Loop Free Consulting, my first company, has been in business roughly one year. It's been an incredible ride and deeply satisfying as the business is both profitable and growing faster than I can keep up. It's a good problem to have, but it was not without its challenges.

For some completely ridiculous reason, I thought it necessary to become a classic business administrator. I convinced myself that I needed a balance sheet, income statement, and cash flow statement. I needed a website, logo, business cards, and maybe even a company vehicle. I'm grateful that a friend and fellow business owner provided some extraordinary wisdom: "Focus on your business, not the administration. Keep it simple." He went on to explain his intuitive techniques for accounting, wages, taxes, and more. I am eternally grateful for all the effort (that is, cost) that he prevented.

On the topic of business organization, I formed a sole proprietorship using a "doing business as" or "trade name". It was easy and cheap to setup. It gives me the flexibility to move money freely between personal and business accounts. I can always reorganize if there is a demand for it, but I saw little reason to introduce complexity from the beginning. Again, more great advice from my friend with years running a company.

When trying to grow sales, I dangerously underestimated the difficulty of closing deals with certain prospects. One current-day customer delivers a very high-quality product. This carried a steep audio/video production learning curve. They also required a high-stakes audition. I figured they would just hire me because I'm so great. I was stupid enough to start building content for them before they even replied to me. I should have known better. The toll of hubris weighed heavily on me as I scrapped weeks of work.

I also took third-hand advice about compensation regarding opportunities with another customer. I was told I could make serious money just by doing a "quick bootcamp", so I eagerly submitted multiple proposals for one-day courses on hot topics. All were accepted and I delivered sold-out, top-rated training. The money received was about one fourth what I forecasted. Due to my ignorance alone, I was not aware that these "quick bootcamps" were actually four days long! I don't regret it, but I realized that there are no shortcuts in business.

Now that I'm a bit older and wiser, I am learning that becoming a prudent business person isn't about spreadsheets, titles, or tax breaks. Never assume you are bigger than you are and stay focused on delivering value.

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