I’ve always dreamed of owning my own business since I was a child, but I never thought I would own a business that would encompass my passion. I am an artist and teach other creative people how to become successful, so I thought it would be a natural transition to start a business that taught others how to be entrepreneurs. Boy, did I realize quickly that owning a business required more than creative talent. Below are the 10 things I learned:
1. Success comes from working with others.
I am not an island. I need others to assist me in growing my business. Assistance for me comes to me from my Master Mind Group and from the countless books and videos I read and watched daily. The Master Mind Group serves as my sounding board and support. The books and videos are my tutorials- teaching me how to become a better entrepreneur.
2. Have an Action Plan.
Not enough time was killer for my business at the beginning. There wasn’t enough time in the day to get things done. So I had to learn to maximize my time. I canceled my cable, and I reduced the time I surf the internet looking for cute shoes. I had to put an action plan together. Now I work by a time slotted schedule. There are certain parts of the day that are blocked off for writing blog post, creating videos, making phone calls, teaching and maintaining the home.
3. Hire the Right People.
I am a jack of all trades and a master of none. But this way of running my business wasn’t efficient or cost-effective. I needed to hire the right people to take away the things I hated doing. I needed a virtual assistance. I got one just a few months ago and it has been wonderful. She does the things I don’t like to do which frees me up to do the things I love doing, which is teaching and creating content and art.
4. Build Red Flag Procedures.
I had to confront the brutal facts that I had a business in theory but not in action. I had a web presence, business cards, business account and P.O. Box but I didn’t have a full operating business. I was spending a majority of my time sharing stories of what I wanted to do with my Master Mind Group, but I wasn’t actually doing what I needed to do to grow my business. So what I had to do was to condition myself to actually show what I had accomplished to my group instead sharing stories of what I wanted the do. The results of this conditioning turn out to be great- I finished my website, I started two more sites, taught a beginner blogging workshop and created a free report for one of my sites.
5. Keep the Faith.
Although I consider myself a successful creative entrepreneur, my bank account is saying something totally different. I’m making enough money to just break even. But I know in my heart and mind my bank account will soon reflect the success I hold in my mind. Jim Collins , author of Good to Great calls this the Stockdale Paradox, “ Retain absolute faith that you can and will prevail in the end, regardless of the difficulties.”
6. Be the best at what you do.
Earlier I mentioned that was a jack of all trades, A master of none, but as the months passed I’ve realized that I’ve learned and tried a lot of business ventures, but I can only be really good at a few. And better yet, my business concept could only be the best in one niche. So now I’m focusing my time and energy on what I do best. When I see others doing something I like- I have to say no – work only on what you know you can succeed at, leave the hoopla to the other folks.
7. Create a “Stop Doing” List.
I am the queen of to-do lists. I have a list for my other to-do-lists. My all time most important list is my STOP Doing List. On this list I place things I hate doing, things I shouldn’t be doing and things that I want ever do again. This list has helped me organize my time and establish the right people to hire.
8. Systematically decide on the right technology.
Along with the love of all things shiny- I too love gadgets. I want all the new cool adds-on and software. I’ve quickly realized that many of these gadgets are just shiny objects with no real value toward growing my business. The newest and greatest gadgets are not always needed, the Return of Investment (ROI) often sucked. I now choose only software or technology that has multi-functions. It has to work for 2 out of 3 of personal values – business, personal and spiritual life. Once I established these criteria then my gadget/ technology purchases became more meaningful and a better ROI.
9. Persistent Pushing.
I’m learning to forge ahead with living my purposeful dream. No matter how small the victory – I got to keep going. There are no quick get rich schemes; there are only persistence, diligence and faith. With all three of these actions at play- I can expect a million dollar break through any day now.
10. Give Back
Some call this tithing- I call it giving back what you were given. Many times I didn’t actually have the money to make weekly or monthly donations, but the one thing I learned was I have more than enough time and advice to share with others. Weekly I offer 2 to 3 hours of my time to anyone who wants to pick my brain. Believe me weekly my appointment times were filled with takers. I’m planting a seed and I get the joy of watching it grow.