Recently I've been sharing a lot about my home renovations, and there is one that I have yet to share. Honestly, it was the most unsettling for a few reasons. When we were having our floors done, and eliminating the wall in our dining room, our contractor came to us and said, I hate to tell you this, but I want you to stand here and tell me what you see when you look towards your back door. With a gasp, Keith and I realized that the ceiling holding up our backwall was sagging. He shared his thoughts as to why that potentially was happening and provided us with some recommendations. We didn't have the money at that time to fix it, but we knew it had to be done sooner rather than later. The biggest issue was that was the back wall of my daughter's bedroom. Last thing we wanted to have happen was our entire backside of the house to fall apart.
When we had the money together to get it fixed, I decided it was a great time to add French doors out to my patio area. After all, they were going to be removing one of my windows, so that would compensate for the sunlight I would miss coming in. I always have a plan. (wink wink) So the contractors arrive, they get to work taking out a window and repairing the wall where it was at, and then they started working on cutting out the spot for the French doors. Suddenly, as we hear the humming of equipment tearing into our house to fix it; more bad news. This time, it was devastating, and tear jerking to say the least. As they were removing the siding off the back of the house and getting ready to cut the doorframe out, they noticed, that the house seemed to be settling. As they continued to look at, it became noticeable (I mean noticeable) that the house was not built on the foundation. There was a 2x4 on top of dirt to hold up my house! What in the world?? How could this ever be
possible. Upon further investigation, we realized that the house was not square on the foundation, that it was 4 inches off. Someone built and repaired the house and it was 4 inches off the foundation, so they merely put wood on the dirt to hold it up. Well after years of weather the dirt begins to shift and settle and now the back of our house was not secure. It wasn't fully sitting on the foundation.
As you can imagine that took time to digest. The contractor who is also an engineer had to look at the foundation and determine the best approach to fixing our foundational issue, that we didn’t' even realize we had. He found a solution, and we were able to move forward with the renovation, and now we knew that the reason our backwall was sagging was because of this foundational problem. As soon as it was fixed properly, you could immediately tell a difference in the wall, structure, and even the windows were crooked, because they had been in the wrong position for so long. The cracks and issues with our back door, no longer existed. It took someone evaluating the situation, understanding what they were looking at, and determining the right solution. It shifted (literally) everything. No longer do we worry about the backside of our house falling off and someone being hurt.
I shared that story to help you understand the importance of having a strong foundation. That can mean in your life, family, business, ministry, house, building, anything really. The foundational support is critical to success. If you don't have a strong foundation or take time to build a strong foundation, over time, it is going to erode, and you will be left with a bigger more devastating mess. It pays to take time to build the foundation correctly, so that whatever you are building on it will be strong and supported over time.
To have a viable business, you must first have a strong foundation. Most entrepreneurs started out because they are tired of working a 9-5 where someone is always telling them what to do. They want to be independent and their own boss. They want to take their passion and turn it into profit. How many of you are shaking your head right now, saying yes that's what I want to do! I believe that during this pandemic we have been forced to think outside of the box, and in that respect, we have seen a lot of people making changes to start business. That is after all the "American Dream" right? There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to start your own business, in fact I encourage and coach entrepreneurs so I'm a fan of it. I do caution individuals to evaluate their motive, and stress the importance of foundation before they jump all in.
Did you know that 20% of small businesses will fail within their first year? Approximately 50% will have failed within 5 years, and after 10 years, only a third of small businesses started have survived. (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2021) With this information in mind, what will make your business last, and stay strong? What makes the difference? There are several key elements but the very first thing you must have is a foundation to build on. A foundation is critical to ensuring a lasting and sustaining business. Most people want to skip this step and just start making their products or providing their services, but there is so much more to entrepreneurship. It's one thing to have a side hustle it's another to own a business. By laying the proper foundation, your side hustle can be an amazing business. We must remember first things first.
A foundation will set the tone, culture, value system, and strength for your business. Think about this, if you lay a foundation for a house, the foundation is built upon the blueprints of what you desire the house to be. So, if you say, I'm going to build a single-story house the foundation laid will be different than a two-story house. With a two-story house, the weight the foundation must sustain is much greater than a single-story home. I love watching home renovation shows (just didn't love living through it) but you will always see they call out an expert when they are getting ready to increase the square footage if it is in the attic space. If they are adding on to the back of the house, they build out the foundation to accommodate the new addition. We must think about business or life in this way. The foundation must be solid, and reliable to build on. It should be able to hold the weight of the structure we are creating, that means, the foundation laid is critical to the overall operation of the business. Once that is done, we are open for business, now we can do the thing we love and continue to grow as necessary. Without a foundation, just like my home, it will all come crumbling down. Four inches doesn't seem like much, right. I mean it is only about _______________ this big, how can that make a difference. The weight of our structure was sitting on sand, and 2x4s. The last thing you want to do is build a beautiful flourishing business and have it not on a solid foundation where at some point you realize, it is all about to come tumbling down. This is true for all areas of your life and can work with business, or ministries (any non-profit).
If you are thinking about becoming an entrepreneur and want to make sure you are building on a solid foundation, I’m here to help you. My Business Essentials Masterclass will help you get the foundation of your business or non-profit ready so you can successfully launch in 90 days. I also have an amazing resource for those of you wanting to learn about business planning and how to build your initial business plan to get started. Click here for your free copy.