Today, Joe Saul-Sehy from Stacking Benjamins fame shares the some truths about business ownership with us, and shares what people often don’t know about the work that goes into owning your own business.
Tell us a bit about yourself and your business.
My name is Joe Saul-Sehy. I can talk about a number of small businesses, but my blog and podcast, Stacking Benjamins, was born because I have expertise in the field of financial planning and love to talk all things money. I was/have been a financial advisor for 16 years, a blogger for five years, a podcaster for three years, and a dad for 19 years.
Why did you want to own your own business?
Since college I’ve owned my own businesses. I’ve found that great bosses are hard to come by. I’ve always struggled with trying to impress my boss and my customer, because when I worked for “the man” my boss often wanted different things from me than the customer. By owning my own business I could tie my paycheck directly to inputs: if I do things my customer likes they pay me more. If I don’t….I get paid less.
When did you start the business?
Stacking Benjamins started just under 2 years ago.
What training/experience did you have in your business field before you started?
I didn’t have enough experience blogging or podcasting, but I’d been a radio guest, radio host, newspaper interviewee, and television regular contributor.
What challenges did you face when starting up your business?
My goals for Stacking Benjamins are much bigger than my two hands can create. I struggle with my desire to only work with money that SB earns to create growth. Currently, I’m thinking about finding investors to ramp up more quickly.
How long did you have to run the business before you saw a profit?
We’ve yet to turn a profit.
How did the business startup affect your marriage/family?
Because this is my third business, and my first one wasn’t successful for about seven years before becoming wildly successful, Cheryl is patient. I remember with my first business, though, that I really had to continually keep her in the loop on where the business was vs. what I’d expected. Things change fast and it takes a spouse with an iron will to deal with the constant upheaval of a new business.
What’s the best thing entrepreneurship has done for you?
It’s allowed me to build each brand to be exactly what I want. It’s allowed me to learn negotiation, communication, the importance of a sense of humor and the ability to balance long term results with short term needs.
What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned about entrepreneurship along the way?
I’m not the smartest guy in the room. I don’t have to reinvent every wheel. Learn from the best if you want to be the best. Find like-minded people to avoid burnout.
What advice do you have for those considering entrepreneurship?
This isn’t a 9-5 job. You don’t put it down at the end of the day. I think too many people think “set your own hours” means “rarely work.” What it really means is, “If I work really hard I’ll find awesome results, and if I don’t work, I won’t get paid.”
To learn more about Joe and his blog, or to listen to the wildly popular Stacking Benjamins podcast, simply click here.