A few years ago I was watching a documentary about business. Ever since I struck out on my own several years ago, I have become addicted to programmes on the TV such as Dragons' Den, The Apprentice and Undercover Boss. I cannot remember the name of this documentary but I can remember it was about Brits who try and succeed in business abroad.
This particular episode concerned itself with a family man who wanted to set up a large Indian restaurant in a Spanish holiday resort popular with British people. He had borrowed huge sums of money from the bank and also from family friends. He had not planned his costs very well and the money quickly started to run out.
At one point, the builders downed tools on the job because he had not been able to pay the bills. Undeterred, the intrepid entrepreneur set about tapping more family friends for money and then committed what I consider to be the greatest sin of all, he started to borrow cash using his credit cards.
All in all, he owed some £60,000 to banks, friends and the credit card companies.
All along I criticised almost every decision this guy made. The business he was setting up was hardly unique and he had risked everything in order to achieve his goals. He was also a family man with a wife and children to support which made his risk-taking seem all the more foolhardy.
I should not have judged him but judge him I did. How could he be so stupid? Can he not see that his lack of planning, poor choice of business and reckless borrowing were just going to cause heartache for him and his family?
The documentary then skipped the next six months and revisited him to see how things were going. I was fully expecting of course that he would be back in dear old Blighty working as an employee somewhere trying hard to pay back his debts. I could not have been more wrong!
Not only was his business an astonishing success, he had also paid back his debts. Let me just clarify that last point. He had paid back every single penny he had borrowed and accrued in interest to the banks, friends and credit card companies and was now able to enjoy the profits of the business with his family.
Now now, no sniggering at the back! What I am referring to here is that when you start in business, there will always be people who try and knock back your dreams and ideas. They will always look at the down side to everything you do, just like I did when I saw this guy starting his business. You see, I had missed three important points:
The lesson I take from this is to be more reluctant to knock other people's ideas when my knowledge is lacking in their domain. As the documentary ended I was greatly impressed by this person's dogged determination to succeed and this is what separates successful business-people from the rest of the world.
So if you are following your dream then as long as you know your business niche well, just keep trying and working hard until your dreams come true and ignore the knockers who try to stumble you on your way. Good luck!