Reasonable Business Expectations: Set Your Sights on Average
Books, blogs, and podcasts tend to sensationalize how much fast money can be made as an entrepreneur.
Sure, there are a few entrepreneurs who consistently make six figures and were able to do so quickly, but they are not the norm. When you are employed you don’t start at the top of the pay scale — you work your way there. It is the same with starting your own business.
The nice thing about being self-employed is that it doesn’t have to take as long as working for a company and you don’t necessarily have a pay cap. So to set your sights on average isn’t about settling or limitations, it’s about expectations.
When you look at an average income range, try to find the full scale. Find the lowest low and the highest high and see if you can find the percentage of people earning in each level. This data can save you from “the false middle” where exceptions to the rule skew the stats.
Plan to hit the middle or low-middle part of this range. Doing so will allow you to set realistic budgets, but doesn’t keep you from achieving higher.
Set realistic goals and plan accordingly. When you are intentional about finding the “true middle” and commit to the plan you have created with your team and mentor, you avoid being swept away by frustration and failure caused by unrealistic expectations.
Help your friends and family understand this, too. They are seeing the same sensational stories about the “Overnight Millionaire!” and may unconsciously expect the same from you. Share your expectations and reasons behind them. Let them in on your plan and offer insight as to how you came up with it. This will likely result in a better understanding of the space you are in, what your needs are, and they may even have some ideas you have overlooked.