chaos: complete disorder and confusion
Yup, that sounds about right.
Starting a business is a daunting task. Starting a business in the middle of the worst recession that we’ve seen in my lifetime? A little more daunting. When I turned in my paperwork to the lovely state of Ohio to officially become a business in March of 2010 – I knew I was signing up for a challenge. The stats are clearly against any business succeeding past a year or two – not factoring in the economic conditions that we facing now as a country.
So I did what I thought was best, jump in feet first. Immerse myself in the communities that already were familiar with my work & work ethics, network my standards as a business owner and hope to catch on in as many places as possible. I started small – looking for customers that would be enthusiastic about a new web site and would brag about my business at every turn. “Mom & Pop” operations (similar to my own upbringing) were my target (and still are) because they usually weren’t able to afford the high prices of my competition – so they just created a web site on their own. More times than not, they were wasting money with the ads you see on TV about creating your own website. Not happy with what those companies offer in lack of service & customization.
Within a year, I was signing two new clients a month, sometimes more. And now, with 30 clients under my belt – I’m in chaos mode. But here comes the artist in me – I control that chaos to fuel my growth.
Sure, I could take a little more time in between clients – tell a potential client that “I’ll be able to get started on your project in a month or so.” But then I run the risk of them going elsewhere. If they are trusting me to get the job done, why not get it done as quickly as possible? The sooner I get their project done, the sooner they are seeing the benefits and the sooner they are out there bragging about the great (and quick) job I did for them.
I’m sure my wife would disagree, but I’d rather have too many projects on my desk than not enough. Some days I’m up with her at 5:30am and I’m still at my desk until she gets home from teaching at 6:00pm. Some nights I work until midnight or later after she’s gone to bed. But I think that level of dedication is the cornerstone of a good business. I don’t want to be one of those failed businesses. Putting myself in chaos mode keeps me motivated to get projects done, to get new clients and to keep on keeping on.
How do you handle chaos in your business? Do you agree that being too busy is a good thing?