Tag: entrepreneur

Move From Employee to Entrepreneur

  • Get clear on your goals/passions – It’s not enough to decide to become a business owner. There are several questions and things to consider before you move forward in becoming a business owner. You will need to think about what kind of business you wish to run. You`ll need to determine if you wish to grow it from scratch, buy an existing business or purchase an available franchise. But even before you decide that- you should think about how the business will fit in with the rest of your life. Running a business can be a huge commitment of time and money. So ask yourself what do you enjoy doing or what will bring you joy? You will spend much of your day on your business so it’s a good idea for the business to provide work you actually enjoy doing. Ask yourself what you are most passionate about? What would you love to do? What is your dream job/business?
  • Do your research/homework – Don’t make any rash or impulsive decisions and don’t leave your day job until you are absolutely sure of what you want to do and have a plan for doing it. Take the time to do good research by researching the industry, the marketplace, your potential target clients, your competitors. Do proper business research including a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis. Get a good handle on projected revenues and realistic operating costs as well as an understanding on how long it will take to breakeven and generate more revenues than expenses. Identify your personal strengths and skills and determine if there are any skills gaps. Determine how you will close any skill gaps or lack of expertise. Which gaps can be closed through skills training? Which gaps can be closed through recruiting the right people? Which gaps can be closed through coaching or mentoring? Determine what options and opportunities are available to you right now?
  • Learn from others’ mistakes – There is no shortage of people who have started or run a business. Speak to as many people as you can who have gone before you. Learn what you can about what works, what doesn’t, and what mistakes others have made. Don’t waste valuable time and money. Be open to hearing others` perspectives on what they would have done differently. Hindsight is always 20/20.
  • Business Plan ahead – Do the work and develop a business plan. While it may be a lot of work, it will be time well spent and most financial institutions will require one if you are searching for financing. The process of business planning is not only to prove to the bank that your business will be a success, it’s also a roadmap for you to follow to ensure success. Running your business finances can be like running your weekly, monthly or yearly personal budget – so if you haven’t developed good budgeting and financial management skills, it might be particularly challenging and doubly important to have a solid business plan.
  • Hire a mentor – Starting and running a business can be challenging or even lonely at times. In addition to the day to day operations of the business, you may be mentally or emotionally overwhelmed by being a business owner. Having a safe place to go to for advice, guidance, and accountability or simply as a sounding board can be just what you need to help you make the transition into entrepreurship easier and smoother. Good coaching and mentoring can really help you fast track your transition.

Entrepreneurial Leadership

Talk about relentless determination. Here is a guy who knew no quit. I mean he never gave up on catching that prize! We can talk about determination in another post; but, picture this. The Acme box arrives and Wile E. dives into the contents with excitement and renewed determination. He thinks that this is the one. This is the idea: the invention and the contraption that is going to finally work in aiding him to catch that bird.

After emptying the contents, he straps on a rocket, puts wheels on his feet, and lays down railroad tracks along the road the Road Runner is going to come down. He dons his helmet and waits eagerly. Without hesitation, the Road Runner appears in a flash and stops and gives his customary greeting – “Beep Beep.” And, off he goes. The coyote, ready to pounce, lights his rocket and bends into position and the fuse goes out. It is a dud! As he stands up in complete frustration and takes off his helmet, WHAM! He is hit by a train coming down his tracks. Who is the conductor? Beep Beep! That’s right, his nemesis, the Road Runner.

I always laugh to myself. But, it also reminds me what Will Rogers said, “It’s not enough to be on the right track. You’ll get run over if you just sit there.” Many entrepreneurs feel this reality when they are beginning their businesses. The question is often asked, “How do I get my business off the ground?” The truth is, after finally quitting your job, and launching out after your dream, it is not enough to just get started. If you can’t get that business humming and get the cash flowing, then you are just sitting there; and failure is your destiny.

How do you get it going? I have discovered that succeeding in business is like getting a plane in the air. The secret to getting a plane off the ground is overcoming the law of gravity by replacing it with the law of aerodynamics and lift. Therefore, if you want to improve cash flow in your business, then you have to improve productivity by getting the results that produce lift. Lift is that force that moves your idea from a hobby to a hustle.

There are four things that you must do to break the gravity that is holding your idea to the ground: Lean on the gas. Inspect the gauges. Focus on tracking straight. Transition by changing the trajectory.

Simply put, there must be massive action employed in the business that is immediately evaluated with corrective actions taken according to the critical feedback. You must also focus your attention and not veer to the left or right by the distractions of life. And finally, you must change your trajectory by aiming all this energy towards a goal that is massive enough to stretch you into a new dimension. Those are the key fundamentals to getting your business flying!

Entrepreneurial Mind Frame

Entrepreneurs are risk takers and dreamers. The difference between the dreamer and the entrepreneur though, is that the entrepreneur takes actions based on their dreams. They persist through the hardships and never give up! Many entrepreneurs start with an idea. Their success is determined by their belief that they can create something greater than simple monetary success. Often, it is about creating something which will benefit the world.

James Dyson, for example, came up with the idea of the bagless vacuum cleaner. Despite multiple set backs, over 5000 prototypes and not being able to get any manufacturers or distributors to accept his idea, he persevered. It was over a decade after his initial idea when his concept came to fruition. Even then, it was after a lot of difficulties and hardship due to the vacuum replacement bag industry, which was worth £100 million in the UK.

In Simon Sinek’s book ‘Start With Why’, he suggests that the biggest companies in the world are so because of their “why?” – their reasons for building a business in the first place. In all cases, it wasn’t just to make money, or make technology better, or some whimsical ideology.

The Wright Brothers, for example, became known as the pioneers of the first manned flight. But their competition was much better funded and well connected – Samuel Pierpont Langley had worked at Harvard, had a number of powerful connections, including Andrew Carnegie and Alexander Graham Bell. The War Department funded his project with a $50k grant, a seemingly massive advantage to the unconnected Wright Brothers who had no money or influence. However, their passion and devotion to change the world with this new technology drove them to attain the first flight in history in 1903.

Desire for material things and monetary wealth can only carry someone so far. Unless you have a goal or passion which is bigger than that, you may lose the momentum and fail to maintain your enthusiasm for any length of time.

The entrepreneurial mindset is one which taps into your purpose. Without a purpose driven goal or aim, it can’t take long before disillusionment kicks in. With a mindset which takes into account a larger purpose, entrepreneurs can build huge businesses because they ‘saw’ a vision of what they wanted to create. If the purpose is greater than the obstacles which lie in the path of attaining it, no amount of setbacks will stop you from achieving your goal.

On the other hand, if you set out to do something and something gets in the way and stops you, your initial reason, (your “why?”), may not have been strong enough to endure all the battles along the way.

Profound Insights From Impactful Entrepreneurs

  1. Look inward. We were put on this planet with gifts, talents, a perspective that no one has. It’s our obligation, our duty, to find out what that is, to do that. Loving, serving, or giving or all 3 is why we’re here.

~Prince Ea, rapper, filmmaker, speaker, activist

  1. Don’t wait. Get started. Be brave and jump. But admit when something’s not working. You’ll find a way around obstacles.

~Kate Groch, educator & changemaker

  1. Don’t see your business as separate from your spiritual life. Business plays an important part in the world today, so it’s important to recognize your ethical responsibility. How will their life be affected by your business? Positively? If you take care of that domain, if you water those roots, blossoms will emerge.

~Marianne Williamson, spiritual teacher, lecturer, author (& all-around sage)

  1. Put your creativity first. First in the day. It only takes 10 minutes a day to play with what it is that I love most to do. It may not look like anything to do with your business. It will open more magic for you than any single thing you can do.

~Katie Hendricks, conscious living and loving trainer & author

  1. I would love it if people would be able to identify people they love in their lives who they love and admire, and turn that same intensity on themselves. Bring as much admiration and open-eyed joy to yourself. Then say, now let me look around my business to see what small change could I do to effect positive change.

~Indrani Goradia, nonprofit leader dedicated to empowering women around the world

  1. In my integrity cleanse, I decided I will ask myself every time I take an action, I stop and check, what’s truest for me? I don’t just agree with people idly anymore. I only say what I think is true. That’s quite challenging! Sometimes what you have to say is not socially welcome. It does immediately begin changing your social world in a way that takes you to the people you love, and then your business becomes the people you love. It’s a poorly kept secret that people who love each other in business do better.

~Martha Beck, life coach (the original), speaker, best-selling author

  1. Two things: 1) Check your broadcast. What are you broadcasting to other people? Start with what I call the power lead. Start conversations, emails, meetings, phone calls by saying something positive and meaningful. Those sentences can set the tone for the conversation. ‘Meaningful’ creates social connection, one of the greatest predictors of long-term happiness. 2) Before you read any emails in your inbox, write a 2-minute email to someone thanking them for something they’ve done recently, why they’re important to you, praising them. It tells people they matter to you. It also communicates to your brain how robust your social support is. That alone will change the rest of your day.

~Michelle Gielan, national CBS News anchor turned positive psychology researcher