30 harsh realities about being in business

Whether you have been in business for a number of years, or are relatively new to business, you have probably come to appreciate the realities of business.

When you first started out in business you likely had dreams of changing the world, enjoying flexibility and freedom and yet you may have found yourself soon accepting that being in business is not a walk in the park.

Below is my list of 30 harsh realities of being in business. I encourage you to pause and consider if any of these resonate with you, and if so, ask yourself which changes you will implement, or actions you will take to acknowledge those points.


  1. The buck stops with you.
  2. There is always a better way to do something.
  3. Businesses should run on systems and people should run the systems.
  4. Having a consistent profitable pricing system is fundamental to your growth and survival.
  5. Great technology will not correct bad process.
  6. Selling is an exchange of value. If you don’t sell, you can’t add value.
  7. If you discount your prices, or give something away for free, you are telling your customers that you do not value your product or service. How do you expect them to?
  8. If you compete on price you will eventually lose to the bigger companies with deeper pockets.
  9. Your customers do not care about you. Your customers only care about what you can do for them.
  10. Being small doesn’t mean you can’t provide more value than someone who is big. Being small small means you can adapt swiftly and easily to the changing and individualised needs of your customers.
  11. Being new doesn’t mean you can’t provide more value than someone who’s been around a long time. Being new means you can offer a different approach relevant to your customer demands.
  12. You are far better employing someone with a good culture fit and training them, than employing an expert who doesn’t suit your culture.
  13. You only ever have one of two problems, a systems problem or a people problem.
  14. Your staff will be more motivated by their personal goals than by your business goals 15. Just because you’ve always done something that way, is not a good enough reason to keep doing it the same way.
  15. The experience of a poor quality product or service will be remembered long after the delight of a cheap price is forgotten.
  16. If the experience you provide is poor, you will lose to someone’s whose isn’t.
  17. If you’re not using video as a communication channel to prospects and clients, you need to start.
  18. The only 2 questions to ask yourself are: “Will this help me to serve my clients to a higher level and have a greater impact on their business?” And “Will this help us to grow our revenue and our profits?” Everything else is a distraction.
  19. Taking decisive action is the only force that moves a business forward.
  20. Mistakes are opportunities to learn and improve.
  21. Every problem has a solution.
  22. You have limited time and resources to run your business. Make sure you utilise them appropriately. As a guide, 80% of time in the business and 20% of time growing and improving the business.
  23. Persistence and perseverance are key virtues to hold. Nobody created a successful business by quitting.
  24. There is no one true definition of success. Success is in the eye of the beholder and depends upon your own individual goals and aspirations.
  25. Recreating the wheel wastes time, energy and money. Learn from those around you who have already forged the path.
  26. Knowledge isn’t power. Action is.
  27. You can’t continue to do the same thing over and over and expect different results in your business. If something is not working, change it.
  28. Turnover is not a measure of business success. Profit is.
  29. Social Media Likes and Followers is not a measure of business success. Profit is.
  30. Profit is not an event at the end of the year. Profit is something you work consistently towards with each business decision and action.


Have I missed any, or are there some you don’t agree with?

Share your thoughts below.