Entrepreneurial Treadmill Can Be Sweat Or Joy

By Dan Nielsen
The Record-Eagle, Traverse City, Mich.

Treadmills do not excite me. I’d much rather be breathing fresh outside air while I perspire, much rather watch trees slide by than watch someone else’s shirttail slowly change from dry to wet, much rather feel dirt under my shoes than trudge atop an endless loop of plastic.

I don’t mind sweating. It cleanses the pores, frees the mind. I just would prefer to sweat in a setting that adds to the joy of the moment.

Maybe that’s the way entrepreneurs feel when they launch a project. They may not have enough cash to pay for a swanky office with a view of the bay, or a fast new computer or a leather executive chair with adjustable armrests and lumbar support. Instead, their limited budget decrees they rent a cramped basement office, get by with an 8-year-old computer and sit on a duct-tape-decorated refugee from the dumpster.

The work would be the same in either atmosphere. The expensive ambiance would just make the work more fun.

Unless an entrepreneur has a generous rich aunt or can arrange a bundle of financing, he or she likely will need to start out with a limited budget. What cash she or he can float needs to go toward whatever will make the business succeed. Product, employees, manufacturing space, contract services. Behind-the-scenes office furnishings don’t matter nearly as much as grease for commerce. Cash on hand must be invested in whatever generates return.

The beginning entrepreneur must sweat it out on a treadmill of long hours, cramped office space and hard work.

For some, work itself is reward. Start a business revolving around a personal fascination, then spend every day working in that field. Income certainly is necessary to survive, but is just one factor in success. Personal happiness may be more important in the long run. These people are on a treadmill of success. The work itself is the goal, each work day an interesting journey.

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