Throughout my coaching career I’ve had the pleasure of coaching entrepreneurs and start-ups, as well as individuals who aspire to get away from the 9-5 job and realise their dreams by going into business for themselves. However, for some, the reality of going it alone and making the transition from employee to entrepreneur is far more different than they thought.
Whilst the rewards are huge, the reality is that it takes a lot of hard work, sacrifices, and the capacity to step out of your comfort zone. As Zig Ziglar said, “The elevator to success is out of service. But the stairs are always open.”
So what is the Entrepreneurial success formula?
1) Take the Entrepreneurial Quiz to determine if you have the right personality.
2) Doing something you are passionate about
Have you ever heard of someone being really successful at something they don’t like? Whatever you decide to do in your entrepreneurial journey it should 1) be aligned with your values; and 2) be something you love with a passion. When you are building a business that you are passionate about, you are better able to handle the speed bumps in your entrepreneurial journey and climb the mountains that suddenly appear before you. When you are in a business which isn’t aligned with your values, or something that you are not passionate about, the speed bumps are harder to get over and the mountains appear insurmountable… this leads to a “this is too hard, I’m going to quit” outlook.
3) Thinking long-term, not short-term
As an entrepreneur, you are building something valuable, so it goes without saying that your entrepreneurial journey is going to be a long one. There are no short-cuts or get rich quick schemes. This is why it is also important to do something you are passionate about. When you are passionate about something, you WANT to be in it for the long haul. Map out your vision and clearly define your 1, 2, 3 and 5-year goals. It is vital you stay focused and committed, and not jump around from one business idea to another. All highly successful entrepreneurs think long-term, not short-term. If you continuously have a new flavour of the month, how do you think you will build a profitable long-term business?
4) Making sacrifices and working hard
As Jeffery Combs stated, “you need to let go of situations or obligations that do not serve you, and instead have a profit consciousness and borrow your time from somewhere else”. 9 times out of 10, this will result in you making sacrifices in your personal life and doing the things that other people are not prepared to do to grow a successful business. 9 times out of 10, this will result in you working your butt off until you’re so tired you can hardly keep your eyes open. 9 times out of 10, this will result in you foregoing your favourite television program, or foregoing the day at the beach, or foregoing the trip to the movies. 9 times out of 10, this will result in you taking a risk that will have your heart jumping around all crazy. This is the trait of all entrepreneurs because they are thinking long-term, not short-term. Short term pain for long term gain. When you are doing something you are passionate about, when you have a vision or dream larger than life, then you have the capacity to break through the short term pain because you know, without a doubt, that it is all part of the journey and will yield far bigger results than taking the easy path in life.
5) Engaging in continuous learning and masterminding with others
Brian Tracy said it so well: “Your time and life are precious. The biggest waste of time and life is for you to spend years accomplishing something that you could have achieved in only a few months.” A successful leader understands the power and importance of continuous learning and masterminding with other successful people. You cannot possibly know all there is to know. Make time to invest in your personal and professional development to enrich and expand your mind and you will reap the rewards ten-fold. Commit to reading at least 15-30 minutes a day; commit to listening to an audio whilst exercising or driving in the car. And importantly, apply the knowledge you have learned. Then take it one step further and mastermind with other successful entrepreneurs. Napoleon Hill, author of Think & Grow Rich, said “Success in this world is always a matter of individual effort, yet you will only be deceiving yourself if you believe that you can succeed without the co-operation of other people.” Successful entrepreneurs get out of the way of their own ego, and commit to learning and collaborating with others. If that’s something which excites you, then contact me to learn more about coaching and mentoring.
6) Realising that your business is a people business
It’s not about you, it’s about the customer. Learn to understand people and different personality types so you can better relate and build rapport. I highly recommend “Personality Plus” by Florence Littauer which takes you through the four personality types. After reading this book you will be able to ascertain, within a few seconds, which personality type a person falls under, and how to say things so you hit their hot buttons and get them on-side instead of off-side. If you are in a business that deals with customers on a global scale, take the time to learn different cultures and communication styles so you don’t offend.
7) Becoming a master at cold-calling and asking for the sale
This aspect feels many with dread, but if you look upon cold calling as presenting someone with a solution to their problems, then it’s not about you… it’s about the customer. When done right, you are being helpful, thoughtful, respectful and credible. Cold calling isn’t about email spamming or hounding people.
When we stop looking at cold calling from the sales person’s viewpoint and from the customer’s viewpoint, and start seeing it from a business perspective, cold calling becomes a wonderful opportunity that any one can enjoy and optimize:
|how sales people typically see cold calling||how customers see cold calling done poorly||what successful cold calling should be|
Obviously the aim is to move cold calling behaviours and methods into the third column, and definitely to stop anything which produces the feelings and effects of the first and second columns. (Source: http://www.businessballs.com/cold_calling.htm)
8.) Understanding that you can’t do everything
Your activities should be income-generating. Think about it: what’s your time really worth? How much do you generate per hour (or forecasted to earn)? Do you really need to spend 5 hours designing a flier when you could outsource it for $20? What has that 5 hours cost you in monetary, income-generating terms? Let go of controlling all aspects of your business and learn to outsource.
With focus, commitment and passion, the Entrepreneurial journey is highly rewarding and satisfying. When you align yourself with the right business, the right mentors, and the right team, “there are no limits to what you can accomplish except for the limits you place on your own imagination. And since there are no limits to what you can imagine, there are no limits to what you can achieve.” (Brian Tracy)