Taking yourself and your business from a concept to success is a simple matter of rubbing the magic lamp and calling up the favors of the Start-Up Genie. NOT! Succeeding as an entrepreneur takes some old-school hard work and persistence.
While all successful entrepreneurs are unique most share similar characteristics:
- Love what you do. This is an ALL IN concept. Passion is key to keeping your business strategy moving forward and not becoming stagnant.
- Take baby steps. Just like your mom said: Look before you Leap! Jumping in is rarely a smart first step. Being cognizant of Risk Management is essential.
- Learn from others. A successful entrepreneur almost has always worked in their field of choice before striking out on their own. If you’re going into a new area – look for a mentor, actually more than one, to be available to guide you through the rough patches and to appreciate your achievements, too!
- Learn how to self-promote. No, it doesn’t make you an ego-maniac to be a self-promoting genius. Confidence and a good elevator speech can take a casual conversation to a meeting to a sale painlessly. People do business with people they like and can relate to at the first contact. As the founder you are the Face of your enterprise. Don’t be afraid to ask for business, but always keep the needs of the client in the forefront of your mind, conversations and actions.
- Constantly take action. Entrepreneurs are the energizer bunnies of the business world, we’re the real movers and shakers. Don’t get lost in the weeds of analysis paralysis! . There is no place for procrastination in a startup. It’s a 24/7, no-vacation-or-sick-days kind of job that demands constant forward momentum.
- Make a plan. Review the plan on a regular schedule (daily in the beginning, weekly, monthly then on to quarterly) A successful business plan does not have to be a dusty, dense tome. A 10-page plan is digestible yet long enough to include everything you need to start or to share with a potential investor/lender/partner.
- Build a reputation. We live and die on our good name and reputation. Actions will speak loudly so make sure you’re using your time wisely. If you’re going to volunteer be sure that you show up and do what you agreed to do. According to Brandi Bennett at HostGator.com, maintaining a blog on a well-hosted website, and volunteering your time and skills, shows instead of tells the community that you’re sincere, and thereby builds expertise and trust.
- It’s never too late to start. Many successful entrepreneurs started later in life. J. K. Rowling (Harry Potter author), Julia Child (chef), and Sam Walton (Wal-Mart) all started their wildly successful brands after they were comfortably along in their lives. Having the experience that comes with age can give you a unique outlook on your business and the stamina to take it to the TOP!
- Build your “A team”. Having a team on board, a group of mentors and the ability to call upon other professionals is invaluable in laying the groundwork for your company to thrive. Don’t look for YES, look for innovation, challenges and the spark of creativity.
- Be mindful of your attitude. YOUR attitude is what sets the tone every day. Success largely depends on “owning” your mistakes and accepting blame in stride, seeking solutions and implementing change. Owning up to and facing challenges head-on is what true Leadership is all about.
Lastly, starting a business can wreak havoc on your health and personal life. YOU have to survive to thrive – take care of yourself mentally and physically or you’ll be useless to everyone.
Watch this space for more valuable information – feel free to contact me directly for coaching or advice.
I wish you good luck and much success as an entrepreneur!
Upcoming blog post: Finding the Best Motivational Speakers!