According to its website, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is an independent agency of the federal government that “helps Americans start, build and grow businesses.”

It’s true that you can go to the SBA and they will tell you how to start and run a business, how to get all the necessary licenses and permits, how to keep your records and pay your taxes, and so on. But they’re also going to tell you that you need all of your ducks in a row, your business plan completed, checked and double-checked, and absolutely everything just right before you open your doors. So if you have enough cash to survive a year or so before you can start making money, that might work for you.

I’ve heard stories of the SBA telling people it can take a year to get a business started. It took me a couple of months of research and planning, and then only one day—the day I ran my first advertisement—to get JK Harris & Company going.
Planning and preparing is important, but don’t spend so much time planning and preparing that you never get around to taking action. When you’re getting started, don’t worry too much about aiming, just shoot the gun and then look to see if you hit anything. Jump into the deep end of the pool and don’t worry about whether or not you can swim—if you have to, you can let yourself sink to the bottom, the push off to reach the surface. Yes, you need to be prepared. But preparation won’t get you anywhere if you fail to act.

Most important, get your advice from people who have done what you want to do. Don’t take financial advice from poor people and don’t take business advice from people who are not entrepreneurs. They may mean well, but they don’t have the experience you need.

The exception to that, of course, is advice on legal, accounting, and tax issues—but your advisors in those areas should be professionals who understand and think like entrepreneurs. They should be telling you how you can accomplish your goals, not why you can’t.

Keep in mind that all successful people will have experienced failure at one time or another—and probably multiple times. Learn from their failures. If they made mistakes, figure out what they did wrong and don’t repeat it. If it was just circumstances that couldn’t be overcome, study what they did so you can make better decisions if you are ever faced with a similar situation.

Most entrepreneurs love to share what they know. Take advantage of that. Knowing how other winners have done things right and what they’ve done wrong has helped me immeasurably over the years. Let it help you, as well.

Author's Bio: 

JK Harris is the founder of Flashpoints Consulting, LLC, ( and of JK Harris & Company (, the nation’s largest tax resolution firm. He is the author of Flashpoint: Seven Core Strategies for Rapid-Fire Business Growth, a popular and respected speaker, as well as a successful business consultant advising mid to large-sized businesses around the world. For a free subscription to Flashpoints newsletter plus a free copy of JK Harris’ ebook, The Mindset of High Achievers, visit

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