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Brian Will, Serial Entrepreneur & Industry Leading Business & Sales Management Consultant

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In this blog based on the The Dropout Multi-Millionaire Podcast, we're diving deep into a crucial aspect often glossed over in the world of entrepreneurship. We're discussing why starting your own business may not be the instant ticket to wealth creation many claim it to be, and why not understanding business math could be seriously stunting your growth. Read on for a reality check on entrepreneurship and gain valuable insights to propel your business forward, including  four fundamental questions that serve as a compass for the future.

The Business Landscape: Unveiling the Business Math Realities

Running a business is undeniably challenging. Far from the glossy success stories, the harsh reality is that most businesses fail. A staggering 20% fail in the first year, 30% in the second, and over half within the first three years. Businesses in the restaurant world face an even more daunting failure rate. Today, let's demystify the challenges often overlooked in the pursuit of the entrepreneurial dream.

Key Statistics

Here are some thought-provoking statistics about businesses in America:

  • Around 5 million new businesses start every year.
  • Out of 33 million small businesses, a striking 80% have no employees.
  • The average worker in the US makes $54,000 in a year.
  • The average small business with no employees generates approximately $47,000 in gross revenue.
  • Only 40% of small businesses are profitable.
  • A mere 6% of businesses ever reach a revenue of over a million dollars a year.

The Business Math Reality Check

What do those statistics tell us? If you start a business in America, you are taking a huge risk compared to just getting a job. You only have a 40% chance of being profitable, and only a 6% chance of being profitable enough to sustain yourself and have employees.

While the common narrative glorifies entrepreneurship, it often fails to disclose these challenges. To succeed, it's essential to comprehend the business math, acknowledging the brutal truth – if you're not achieving your goals, it's likely because you don't fully grasp the math behind your business. But where do you start?

Unlocking Business Potential: The Four Fundamental Questions

Let's shift our focus to the positive – how can we level up and navigate our business landscape effectively. It starts with answering four fundamental questions:

  1. Who are you in your business, and who are you not?

Recognizing your role as an entrepreneur, manager, CEO, salesperson, or technician is crucial. Trying to be all of them is a common pitfall.

2. Why should anybody buy your product, and why from you?

Understanding your unique value proposition is key to avoiding the trap of being a commodity.

3. What are your historical core metric trends, and what do they tell you about your future?

Utilizing pattern recognition on historical metrics is essential for informed decision-making.

4. Have you built your goal proforma, and what does it look like?

Creating a goal proforma provides a roadmap for your business, ensuring your growth is strategic and not left to chance.

Embracing Outside Help for Growth

If these questions leave you puzzled, it might be time to seek help. Scaling your business and making more money is not just about hard work; and sometimes you need to bring in someone with real experience who can help you answer the four fundamental questions and use them to build a roadmap to growth and success. 

As a consultant and coach, I specialize in helping businesses grow, become more efficient, and increase profits. Check out my coaching programs here.


Starting a business is not a guaranteed shortcut to wealth. The numbers tell us that the road to success is difficult and in many cases it will actually lead to failure. However, armed with a realistic understanding of the challenges and a strategic approach to the business math, you can navigate the complexities and move towards sustained success. This is especially true if you bring in a coach or mentor who can keep you on the right track.

If you’re ready to break free from the status quo and join the ranks of the mavericks, the rebels, and the renegades who refuse to conform and instead build multi-million dollar businesses, subscribe to The Dropout Multi-Millionaire Podcast wherever you choose to listen!

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