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You've Gotta Love the Game!

Jun 20, 2008
Running a small business is hard. We all know that to be true. And you as the heart and soul of your small business sometimes can barely find the opportunity to catch your own breath. Your business becomes your life and you give it everything you have. You live and breath your business. And it can consume you.

After eight years of running my business I realized I had become consumed by it. But not in a good way. Everything revolved around me. The finances, employees, customers, taxes, an so on. I had twenty-five people working for me. I had managers, salespeople, and workers. But nothing ever seemed to get done without my input.

At the time we were going through a fair amount of problems. I was the only one that might be able to solve them. But I no longer had it in me. My stress level had gone through the roof. I was overweight and had high blood pressure. My wife and I had just had our first child. I had all my employees depending on me and that obligation weighed heavily on my shoulders.

Then one day it happened. I walked into work and realized I hated being there. I couldn't believe it. I realized I'd lost my love for the business. I guess the only way to truly describe the experience is to compare it to a marriage gone bad. When you first get married you're madly in love with each other. But as time goes on you get used to each other and things start to settle down. Then the problems start. You start to bicker with each other. The bickering eventually turns into full blown arguments. Then one day you come home and realize it's not worth it anymore, the love is gone and you want a divorce.

And so one day that is what happened to me. I realized that I'd lost my love for the business and I wanted out. I was actually quite stunned by the realization that what I'd spent the past eight years of my life building was over and that I wasn't willing to do it anymore.

So I got out. My only option was to close the doors. I finished what projects we were obligated to do and I let my employees go. It's of course way more complicated than that but I won't go into it right now. I just new I had to be free of it all. Within a couple of months I was.

At the time that I was done I told myself I would never run another business again. Anytime I would think about it I would remind myself of all the headaches it caused me. But then a funny thing happened. I was having a conversation with a friend of mine who just happened to be my former General Manager. He's gone into business for himself in the same industry as I was in. He was telling me how his business was doing. Afterwards I couldn't stop thinking about it.

I realized then that I missed it. That it was still in my blood. I missed all the good things that my business represented early on for me. I missed the challenge, the people, both customers and employees, and everything else.

The fact that a business takes on a life of its own and that you have to nurture and guide it along the way to success is such a challenge. I'd found that I missed those challenges a great deal. I realized that I wanted and needed to get back into it. I wanted to play the game again. Time will tell if things work out better than before. But at least I've got my passion for playing the game back. You gotta love the game to want to play.
About the Author
Cash Miller is an experienced entrepreneur and speaker who has spent over a decade as a small business owner. His years of experience in small business cover a variety of topics. If you are looking for more small business help please check out http://www.smallbusinessdelivered.com
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