Being an Entrepreneur: The Hardest but Best Thing You’ll Ever Do
Today’s guest started a business from literally nothing. She miraculously built it into a massive business, sold it, and then started a new business.
This is encouraging for all entrepreneurs!! Yes, you can start from nothing, grow it, sell it and start a new business!!
Please meet Meghan Toso. She worked in corporate America and 12 years ago had the opportunity to get into insurance. It wasn’t something she ever thought that she would do. She didn’t have any sales experience. When her insurance agent at the time called and thought it would be a good fit, she just chuckled. That insurance agent continued calling her every other week for two or three months until she finally agreed to go for lunch with her. It was one of the hardest, but one of the best things that she’s done so far. It allowed her to start something new.
Meghan started her own business as an independent insurance agency. It allowed her to grow as a person. She didn’t have any sales experience. It was totally outside her comfort zone, but she really liked the flexibility it gave her. She worked more than she ever did when she was in corporate America, but it gave her the flexibility to be there as her family grew.
Flexibility is a huge reason why so many people are looking for entrepreneurial opportunities, whether it’s for family or for aging parents, or whatever the case might be.
The suggestion to start her business was to come up with 200 names, send everyone a letter, and then call them. It caused her anxiety and stress. It was far out of her comfort zone, but that’s where she started. She started her business in the middle of a recession with a political science degree, no business experience, and a list of 200 names. By the time she sold it 11 years later, she had thousands of clients and policies.
There was a lot of work at the front end. She worked evenings and weekends. She attended networking groups, and community events and spoke wherever she got the opportunity. There were a lot of things she’d never done before.
There were many products she could use to help her clients and getting to know her clients and how she could best serve them with those products was her favorite part of the business.
Selling her business required some preparation. It only took her about 12 months, which is a pretty rushed timeframe. If you’re planning to sell your business, Meghan suggests giving yourself about two years. There are a lot of things you’ll need to figure out. For example, are you selling your real estate or signing over the lease of your office? Are your employees going to the new owners or are they going onto something else? Are you selling your company name? Are you selling your website? Are you selling your logo? There are so many things that a business owner owns that they don’t understand the value of, such as your website or your company name.
If you’re planning on selling your business or even thinking about it, start by going through your finances. You’ll have to give them financials, tax returns, and expenses. Being upfront and honest about what’s going on in your business and providing those details to the buyer with help to sort out the details of the sale.
As a small business owner, Meghan believes that you need to identify what your strengths are and lean into those strengths. If you have an area where that’s not your strength or you could improve, invest your money in hiring someone that has that strength and your business will explode.
There are so many hats that we wear as small business owners, if you can move that over to someone that fit’s their strength, that frees up your mental energy. You can do the thing that you’re good at and the person that you hire can do what they’re good at. Everything will just come together in a perfect storm of awesomeness.