I never intended to be a business owner, it was not something I had planned and prepared for. In fact I calmly made an instant decision, because someone had inspired me, to start my first business Motivational Steps. Let me take you back in time and that might offer you an insight into why fear did not hold me back. As we all know fear can be the walls we surround ourselves in and it can be very difficult to escape once we stop believing in ourselves.
If you are thinking about starting your own business and it has been your dream for many years, now is definitely the time to do it. Of course its a sensible idea to prepare and plan but sometimes we use excuses, such as we need more time to plan. We want everything to be perfect, we need more money or help, and before we know it the years are rolling by and we still have not turned our dream into our reality.
Think about the businesses you are loyal to and aspire to be like, they had to start somewhere, and whether it was in their early years or down the line, mistakes were made, decisions had to be re-thought, goals changed. Without failure we can’t know how to work towards success.
When I decided to start my first business, Motivational Steps, I had returned to school to complete a 1-year Business Administration course. This decision had been made due to my second diagnosis of breast cancer, and also this was a chance to leave behind the three low paid jobs I had been juggling since my divorce. The second week of my course I sat and listened to a motivational speaker who shared his story. In an instant I knew I had a story to share, a story that would help others realise that challenges are just a visitor in our lives. I had no idea then that I would share my own 6 STEPS in my first published book, A Life Like Mine, and one of those steps would be “STEP 2 Accept The Visitor”.
If you are thinking about starting your own business, or if you are already working towards that goal, always remember you are not alone. It can be lonely, stressful, exciting, and hard work to build a successful business, and I want you to know it’s OK to ask for help. During my journey, which I am still enjoying every day, I was and still am truly blessed to be surrounded by people, friends, mentors, and of course family, who offer their expertise, help, support and of course love. This keeps me going and I know you will have the same support, which is why I want to be part of your support system. I want to be here for you by sharing my stories, tips, ideas, and experiences with you.
Here are a few tips I want to share with you that I found useful and helped me in those early years:
- Research your target market, your competitors, branding ideas, marketing ideas, websites, in fact research everything you can think about so that you have enough information and notes to help you gain a sense of what your business should look and feel like. This enables you to be prepared, and to plan ahead to build strong foundations for your business.
- Get to know other established business owners. Invite them out for a coffee or lunch, and let them know ahead of time you would appreciate it if they could share their experiences, challenges and offer any advice.
- Attend different networking events, not to sell, but to find out how other people share their business information when networking. Be an observer and say little, take in how the various brands stand out from the crowd, and why.
- Don’t try to sell to your potential clients before you have at least some brand to showcase, and know the message you want to share. Know the benefits to your clients and of course be able to listen versus talk so that you can establish what your prospective clients need, and the solutions you can offer.
- Above all take your time, it’s not a race and never compare yourselves to people you know. You might think they are succeeding faster than you, but in reality it’s not the time it takes to build your success, it’s the way you do it.
- Believe in yourself and be prepared to ask for help. Above all be yourself, be authentic and know yourself first and foremost.
I have been through the ups and downs of building a business. This enables me to share with you my experiences, thoughts, failures and successes. There are no overnight success, for instance I am a 17 year overnight success if you see what I mean.
Please share your comments, thoughts, ideas, tips with me here, I look forward to getting to know you.