If you are a regular reader of my Blog; in which case thank you, you may have realised that I’ve been around “business” virtually all my life. I grew up in a home where both parents ran businesses, created businesses and made mistakes in businesses. It was a great education to see all this, but only do I achieve an advantage from this if I leverage its full potential and if I share it.
I hope you will understand that this does not mean I think; I know it all, or I’ve seen it all. Far from it, but I have seen quite a lot. I seek to share some of that experience with others in the hope they too will learn from the sharing; I do this in many ways including this Blog.
Here are a few things that I hope you may get a benefit from, things I have come to realize, all be it perhaps a bit too late in some cases!
Doing it all alone?
No one knows it all; no one is perfect; no one has the skill(s) to do everything. What we need to recognize is what it is that we bring to the table, what our speciality is. Once we have understood this we can work out what we need to surround ourselves with.
For example if your strength is inventing, but you don’t want, or like, to sell then you need to find person who loves to sell and has that as their special talent.
You can succeed by forcing yourself to do things that you truly do not enjoy and are not especially good at; many of the top business people of today have done just that, but if you can build a team of complimentary specialisms it can be a much smoother ride.
Find your true motivation.
I have a mantra, “With Passion and Action you can make things happen”. If you are not passionately in love with your business, its product(s) or service(s) then you will find success far harder to achieve.
Many famous entrepreneurs, when they tell how they built their organizations, have at the core of their story, really loving what they are doing.
Money, financial reward, is important, primarily because most companies are for-profit organizations, but it will often take a long time to come, with many days and nights on a knife edge. If you don’t truly enjoy your “business” then you will struggle to convince yourself to keep going, to dig deeper and find that extra energy and enthusiasm in these dark days.
You can only do something that you don’t really love for so long before it becomes a chore and you start to give up
I have learned from networking, listening to self-improvement CD’s, webinars and information events that one of the best ways to spot what you need to do to succeed is to learn from others.
To have a real, or virtual team of mentors, from whose experiences and existing knowledge, you can draw to help you achieve success, is a huge advantage.
Learn from others and then implement those strategies and learning’s into your company. So go and find mentors who have experience and knowledge of your industry, having some from outside is a good idea as well, they will have different perceptions and be less wedded to traditional ways in your sector, thus better at questioning. If they are truly entrepreneurial of mind they will give you time out of their day to help you.
Yes you could set up a formal “board of advisers”, compensate people for their time, but if you are a start up businesses you should equally be able to tap into the entrepreneurs’ natural instinct and willingness to help out fellow business owners, as a way to give back.
If you do journey down this road, and I strongly recommend it, then be sure to show genuine appreciation and of course approach the “right people”.
Yes they must be the “right people”, as the advice you get from them will help make or break your company. Remember though it is your business and you must take the decisions and then responsibility for them.
Get involved in the community.
Tied to finding the right people when seeking mentors, is becoming involved in the relevant business community.
Who better to ask about who might be willing to support you and be the ”right” person, than other business people who have already been down that road? In addition many, many opportunities are generated through connecting with other entrepreneurs and finding out what they are up to and how you can help them.
You will pick up new business opportunities, potential joint venture partners, investment leads, media attention, ideas for productive tools to use, advice for your company, and many other resources that otherwise could take you years of trial and error to connect with.
So get along to local business networks, Chamber of Commerce events etc. The Federation of Small Business in the UK also offers great opportunities to meet fellow, like-minded business owners and entrepreneurs.
I hope this has helped you to visualise some possible opportunities for you and your business, now write them down with target dates and turn them into goals, then make them happen; remember it takes both passion and ACTION to make things happen.