Secrets to Starting a New Business

Ben Harris, owner of Numberman LLC

Ben Harris, Numberman LLC

Numberman LLC is three years old, growing, and successful. In my last post I shared what motivated me to start Numberman LLC. In this post I’m sharing some common themes and how they apply to creating and growing a business.

Fake It ’till You Make It

I really didn’t know what I was doing when I started. I didn’t have the experience of running a business or doing all types of bookkeeping. There were only two choices for me: try or quit and get a job.

Faking is more than going through the motions. It’s about positive affirmation, getting practice, and believing in the process.

Ben Harris
Numberman LLC

To try, meant go out there and act like an accountant and business owner who knows whats up. Sure, people called my BS by not hiring me. It didn’t matter. I realized I was faking it more for myself. I would only “get it” by doing. Faking is more than going through the motions. Its about positive affirmation, getting practice, and believing in the process. In time I got hired more and increased my skill set. It become very real.

Take Everything You Can Get

When you start, take all the work that comes your way.

Taking everything was a great way to learn what I can or can’t do. This then became what I will and won’t do.

Some jobs would get done first and I’d enjoy them, those are the “yups”. There were some jobs that I would drag my feet on, those may be the “nopes.” There were some that I failed on completely, “oops”.

I analyzed the common factors in the engagements and outcomes. I figured out some red and green flags and promised myself to try to pursue the latter.

Only time and work gives the experience to recognize these things. Kind of like dating, you never learn about insanity until you date a psycho.

Work on Yourself More Than You Work on Your Business

I’ve gone through plenty of personal development over the last few years. I worked harder on myself than I did in my business.

What resulted was exponential growth and success in both my personal life and business. What was hardest at the beginning, dealing with difficult interpersonal situations, is now my a favorite part of business.

I spent a good effort on understanding emotions and processing feelings that are trying to tell me something. Surprise! You may not have expected that, yeah, me neither. By working on myself I have increased the effectiveness of my product, which is me right now. I’ve added value for my clients by being a better, more authentic person who can weather the storms and sail everyone to safety.

Where to From Here?

What’s next? Well, I am still in pursuit of my CPA license. I can now sit for the exam but I am finding it hard to study each day. It will come.

At the end of September 2017, Numberman LLC is expanding, renting more space and hiring our first employee!

I still see the future of Numberman LLC as a multi location “H&R Block of bookkeeping” in Portland, a place offering walk-in bookkeeping and accounting. I see a small business incubator offering classes and no BS assistance for underserved community members who lack access to resources.

Here’s to the journey!

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