Thinking about going out on your own and starting a new business? Be inspired by this Red Bull Stratos highlight video of Felix Baumgartner’s jump to the New Mexico desert floor from 128,000 feet up.

Love it. I think there is some inspiration, as well as lessons to be learned, for small business startups:

Reward and risk are related

The Austrian daredevil undertook serious personal risk to smash a 52 year standing world record for highest jump. He risked….his life.

When you start your own business, you undertake risk too. You risk significant elements of your life: your previous job and career path…and the stability and predictability that go with it. The opportunity cost can be high. You often risk your personal savings. Your family and closest friends will see less of you for awhile and that costs. You undertake these risks for the sake of obtaining a financial and/or lifestyle reward.

It takes a team

Red Bull, the drink company, sponsored the space jump, and had been working towards this event with Mr. Baumgartner for several years. Red Bull provided the funding, the technology, the planning, the logistics, the experts…it cost a lot. No way Mr. Baumgartner could have pulled this off on his own.

When you start your own business, even if you are going solo, you need a team to pull it off. Reason? Successful entrepreneurs can’t do it all. If you are good at marketing, chances are you’re not so great at keeping the books, and vice versa. (And by the way, a TON of new business fail because they don’t keep good books.)

In my opinion, a successful start up must have people wearing these hats or more:

* Accountant / bookkeeper
* Web designer
* Marketing pro
* Office manager / administrator
* Customer service rep
* Banking / finance
* Producers — people who provide the goods or services you sell

If you are starting up a new business, there’s a good chance you are a producer. How many of the other hats can you wear well? You can’t wear all of them, right?

Hire or contract out for the rest. Build a great team before you launch. Then you’ll get great results from the start. (This I did not do, see below.)

Overcome fear

In an extended video I watched of the space jump, Felix Baumgartner opens the capsule door, swings his legs out, and stands up on the little platform outside. Someone from earth says, “Felix, step out a little further.” Ha! It reminded me of going up on the high dive at the neighborhood pool when I was a kid…times a kazillion! Step out a little further, to the edge of space, right. Cold chills.

But Baumgartner did. He immediately inched out on the platform, saluted, and hopped over the edge, with the big curvy blue earth under him. After all his planning and preparation, he did not hesitate when the time came to execute the plan. There’s your lesson.

Over twenty years ago, I left behind the comfort and security of writing code for a major player in the accounting software world. It cost me. It took a couple of years to figure out the hats and this was almost a fatal error. Then the reward came. It was never guaranteed, of course.

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Companions in Adventure
I Didn’t Get the Job at IBM. Cool.

The risk and reward were commensurate. As they always are.

How can you save money on your IT budget? One way is to downgrade from Enterprise to QuickBooks Pro or Premier.

Who can do that? Anyone who has 13,000 or fewer total list names (customers, vendors, accounts, etc.) The actual limit in Pro/Premier is 14,500, but you’ll want to retain some room to grow those lists. You can press the F2 key in QuickBooks to see how many total names your company has. You’ll also want to downgrade only if your total number of users fits with the capacities of the Pro or Premier editions. Pro supports up to three simultaneous users, and Premier supports up to five.

RELATED: Are You Pushing the 14,500 Limit in QuickBooks?

What do users say who’ve had their data converted in this way?

Great insights in the conversion of a HUGE database from Enterprise to Pro.  Conversion worked with no problems — highly, highly satisfied.”
– Tim Garrison, The Controllership Group

“I was very impressed with the turnaround time for this. I also asked around and had others confirm that the price is a good one, especially for the quick turnaround we received.  I have used the new version for a month or two now, and all of the information appears to have been successfully brought over.”
– Angel Vail, Christadora

Data migrated from QuickBooks Enterprise to Pro with 100% accuracy. Was able to immediately use the database. And this after tech support warned me that it could not be done!” — Steve Rollins

Interested in learning more about downgrading from QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions to QuickBooks Pro or QuickBooks Premier editions? Get details.

There’s always a little excitement when you install your new version of QuickBooks. You’re eager to see what the new interface looks like, and check out some of the new reports and features. So if your data won’t upgrade, eagerness can turn into frustration.

Let’s back up a step. Normally, QuickBooks is designed to automatically convert your file to the new version simply by opening the file. Let’s say that you have been running QuickBooks Premier 2012 and you now install QuickBooks Premier 2013. Your data will automatically be updated to 2013 format just by opening your company data in the new version. The software will make you create a backup and tell you that your data will be irretrievably converted to 2013 format (you can’t go back). With your approval, QuickBooks converts your file to version 2013, and you’re good to go. That is the normal user experience.

But what if that doesn’t work?

RELATED: Case Study/Interview: QuickBooks Won’t Verify or Rebuild

Sometimes QuickBooks doesn’t encounter problems with a company file until it tries to upgrade it to a newer version. Some kinds of data problems don’t get exposed until all the information in the file has to be touched, which is what happens when you upgrade your file. If there is just one bad record buried down in the file, it can throw a wrench in the file upgrade process.

Only a small percentage of upgrading users encounter this. If it does happen to you, your file can be repaired and upgraded in almost all instances, and overnight turnaround is available. Here’s a comment from someone who experienced this:

We had a client with a corrupted QuickBooks file that wouldn’t upgrade to QuickBooks 2012 and had some other issues. We uploaded the file and a few days later had a working file. This is a great service when (not if) there are problems with QuickBooks data files.” — Scott Scharf, Catching Clouds LLC

Have you ever had any difficulty upgrading your file to a newer version? Tell your story.