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Nathan Spearing doing a construction project for his general contracting small business.

Key Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting My Business (3 Lessons)

When you start a small business, you're signing up to learn—a lot. In this episode, Nathan shares the three things that he wish he would've been told before starting his construction business and offers perspective on the key things that need to be squared away to protect you, your partners, and your business.

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Show Notes

Relevant Links

Show Summary

  • The things I wish I knew before I started a business. [0:11]
  • #1 thing I wish I was told before starting a business. [0:17]
  • It’s going to take a really long time before you feel like you know what you’re doing. [0:29]
  • It’s easy to look at social media culture and be discouraged. [0:40]
  • Most “entrepreneurs” on social media are fake. Their business is just talking about business and not actually doing it. [0:54]
  • Why I like the Andy Frisella MFCEO / REAL AF podcast. [1:17]
  • It is a lot of work to get people to part with their hard-earned money. [2:26]
  • To have a business, you have to be able to provide value to people. [2:49]
  • Get started now so you can start doing the reps. [3:12]
  • Don’t start a business like me: two mortgages, five kids, no financial cushion. [3:22]
  • Learning the sales pipeline is critical: You have to learn how hard it is to get and keep customers. [3:57]
  • It takes 1,000 days to feel like you’re not underwater when starting a business. [4:10]
  • #2 thing I wish I was told before starting a business. [4:51]
  • Never underestimate how nasty people can be when money is involved. [4:55]
  • Even professing Christians can have terrible behavior when money is involved. [5:05]
  • If you start a partnership, it’s important to understand the character and motivation of the person you’re working with. [5:34]
  • A good question to ask if you start a partnership. [5:48]
  • Setting up an exit strategy for a partnership at the beginning. [6:54]
  • Recommendation to get an attorney who can advise you on how to structure your partnership. [7:20]
  • #3 thing I wish I was told before starting a business. [7:25]
  • My first big job in construction put me in a bind because I did not have a clear contract in place. [8:14]
  • It’s important to make clients sign for everything. [8:45]
  • Looking back, having a clear contract would’ve solved help me avoid lawsuits. [9:34]
  • How I set up my construction jobs so I don’t pay for supplies or subcontractors out of pocket. [9:51]
  • How I protect myself if I have to pay for labor or supplies out of pocket. [10:59]
  • If sales and pricing intimidate you, the only way to gain confidence that you are worth it has to do it a bunch. [11:14]
  • You can’t pitch big jobs unless you’ve done small ones to get the reps in. [12:06]
  • Lessons learned recap. [13:27]
  • Building a business is hard work, but it’s worth it. [13:46]
  • When you look back on your first thousand days you can see the value that you’ve delivered and the projects that you completed [14:34]
  • Encouragement to start getting your hard-knocks MBA. [15:09]

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