15. It usually takes years – don’t merely accept that, welcome it and love what time brings.  


Building a good, solid business is usually not quick. It takes time to learn what works and what doesn't and to decide what to focus on, what to build and what to drop. Not all ideas will take off and you won't be able to see all the good opportunities and possibilities at the very beginning. A great business tends to grow step by step - and sometimes it can feel like two steps forward and one back.

I am an impatient person and in the past I've found this frustrating. I came to Prague seven years ago. Alex and I began working together six years ago and it really took four years before we were taking out more than we were putting in - simply in hard financial terms quite apart from time. That was a stressful period at times when I kept saying, "Next year we'll be in profit," and in fact it took three of those "next years".

But I'm glad now that it did take that time. I look back and I laugh at some of the ideas we had then, but I'm also amazed by how many things did come to fruition - eventually. Because it took time, we now have a better business - financially, organisationally and maybe, most important of all, in terms of doing what we love, rather than being forced to make compromises.

If you are just starting out, try to begin with at least enough money in the bank (or a part-time job) to survive for some years, not just months. Particularly at the moment. If you haven't enough, then seriously (seriously) consider doing what I did - which is to move to a cheaper place to live to buy yourself time. Time is precious, you may have to trade off some other things in order to get the time you and your business need.

If you are already running your own enterprise, try not to rush it unless you really need to. Take some time to experiment, to dream up new products, to take a few risks. Also, simply, take some time to learn where you can - and want to - take your business.

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