Running a small business is HARD

I've been running Carbon Fi for 5 years now. I also run one other business and I'm launching a third. It is true that each new business you make it easier, but goodness it's a hard thing to do. 


I started Carbon Fi 5 years ago. I basically just made rings for friends on occasion. It was cool, but I knew for a fact I was onto something bigger. Men had some really crappy selection of rings and I knew there was a market. As I dove into building a website I suddenly realized there was much more than stumbling my way through wordpress. I suddenly had to learn to become a photographer, web designer, merchant gateways, checkout software, shipping software, materials, supplies, tools, space, storage, sales, advertising. I mean you basically have to learn to be an expert at all of that stuff as fast as you can. 


So I've been doing this for 5 years. I wake up at 6 am. Ride my bike to my shop so I can lose some weight. Work until 3:30. Ride to the post office and then home. Spend time with kids until bed time. At 7:30-8:00 It is back to work. I go to my office, which is sometimes the couch with an ipad or laptop, and watch a show with my wife or talk while I work, just so we can spend some time together. She's cool and understanding and she knows I work hard, but if I didn't have that support, I'm fairly certain I'd have to choose between my dream and my wife. Which is likely why so many entrepreneurs have failed marriages. 


The hardest part is being stretched constantly, every hour of every day. It's not the part of getting sales, or making the products. Those things are hard, but they're expected. It's the, oh shit I ran out of shipping material. The $200 label printer broke. The brushes in the lathe went out. We're out of 400 grit sandpaper. The others we some reason have. 400 is gone. It's all the little shit that sneaks up on you. That's the hardest part. It breaks your concentration. It makes you drop everything to solve a tiny tiny problem, that is necessary to solve. That is the hardest part 


If you're considering starting or running a business. It's hard. IF you're good at it, you'll make a lot of money, but even then, you tend to only keep enough to pay your bills and live, and dump the profits into growing or improving your business. I enjoy more time with my children, but I find myself often stressed. I have lots of ups and downs. I celebrate the ups by myself and an work through the downs by myself. My wife is obviously there for me, but it's not like when I was working in sales surrounded by coworkers that would cheer for me when I got a sale. Now I high five myself, text my wife and tell myself I'm cool. Despite all the difficulty, the loneliness, the struggle, the frustration and stress, I WOULDN'T EVER GO BACK EVER! 

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