What is a BMD?
My wife and have always been big on ceremony, on ways of marking significant events in our lives. Birthdays, anniversaries, and graduations, certainly. Add to that “Nazarite” vows, a vasectomy, and rites-of-passage for our daughters.
So, when I learned about something called a BMD—a Business Maturity Date—I was intrigued.
It is truly a rite of passage. While it is a date any business owner can pick, typically three to five years out, it marks a time the business will be creating both money AND time for the owner. Think of it as a graduation from business “high school.” Is the business fully mature? Certainly not: if you meet a fully “grown-up” business owner, please introduce me!
Is there more the business can become?
Absolutely. Like our 18 year-old high school graduates, our businesses can stand on their own (sort of), but they are also prone to moving violations, calls home to mom and dad for money and the like.
How did you choose your BMD?
I set this date in honor of my late mother-in-law, Evelyn Newberry. It’s her birth date, and I would not be blessed with such a lovely and loving wife if it were not for her (and dad Carroll).
So are you retiring now?
Absolutely not! Unlike many employees and some business owners, I love what my business does and what I get to do in my business. Since I get to live out my calling—my purpose every day and often operate out of my core strengths and competencies, I cannot help but do those things. Achieving a BMD means I have started to create a business that allows me to do more of what I love to do. In the future, I intend for it to allow me to do even more.
What was the highlight of your journey?
I remember Crankset Group founder Chuck Blakeman telling me that Stage 2—when your business is first getting off the ground, losing money like crazy—is like Dickens’ The Tale of Two Cities:
It was the best of times and it was the worst of times.
It was the worst in that I (regularly) felt doubt and questioned whether this business (or, specifically, which one?) would take off. Stage 2 stretched on for too many long and difficult months (it was probably an eight month season).
One of the highlights of this journey? I get to enjoy this fall the fruit of deepening and strengthening of my family relationships seeing family members continuing to flourish and grow!
What did you do well?
I did two things well: I kept returning to “why” this business, persevering, and yet constantly tweaking and adjusting. I was focused, adaptable, and, by God’s grace, resilient. There were a number of failed initiatives along the way that were great learning experiences. I was blessed enough to be lucky, too. (Ask me sometime about some investment decisions I made in early 2008).
What was the lowest point of your journey?
I remember having to take a hard look at our bank account and set a deadline for making this business work or going and getting a job. I am thankful to see we hit the necessary revenue targets and have not looked back since!
What would you have done differently?
Listen to my wife sooner about a LOT of things.
(6 days left)
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