The Critic

The Critic by Eric Corl, Review Complaint

In a recent Medium post, I wrote about the climate of entrepreneurship and the very present critic. Access to profiteer websites, acting as a soapbox, makes it easier than ever to break a small business. I have seen entrepreneurs sell their companies because they simply don’t want to deal with the peanut gallery anymore.

I wasn’t raised by parents that saw the world in black and white. Learn more about my story here. As an adult, I am grateful for that because I don’t either. I have come to realize that I approach each situation differently because of knowing that there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ answer. You do what you can with what you have.

Things need to be accomplished. Period.

There are better and worse ways of doing things. Some that are more and less efficient. Some that heed the results you want and some that don’t. But that’s ok.

Enter the Monday morning quarterback. Defined as: Someone who criticizes others after something has happened by saying that they should have dealt with it differently, although the people involved could not have known what would happen.

Proudly standing on their soapbox, the critic plays Monday morning quarterback. Why should their opinion hold any weight? It shouldn’t. They weren’t there during your past lessons and they won’t be there to help you in the future…

Being an entrepreneur takes MORE. More mental, physical, emotional, financial and every other ‘-ial‘ than 99% of the population is willing to give. Thinking outside of the proverbial box is what got you to entrepreneurship in the first place. When you are paving the way for something new and never seen before, not even you know what lies ahead. And certainly not the critic.

No one, and I truly mean NO ONE, knows the journey you’ve been on with your business. Simply because they haven’t built what you have. They haven’t learned the most important things that you have… what doesn’t work.

The errors, inefficiencies, lack of results and self-admitted mistakes… they hurt. But they are YOURS.

Drown out the critics and keep cranking.

10 Tips to Reduce Burnout

Burnout is a real and extinguishing force you can face as a high performer. As a veteran entrepreneur, it's something I've dealt with a few times in my career. Here are ten ways you can dramatically reduce your chances of burnout and will help you get back to "normal" quickly if you're currently in the burnout lull.

  1. Exercise - Exercising is one of the most powerful ways to prevent and overcome burnout. The downside? You usually don't feel like doing it when you're in the burnout lull. Start by signing up for a gym membership and getting an accountability partner. Any exercise is better than none, and while a rigorous workout is best, even a 20 minute walk a day can help you beat burnout.

  2. Drink Lots of Water - Our bodies are made up of more than 70% water. If you're tired, hydration is more than likely one of the factors at play. The first thing you drink when you wake up in the morning and before you go to bed should be a large glass of water.

  3. Practice Gratitude - Ideally during exercise, go through your mind about all of the things you are grateful for. Having a hard time? Start with the fact that you're alive. That you can see, feel, touch, etc. It is amazingly effective and has been shown to have tremendous psychological benefits.

  4. Socialize - The last thing you should do when you are facing or in burnout is to isolate. It's not a mentally healthy path. Socializing can boost your physical, mental, and emotional health. Restricted by your location to visit with family and friends? Pick up the phone or facetime at least once a day to build your relationships. It will boost your life and those you connect with.

  5. Practice Mindfulness - Take small breaks throughout the day to be mindful of how you are feeling. It's being fully conscious of how you are feeling mentally and physically, and not just letting the day run you. Many people use this as a form of therapy. For some, this is saying a prayer. For others, it's quietly thinking while walking.

  6. Create a Consistent Schedule - Often times when I talk to high performers who face burnout, their schedules involve late nights and inconsistent schedules. Get a schedule that consistently works for you. Create small consistencies to give your day shape and structure. It can be as simple as the first few things you do in the day such as getting coffee, reading, and exercising. It will help create a foundation for you to build from and provide consistency in the midst of chaos.

  7. Get 8 Hours of Sleep - Sleep is critical to how our bodies and minds function over the long run. Yes, there are people that can sleep only 4 hours a night. Unless you are fully optimized both mentally and physically, it's a recipe for disaster. Sleep deficiency can lead to a host of mental and physical issues in the long run.

  8. Eat Well - We put premium gasoline in our cars to help them run their best and increase longevity, yet we often settle for less than premium fuel in our bodies. Eat clean, healthy foods, and you'll see a boost in your mental and physical performance.

  9. Take Time to Rest - Working 7 days a week for 18 hour days can only last so long. Take time to rest at least one day a week. On your off day/s, try to spend time with friends and family, and doing something you thoroughly enjoy. It lets your mental tank refuel.

  10. Believe In Yourself - Work on building belief in yourself. That way, even when you face obstacles, you'll have the confidence that you'll be able to get through it. Challenges, burnout, and life events are bound to happen. How you react to it is what matters, and you have within you the power to get through it and past it.

Eric Corl is a business owner and nationally recognized entrepreneur based out of Columbus, Ohio.

 

Small Business Startup Statistics

Startup statistics. Some people will sigh and think, “that doesn’t apply to me”. However, I would say that if you are thinking about launching a new business, it’s very important to understand the statistics of starting a small business.

In general, most new businesses will fail. If you think that can’t possibly happen to you, you need to strongly consider the possibility that it could. Then do everything you can to avoid it. According to Inc.com, only 4 out of 100 businesses survive past 10 years.

The team at Small Business Trends put together a great list of startup statistics here – https://smallbiztrends.com/2019/03/startup-statistics-small-business.html

Out of all the businesses started in 2014, here are survival stats:

  • 80% made it to the second year (2015);
  • 70% made it to the third year (2016);
  • 62% made it to the fourth year (2017);
  • 56% made it to the fifth year (2018).

The #1 reason startups fail? No market need/demand. Solve a REAL problem, and you can drastically reduce that as a potential reason for your startup failure. Don’t worry, there are plenty of others to look out for……

Startup Failure Statistics

  • According to the article, here are the top 10 reasons startups fail:
    • No market need: 42 percent;
    • Ran out of cash: 29 percent;
    • Not the right team: 23 percent;
    • Got outcompeted: 19 percent;
    • Pricing / Cost issues: 18 percent;
    • User un-friendly product: 17 percent;
    • Product without a business model: 17 percent;
    • Poor marketing: 14 percent;
    • Ignore customers: 14 percent; and
    • Product mistimed: 13 percent.

On Startup Funding:

According to the stats, a full 1/3rd of business owners start with less than $5,000 and 58% got started with less than 58%.

Sources of Collective Startup Funds:

The largest source of startup funds didn’t come from investors, or banks, it came from good old savings. The vast majority of people starting a business (77%) use personal funds as a portion or all of their startup funds.

  • Personal funds 77%
  • Bank loan 34%
  • Borrowing from family/friends 16%
  • Other funding 11%
  • Donations from family/friends 9%
  • Online lender 4%
  • Angel investor 3%
  • Venture capital 3%
  • Crowdfunding 2%

Gender Startup Statistics:

Male: 73%
Female: 25%

It is great to see the number of female founders rising as some of the best entrepreneurs I work with are females. They tend to be harder working, more detail oriented, and more focused on the long game.

Age Startup Statistics:

According to the article, 53% of those that start businesses are between 50 and 69 years old. Proof that you’re never too old to start.

I hope you find these statistics as educational as I did. I will continue to update this data as I come across more.

Best,
Eric Corl

Why I Became an Entrepreneur

I grew up in an a family business. My dad was an entrepreneur and my mom supported him through each step. That meant learning how business worked at a young age. It is a topic of family discussion at the dinner table. When the business is growing, it’s a part of your weekends. It’s your summer job. It becomes ingrained in you. These are the roots of my entrepreneurial journey.

For five years , I worked as much as I could for my family’s business and mowed 3-4 yards per week, essentially running a micro business and cutting my teeth with pricing, recurring contracts, and customer satisfaction.

However, when I was 16 years old, I was on a fast track to becoming a doctor. I had straight A’s, I had been fascinated by medicine from a young age. I had scoped out the colleges I wanted to go to, and dreamed of being an orthopedic surgeon. That was, until I started meeting several who were not happy, were not fulfilled, and were all getting into business ventures.

Around that time, that I received my first copy of the book, “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki. The book changed my mindset. I stopped thinking about the impact I could make as an individual and started thinking about creating an impact with systems.

It’s my belief that entrepreneurship is the Archimedes lever. Becoming an entrepreneur allows you to achieve more than you would ever be able to as an individual.

It was that realization that put me on my path to filing my first LLC at 18 years old prior to going to Ohio State University where I would get into the world of startups.