goldfish overcoming obstacles

01.28.2019

Growth  |  3 min read

Overcoming the Real Dark Side of Entrepreneurship

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Clate Mask

Why am I blogging about Small Business Success? Because I hate small business failure. I’m all too familiar with the opposite of small business success—the dark side of entrepreneurship, I call it. I’ve personally experienced the failures, the self-doubt, and the financial struggles. I’ve seen the toll business takes on the entrepreneur in friends, family members, and customers. We go into business seeking freedom, but all too often, we are totally consumed and controlled by our business. Relationships suffer, health is neglected, and any semblance of balance is lost.

At its darkest point, business ownership is an isolating experience, full of discouragement, overwhelm, personal neglect, regret, and “relationship debt.” Sometimes we see bankruptcy, divorce, and even suicide. More commonly, we see the business fail, crushing the creative spirit of the entrepreneur and depriving us of products and services that would solve problems and make the world a better place if the entrepreneur had succeeded.

I’m writing every day to help avoid small business failure because I hate it.

But I’m also writing to help small businesses experience the triumph of success. Because when small businesses succeed, the entrepreneur is a confident, creative, generous character in society, making the world a better place with her products and services that solve problems. Families are strengthened, communities are enriched and whole economies thrive. It is true that economic strength starts with small business success. I’ve seen it again and again—and so have you. The ripple effects of a successful small business are impressive and incontrovertible.

So, I’m writing to help small businesses avoid failure and enjoy success. 

I don’t know everything about SBS—that’s part of what makes small business so fun and challenging—there’s always more to learn. But, I’ve seen a lot. I’ve started my own businesses, I’ve worked in small and family businesses, and I’ve grown Infusionsoft from zero dollars to $100 million. But most of all, I have spent the last 14 years working with hundreds of thousands of small businesses, helping them succeed, watching them and learning from them.

I’ve seen what works. The SBS stages, pillars, and method are all about the journey and evolution of a business. I’ve spoken to hundreds of thousands of business owners. We’ve talked with hundreds of thousands more by phone and in person at Infusionsoft. We are actively helping tens of thousands of small businesses achieve success today. We see the trends, we see the pitfalls, and we see the success factors. From my vantage point, I see it so clearly, I can almost predict what’s going to happen to a small business by observing the leader, the market they’re in, and a few key numbers.

While I don’t know it all, I do have a lot to share. I want to help YOU achieve success in your business.

SBS Idea of the Day: Remember the toughest moment you’ve overcome as an entrepreneur. Write it down. Remember how you got through it. Remind yourself that you can overcome anything.

For more insights from Clate, check out Clate's Corner on the Infusionsoft Knowledge Center


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Infusionsoft is now Keap. That’s weird to write, but it’s also exciting.

In 2001, trying to get Infusionsoft off the ground, there were many times when I wanted to quit. I’ll never forget my wife, after two years of struggling to survive, hugging me and saying, “Keep going.”

Over the last two years, we’ve talked with thousands of small business owners to get a deeper understanding of their unique challenges in today’s market. We learned that it’s harder than ever to succeed in small business. Customers expect more. On-demand is the rule. There’s no shortage of platforms on which to complain. A failed job or two can be damaging to your business.

Keap is our signal to the world—and to ourselves—that it’s time to make it easier to succeed. We’re on a mission to simplify growth for millions of small businesses. Our new name is a nod to the tenacity of the small business owner and encompasses everything we know to be true when it comes to success: keep going, keep serving, keep growing.

Along with a new name, we’ve expanded to two products. Keap, our newest product, is smart client management software that helps service businesses progress leads to satisfied clients. Infusionsoft by Keap is powerful CRM and sales and marketing automation software for advanced business needs.

Both are designed to make it easier than ever for more small businesses to get organized so they can deliver great service and close more business.

Clate Mask signature

To your success,
Clate Mask
CEO + Co-Founder