Creative Commons License photo credit: Legozilla

I’ve worked with many people over the years who started out unsure of themselves in their new business. “But, I don’t know anything about accounting,” they would practically wail in my office. My answer was usually something that boiled down to “So what?”

That’s right, knowing about accounting (or how to fix a copy machine or the airspeed of an unladen swallow) has nothing to do with your ultimate success as a business owner.

I believe there are two things that do matter – a lot.


You have to know the thing you’re in business for. If you make one-of-a-kind art jewelry, you must know how to design and craft your wares; if you paint decorative murals, you should know how to layout and paint the scene; if you create heirloom stitchery, you have to know how to thread and use a needle. In other words, you have to know your business, be an expert even. Makes sense, right?


Don’t panic – you don’t have to be uber organized to the point where your shoes are labeled and the pantry has an alphabetized directory. You do need to be organized enough that you can find important papers like last year’s tax return with a reasonable search. Reasonable includes having looked in two file folders and a box under the bed before it turns up. The point is that you keep what you need and can find it even if there’s room for improvement in your system.

Two things – just two, that’s all it takes to be qualified to start your new business. Everything else you can learn or pay someone else to do (sort of like paying a plumber instead of fixing your own pipes). So, I now pronounce you fully qualified to be a business owner.

Realize your strength is in your unique expertise and don’t feel that you have to know all about everything else. You don’t know a SEP from a SIMPLE or what that button with the fireworks icon on the copy machine does?  So what? You know what you need, now get going!

How does this make you feel? Tell me, in the comments or a note, what great stuff you know.