderstand the YEARS that it may take to get their first sale 
  • They misjudge the WORK that’s involved  
  • They can’t fathom the financial sacrifices and investments they will have to make to grow the business  
  • They don’t write a business plan  
  • They don’t really believe in their product  
  • They don’t really believe in themselves  

If you’re in the start-up phase of your business, there is still hope. Here’s what you can do:  

  • Look at your competitors and understand your market position  
  • Look to the businesses that inspire you and understand the 20-year journey it took for them to get where they are  
  • Map out your own journey 
  • Be prepared to work harder than you’ve ever worked 
  • Acknowledge that you’ll need to continually invest back into the business before you see a profit  
  • Go into this with the mindset that you want to make a DIFFERENCE 
  • This is not about the car you want to drive at age 33 – it’s about the work you want to be proud of when you’re 80
  • Enjoy the PROCESS and the journey 
  • Connect to your product or service on a deeper level. What are you REALLY offering people and why does it matter to you and to them? 
  • Don’t expect or rely on short-term wins  
  • Write long-term goals for the next 30 years  
  • Write a business plan 
  • Get BIGGER goals  
  • Understand that failings are learnings  
  • Get the right education 
  • Have positive mentors around you  
  • Create a brand book 
  • Don’t mistake busy-ness for productivity 
  • Consistently review data  
  • KNOW what you stand for and let that permeate every facet of your business  
  • Stop second-guessing every move 
  • Always be in growth mode  
  • Take action and believe in yourself!  

Now you’re ready to start and SUSTAIN a business!  

I’ve started and sustained/sold 34 companies in the last 25 years, so I’m living, breathing proof that it can be done, and I want to show you how I did it. Let Navig8Biz guide you through the woods.  
Remember this: the best time to plant an oak tree was 200 years ago, the second-best time is today.

You have to start somewhere. Just begin.  



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