The Road Less Traveled Has Potholes

The Road Less Traveled Has Potholes

That whole “Road Less Traveled” thing? Yeah, I said it – potholes. And that’s okay if your chassis is sassy. But if it isn’t you had better carry a spare.

Alright, enough with the cute analogies. What I really mean is that for those who choose a business venture, a career, a project, or anything else that has not been tried or accomplished before, you have to be ready for setbacks and challenges. And it’s critical that those challenges not get you down or cause you to lose faith in your dream.

In early 2014, my business partner and I decided too embark upon a new and exciting venture that shows much promise for success, opportunity to affect positive change and growth potential.  A year later, we are still on the journey to create a new company and the journey has been like being on a roller coaster. But I have to say, I wouldn’t change a thing. We have learned hard lessons along the way; we’ve been taken advantage of, been ignored, had people not believe we could do it and not supported in important areas we could have used the support. We have also been embraced by the least likely of allies. What a journey.

Starting and maintaining a new business is not for the faint of heart.  Look at the numbers in the table below, provided by

Five Year Survival Rates for Startups by Industry Sector

Not necessarily very encouraging, but my philosophy is, if you don’t at least TRY, your success rate will always be zero.

An Example of Success…..

The company for which I currently work, eESI, is a 16-year labor of love in a very competitive industry, business solutions outsourcing. Two gents who decided to get into a completely new field, have built this company into a highly successful organization that employs 50 people in Texas and Colorado and is licensed in 32 states. They’ve done it through hard work and tenacity. And their business helps other small businesses succeed. Talk about paying it forward.

The backbone of our nation’s economy is built upon small businesses. Consider these numbers from the Small Business Administration. Small businesses in the U.S. make up:

99.7 percent of U.S. employer firms,
63 percent of net new private-sector jobs,
48.5 percent of private-sector employment,
42 percent of private-sector payroll,
46 percent of private-sector output,
37 percent of high-tech employment,
98 percent of firms exporting goods, and
33 percent of exporting value

So what to do?

Is starting a small business right for you? Hmmmm… Start ups are risky. Yes. Start ups are difficult. Yes. Start ups are fun. Yes. Will you fail? Maybe. Will you eventually succeed? Maybe. Is it worth it? You decide.

The important thing is to start. Start somewhere, follow your idea. See where it leads and try to avoid the potholes. Or, at least make sure you have good tires and a solid chassis. Do your homework. Research. Ask for help. There are many resources available through the Small Business Administration, your local Chambers of Commerce, community mentors, professional business brokers, franchises, books, on line resources and more to help you determine what’s best for you.

Good luck and I’ll see you around, you innovator, you.


Author: Jennifer Ryan – Business Consultant

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