I told you all last week that I am going to be transparent and open about this entrepreneur thing. Also, I am going to be my real authentic self here. This is my space to write what I want and I am only putting it here to help others in my shoes. This may include things like cussing, admitting poor decision making, learning life lessons through typing it out, and probably saying too much. If this is not okay with you, then this is not a safe place for you. Sorry, not sorry.
Here it goes. This is painful to write, but freeing. This my friends is what the real rollercoaster of entrepreneurship looks like.
This, my friends, is the very real struggle of cash flow. This is what it looks like when you are patiently waiting for the money you have been “paid”, has yet to be deposited into your bank account.
8am: Tell my intern that I cannot pay her to work the rest of this week because I am out of money.
9am: I sat feeling very alone in my office. I was literally crying, begging God for mercy.
I feel like I have done EVERY. POSSIBLE. THING. I can up to this point. I have bootstrapped to almost every last dollar on every credit card we have. My husband and I literally tried to pay for frozen yogurt 2 nights ago with quarters from our change jar at home (and we failed miserably because the stupid yogurts cost a whopping $9 each, so we had to put it on a credit card. UGH!). My brother and his friend judged us big time.
I look at my bank account (again) trying to figure out where my budgeting went wrong. I came up short for rent for the business, and have to scramble to be able to write the check. (Probably because we spent all of our money at the damn fro-yo place). Just when you think you are ahead, life brings you back down. So much for that cushion I thought I had last month.
As a start up- cash flow is one of the biggest and most stressful issues I face. It is an absolute roller coaster. There are always unforeseen expenses to running a business that you cannot plan for. When you start a business you think that you will need, say $50,000, but in reality, you should have had 3X that just to survive!! If everyone knew this was the case, no one would ever start a business. I was already scared shitless to even start this business in the first place. If I would have know it would be this hard, I probably would have never done it. But, here I am. STILL.
10am: As I was sitting and contemplating converting my round trip ticket to Spain next month to a one-way to run away from all of my responsibilities and probably poor decision making, my brother walks in.
10:30am: I love my brother because he thinks the opposite of me and always gives me great perspective. He immediately figured out the problem and came to the root cause: I was spreading myself too thin again.
My life lesson that has been hitting me over and over again like being beaten with a shoe over the head has been this: At the end of the day, I am the one responsible for everything that happens with my business. I am the one that made the decision not to pay close enough attention to my cashflow (again). I have learned my lesson (again). I cannot spread myself too thin and not give my business the attention that it needs. I have to be the one steering the ship, or it will crash.
But still, how do I fix it? My only solution left was to pull out a cash advance on the last credit card we had. By doing this, it would max out the last credit card we have. Also, how do you even do this process? I have never had to go this dark in to no man's money land.
11am: Then....my dad walks in. This was totally unexpected. He has new employees he has been training, so he hasn't been in the office much lately. He had his own fire he was hoping my brother and I could help him put out, but when he came in he realized I was crying.
We brainstormed how I could renegotiate my lease with the landlord, which I have admittedly been procrastinating. We talked about how the expansion side of the space could be put to better use to form a better profit center. We talked about how the money I needed is coming, but it is just sitting in limbo somewhere between someone paying for it online, and it actually being deposited in my bank account.
I decided I need to put a sign up in my office that says, "I can do hard things."
CASH-FLOW. The bane of my existence.
11:59am Dad gives me an advance on the money his company normally pays us on the 15th of the month. This is a creative solution that I would have not normally thought to ask for since he is a start up also and struggle with the same issues I do. Luckily God had his business in the right place to help mine.
12:06pm Realize I had to have my bright and shining game face on for all the members attending the monthly potluck I was supposed to be hosting starting 6 minutes ago. Look in the mirror. Decide I am pretty enough and if they see my puffy eyes, my members will love me anyways.
1-5pm Cancel my other meetings to help Dad's company put out his fires (which are way bigger and scarier than mine). I thank God today for perspective.
6pm While driving home, I called my husband crying. I told him about my day thus far. We decide (again) that God has our back and we were put on this earth for this purpose. If we fail it is all meant to be a learning experience and we will be alright. I am so thankful for my husband. I could never get through this daily journey without his love and support.
7pm Start to write this blog touching on how thankful I am that God always has my back.
7:30pm Get a call from my grandma. She works for my aunt who is my CPA. She tells me to sit down because she has really good news about my taxes for me.
2 times ago when we had spoke, I was going to owe lots of money in taxes. Like, way more than we could pay given our current situation, and we would really be in some deep shit.
Last time, she said it was still a good chunk, but not as bad as we thought. This amount was doable, but it was every last cent that was left on our last credit card. I kept holding faith that things would look up once all of it was finalized.
Tonight at 7:30 grandma called to tell us they just finished our tax return finally and we would officially be getting back roughly $5,000.
Ladies and Gentleman, being an entrepreneur is a ROLLERCOASTER. Somehow I started the day out with considering leaving it all behind and starting my life over in Spain, and ending it with extra positive money that I can now (hopefully) use to float the ups and downs of cashflow for the next few months.
Being an entrepreneur is the best thing ever! Everyone should do it. Haha YEAH.FRIGGIN.RIGHT.