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September 8, 2021

Cold Hard Facts: The Truth About Starting a Business

2 min read

Topic: entrepreneurship strategy Start an Agency

This vlog and blog is another entry in my series about entrepreneurship, leadership and how it can apply to individuals wanting to start or continue propagating their own independent insurance agency.

But how can you know if starting your own business (of any type) is right for you before you start it? I’ll be answering all those questions in this blog.

The Harsh Truth of Your Big Business Idea

You probably know many people who started a business and they've been really successful. It’s the American dream. Of course, they've told you all the highlights and you've seen how they've enjoyed the fruits of their labor.

However, you probably don't know the other side of the story. The other side of the story was unending hard work, long hours, frustration, fear, and a lot of failure — because no one's ever successful without some missteps.

So if you're thinking about starting your own business, I want to encourage you. I love working with entrepreneurs, ambitious, aggressive people who want to take their own future into their hands.

But don't let anyone lie to you and tell you that it's easy because it's not.

There are No Accidents in Starting a Business

I once had an employee who talked about this windfall or that windfall that we'd received in our business, and it really irritated me.

And I finally told him, "If you ever say that to me again, I'm going to fire you." That's how much it irritated me.

Why? Because those were no windfalls. We'd worked really hard, often for years, to make those pieces of income show up as if by magic.

There isn't anything in building a business that isn't hard, that isn't difficult, and that isn't challenging.

So ask yourself before you jump in the pool, are you up for it? Are you up for 80 to 90-hour weeks for years? Are you up for 60 to 70-hour weeks for the rest of your life?

If you're not, think really hard about what you're getting ready to do.

You Must Ask Yourself The Tough Questions as a Business Owner

Successful people work a lot, forever. And the risk of failure, while it diminishes over time, is always there. I'm affiliated with a business that's been in business for over a hundred years, that almost went down the toilet because they took their eye off the ball. It can happen to anybody.

The ways the business owner makes sure that doesn't happen are myriad, but the first and most important way is they work. A lot. And that never changes.

So ask yourself these tough questions before you get in the pool. I hope you will, and I hope even after doing that, your answer is, "Yes," and that you have the successful business of your dreams.

Download the free "How to Grow an Independent Insurance Agency" guide from OAA.

Tony Caldwell is a modern “renaissance man,” who is not only immensely successful in the field of insurance, but is also a writer, children’s advocate, mentor and even a licensed pilot.

Always keen on helping others make their dreams come true, Tony and his team have helped independent agents grow into more than 250 independent agencies. This has made OAA the number one ranked Strategic Master Agency of SIAA for the last 5 years, and one of Oklahoma's 25 Best Companies to Work for.

Tony loves to share his knowledge, insight and wisdom through his bestselling books as well as in free mediums including podcasts and blogs.

Tony and his family are members of Crossings Community Church, and he is very active in community initiatives: he’s chairman of It’s My Community Initiative, Inc., a nonprofit working with disadvantaged people in Oklahoma City; and chairman of the Oklahoma Board of Juvenile Affairs., and he has served through many other organizations including the Salvation Army, Last Frontier Council of the Boy Scouts of America, and the Rotary Club.

In his spare time, Tony enjoys time with his family. He’s also an active outdoorsman and instrument-rated commercial pilot.