Behind closed doors and in private we are constantly thinking, worrying, fretting and planning. This is what business owners don’t tell you:
- The termination of an employee is not a shotgun decision and is never a surprise to the employee. We have constant conversations, write up plans for improvement, give warnings, give feedback, set milestones, discuss alternatives, endure (in some cases) disrespect and more, then we make the much dreaded decision. This is a burden the business owner bears alone and will never violate the privacy of that employee by sharing those conversations or plans with other staff.
- We take everything personal. We try so hard not to, but it is impossible. We have built and cultivated our companies for years and it is intertwined with our personal life, in fact there is no separation. When an employee is unhappy, we take it personally. When a client is frustrated, we take it personally. The list goes on. The buck stops with us, the business owner.
- We have sacrificed everything. If you think running a business is easy, by all means start one. There is no handbook, we are all just feeling our way along and hoping we don’t mess things up too horribly. When we hire that first employee we are taking a paycheck away from ourselves – chances are we weren’t even paying ourselves in the first place. When we make the decision to offer benefits we know it will be a large expense but we want our employees to feel valued.
- 941 payments are painful. Can I get an “amen”? I mean every time we review our 941s, we die a little inside. Why does the government take so much? Don’t they understand we are barely scraping by as it is.
- We are alone. We took this on ourselves and we might have a great support system of friends and family but no one will ever truly understand the crushing loneliness that overwhelms us at 8:00 p.m. at night or 3:00 a.m. in the morning. We know it is up to us to make the best decisions for our business, our employees, our customers and always last, ourselves.
We don’t tell you this so you feel sorry for us, we tell you this so maybe you will understand the stress written across our face or the lack of patience sometimes. Please don’t take it personally, that is our job.