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Taking the high road

Jeff Morrill Shares His Best


Note: Jeff Morrill, Author, and highly successful Serial Entrepreneur, provides today’s guest blog, How are You Planning To Start A Business?

His article is excellent and lengthy. Therefore, we will continue his piece in two more segments. Today’s entry focuses on questions about family and their potential support.




Before You Start A Business

Each aspiring entrepreneur is to consider these three categories:

1,  Family
2. Personality
3. Financial

I’ve met many business founders in my life, and they vary on almost every possible measure: race, gender, background, temperament, schooling, and intelligence (in all its forms). I always observe patterns among them.  They all share one and only one thing in common: they decided to get on the bucking bronco and do it. 

I won’t try to talk you in or out of your desire to start a business. It eventually worked out nicely for us, even with all the sacrifices and tough times along the way. But I’ve seen the pursuit of business opportunities cause irreparable harm to marriages, families, health, and those are some of the successful businesses! A business failure can cause all those problems and many more. 

For every “American dream” out there, there are more than a few American nightmares. Just because you do the work doesn’t mean the business will work. Some things in business and life are simply out of our control. Bad things happen to good people just as bad things happen to good businesses. There are many ways that even a good business with good leadership can be damaged or become bankrupt.

Business is fraught with many risks and challenges. The journey isn’t suitable for everyone, so I’ve developed some questions to help you get clarity. My purpose is to help you make better decisions regarding whether you should attempt to start a business. I resisted the temptation to make it a “quiz” where a certain number of yeses totaled up to give you a red, yellow, or green light. A single “no” to some of these questions might steer you away from entrepreneurship. 

For example, if your partner isn’t on board, many people might choose to avoid conflicts between “your-wife-or-your-life” or “your-man-or-your-plan.” Others might find that the successful resolution of these conflicts opens them up to new ways of relating to their families and careers.

Note that the scale and nature of your business will inform your answers to the following questions. For example, starting a lawn service with a mower and a truck will demand far less investment and risk than borrowing much money to buy an existing landscaping company. Many successful businesses start with a small financial investment and low risk. Others may begin with enormous capital, investors that one has to answer at any time, and entail risks.

As you consider these questions, remember that the best indicator of how you’ll behave in a future situation is likely to mirror your past actions (primarily your more recent actions and inactions). For additional insight on the tough questions, ask a close family member or friend who knows you well. 

Family Questions and Your Answers Whether To Start A Business

  • If you’re in a relationship, is your spouse entirely on board? 
  • Is your spouse willing to make significant career or personal sacrifices that you might require to support you and the business? 

 For example, when my then fiancé, Julie, and I moved to Boston to buy the dealership, she had to leave a job she enjoyed. It would take her many years before she felt like she had risen again to the professional and personal heights she had departed in Virginia. 

  • Is your spouse comfortable living on a very tight budget during the time you’re growing the business? 
  • Does your spouse think it’s a good idea to go into the business you’ve selected? 

If your spouse is going to work with you and make some of the decisions? 

  • Have you discussed how you will navigate the inevitable personal and professional disagreements?
  • Even if you’re not working together, do you communicate with your spouse in a way that would allow you to work through the challenges that will arise? 

If you’re currently unable to resolve differences regarding money and spending, these situations usually worsen rather than better improve the stresses of building a business. 

  • Do you have children or family members you need to support financially? 
  • How prepared are you all to survive the financial setbacks that many business owners experience? 
  • How does owning a business fit into your overall life plan? 
  • What are your motivations for wanting to own your business? 

Business ownership consumes large quantities of time and mental energy, even after running well and succeeding. 

  • Do you prefer those stresses over the challenges of working a regular job?
  • Does your “personal board of directors”(PBOD) think it’s a good idea? 

More insight is available regarding PBOD in the book “Profit Wise: How to Make More Money in Business by Doing The Right Thing.” 


For More Insights: Visit Elinor’s Amazon Author Page

Click This Link to See All Four Smooth Sale Courses and Workbooks:

  1. Create the Smooth Sale (returning and referring)
  2. Inspired Quotes for Business and Life
  3. The Smooth Sale Get HIRED! Course and Workbook
  4. The Smooth Sale Course for Entrepreneurs and Salespeople


Related Blog Stories:

  1.  Are You Future Ready?
  2. Are You A Risk Taker?
  3. Are You Preparing For Change?


Sales Tips: Planning To Start A Business

  1. Always looks for the pros and cons of every situation.
  2. Become comfortable with self-negotiation.
  3. Weigh each reason to move forward against each fact reasonably saying, ‘don’t do it.’
  4. Prioritize the elements that hold the most importance.
  5. Get the buy-in (agreement) from those close to you.
  6. Work out a list of agreements to which all parties will adhere.
  7. Together create a standard for discussing disagreements.
  8. Consider who will make up your Personal Board of Directors.
  9. Establish monthly meetings to ensure everyone remains on the same page.
  10. Celebrate Success!

Today’s insights are provided to help you achieve the Smooth Sale!


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