It seems easy doesn’t it looking at the likes of Sir Richard Branson, Michelle Mone and many high profile and inspiring individuals who make business seem like a walk in the park.. but what does it really take to get to a position where you can choose what, when and how you do something and even when you don’t need to….?
The laptop lifestyle or one where you choose if and when to work seems to be the ideal of many… but is it really 1. what people want and 2. within their grasp?
Sir Richard seems to take on more and more projects that carry the Virgin name and some fly others fail.. as is the way in business – even serial entrepreneurs cannot make EVERY business profitable… but he doesn’t seem to take life any slower than the heady days of starting business from a public payphone and a back room boardroom. So for him the thrill is not in the money… although he has had some hairy occasions in his journey… if your motivation is money that may not fair well for you. There is nothing wrong with wanting, or in fact needing, to earn a certain amount of money but it should not be the only reason why you get started.
IF your driving desire is money but you don’t have the right product, in the right place at the right time… you could find yourself very frustrated and making the wrong decisions or cutting corners to make money. This is not building great foundations of a business. People are far more picky now and can find others doing what you do, possibly at less money. If you offer a great product or service that people want or need AND they have a good time dealing with you.. they will come back AND recommend you… if they think they have been short changed they will probably take to various on-line channels and tell even more people of their dissatisfaction… so not only have you cut corners and given a sub standard product or experience… you also have negative feedback to deal with – is your skin hard enough to handle that?
Your WHY has to be strong enough to get you working out of hours if you are starting out as a 5-9 business (that’s outside your 9 – 5 job) and to weather the let downs, lack of time off and the effort you put in to grow – for what may seem like little reward!
Most entrepreneurs just do it.. they don’t plan to the nth degree what, where, when, why and who.. they do have a great idea and go for it… sometimes it will come off – others it doesn’t – BUT they do have several things… complete BELIEF in what they are doing and WHY it will work and they have a PASSION that will vanquish all the what ifs that stop so many taking the leap. Without passion you may as well stay working for someone else and help them create their dreams as yours will be little more than wisps in the air.
There are many things can get in the way of you doing something in your business… and we all have days where cleaning the desk is far more important than filing a tax return or dealing with an issue that has been left over from last week… the best way to deal with them is to do them first and even better – get up half and hour earlier to do it – so when you start finding all those things that are much more important you actually bite the bullet and do it! make sure ALL your nasty tasks get prime billing and your day gets much easier… if you can’t handle the bad with the good you could be in trouble…
Plan your day or it will run away with you and nothing happens for you to grow your business with. If it isn’t growing it will stagnate and you will have a much harder job keeping going. Do you have the resilience to keep going if nothing seems to be working? How long do you give it before you call it a day? How will you measure what is working for you and what it will take to make it happen?
These are questions many people ask themselves every day.. many will keep going.. others will give up at the first hurdle or even on the way to it… something like needing business cards/brochures/product whatever it is BEFORE they get started talking to people. Really? Is that you? Just start talking to people and see what happens. Ask for help and you may be amazed…
An actor who followed in the footsteps of Charlie Chaplin and Orson Wells as the third person to be nominated for 2 Academy Awards for the same film had a hard start in life and an incident at birth gave him is now trademark looks. he was a desperate jobbing actor who got away with dabbling in the porn industry before he got his break with a screenplay he had been inspired to write. It took some time to get taken seriously and find someone to believe not only in his work but also in his ability to play the lead… the desperation that lead to the roles many would never have been able to shake off and the myriad low paid jobs he undertook until he did didn’t stop him believing in himself.. even 6 figure offer for his screenplay for someone else to play the lead didn’t stop him. Finally it happened and so started the journey of Rocky and Sly Stallone. Could you have turned down the offer and followed your belief?
Without knowing WHAT you want to achieve will be almost impossible to see if you are moving forward… add little goals that are possible and in 2 or 3 months see where you started and where you are now and by the end of a year you journey will be a very different place than treading water in the middle of a huge ocean.
To succeed you need to be resiliant, cheerful, hard working, positive thinking and have the skin of a rhino as well as have some great ideas and/or products that people want or need regularly and be organised… you also need a very good reason to do something (even when it isn’t working how you would like it to) and love it… still think you can be an entrepreneur? Good – then forget all of that and just go and do it! Ignore the doubters.. they are just jealous of your trying!
Written by Amanda Hill of The Social Media Cafe | Online since 1992