Message from the Chair
Jerry Musselman, Chapter 206
Colorado Springs, Colorado

SCORE can assist you in starting your business, but we cannot teach you everything. As mentioned in our last newsletter, we cannot teach you about having a passion for your business or how to adjust your tolerance of risk. Those are traits that you “bring to the table.” Yet another personal characteristic must be addressed: that of your willingness to involve others in your quest to start a business. In this case, I am not talking about business experts and mentors who can assist you with your business planning; I’m talking about others who may not necessarily be involved in the day-to-day planning process but are equally important to your business. I am speaking of your friends and family.

As you progress through the various steps of creating your business plan, there will be very subtle changes to your “being.” You will more than likely be unaware of these changes, but those who are close to you—your friends and family—will notice them. These changes may include working longer hours, spending less time with family, perhaps being a bit “on edge” on occasion. Because you will be so enveloped in the process of getting the business started, you may have a tendency to separate from those who are close to you. This then often leads to discord with those who mean the most. The result is that just when you are trying to go through the rigors of starting a business, you are now having problems with your family and friends at the most inopportune time. Now you have two major issues on your plate:starting a business and trying to make amends to those around you.

There is a very simple solution. Be sure to include those friends and family in your planning process. They do not need to know all the “nuts and bolts” of your business, but they will be interested in the general plan. They may not be able to provide sound business advice (although you may be surprised), but your sharing with them will let them know what you are doing and what is going on. They will then be more able to understand the changes they observe. Speaking from experience, I can tell you that the little extra effort to involve those around you in the planning process will far outweigh the problems that arise when they don’t understand what is going on. So make your life easier by taking that simple step of involvement.