Assessing Financials of Your Start-Up Ventures & The Ugly Side of the Side Hustle
Last week I took the time to put some numbers to paper for my 3 baby start-up ventures (HTX Mom Blog, The Modern Wreath Co., and The Social Admin).
I calculated the income I thought I could make in the next few months of my 3 start-ups. Then I did the same for the first year, and then I went balls to the wall and hopped on the “what if my wildest dreams came true” train and forecasted out 5 years of kicking ass and taking names, hard-earned entrepreneurial income.
I calculated what my projected expenses would be for these start-ups for the first few months, first year, and the those amazing and dreamy first 5 years.
I estimated the value of my time, as in I actually assigned myself a rate per hour.
And what I came up with was…
Well, to be frank, it was discouraging.
In the first few months, I will definitely be expending more than I make in at least one of my ventures. I barely will be breaking even in another. And the third will be a hell of a time investment without significant returns.
Year 1 looks a little more positive. Like…”we can afford rice and beans again” positive.
And because I’m an optimist at heart, Year 5 was pretty rockstar. [high five to self]
But what is reality? I had to look in the mirror and ask myself if the time away from my family is worth all the effort spent on these 3 ventures.
Mr. Wonderful from Shark Tank said:
"Any entrepreneur on my team needs to understand that the goal is always cash flow, and they must be willing to do anything to keep the money rolling in," he said. "I don't care if that means missing your kid's birthday party or your 25th anniversary for an important business meeting."
Is that a level of devotion to these businesses that I am willing to give? And for what pay out?
Because all entrepreneurs know there are a lot of rejections, disappointments, and tireless days and nights of hard work. Couple that with the fact that the numbers in front of me look bleak, and the stupefaction soars.
I think there are a lot of entrepreneurs who jump in with no safety net, no plan B. And they may be on to something.
For better or worse, I have a pretty comfortable safety net. My 8-5 corporate job keeps the lights on so to speak, and I find myself working myself into a frenzy at night on my side hustles while the family sleeps. Then when they wake up refreshed and ready to climb all over mommy and have some family fun, I’m Ms. Bearenstein Bear from Elm Street.
I knew that I had to say no.
And this isn’t the “learn to say no” lesson that mom’s like to share with one another, which is absolutely a valuable lesson in and of itself. This is not the “I volunteered for too many roles at my kid’s school”, or “I need to attend my girlfriend’s birthday party, clean my house, cover my grays, and pack lunches for tomorrow” kind of saying no. (Although all those are still real life struggles for me too).
This is the “I have a passion for this project. I want to see it grow just like another child of mine. It’s my brain child. I believe in it. I know it will be successful. I can see it, feel it, taste it. But I am one person. I cannot do all of these and maintain my sanity and be a present mother for my family,” kind of saying no.
It’s an internal struggle, and I’m not sure I’ve resolved it.
I’ve resolved that things will not happen as quickly as I will like, and that gives me permission to keep all of these new businesses still moving forward.
It’s still maddeningly frustrating.
Any other mompreneurs out there in a similar boat? How are you coping?
I have a mantra for myself that I promised I would say over and over and OVER while on this entrepreneurial journey.
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