This was the question I asked myself when I first became aware that owning my own business was the way I wanted to go. This question has been asked by many and will continue to be asked. Everyone who has this desire, this desire to build something of their own, this desire to have control of their own future will have this question and my answer to them would be the same….START!!!
Decide what makes Money
I’m sure that you’ve heard business philosophers, self help gurus and feel good enthusiasts teach, “find something that you’re passionate about, something that you love to do and turn your passion into your profit. “
Promises of a life of glamour and fulfilment; the ability to travel and enjoy all the things that the life of an entrepreneur has to offer.
Sounds good doesn’t it?
Truth be told, I don’t believe that this is the best advice for someone who’s just starting in their pursuit of entrepreneurial glory. What if your passion is collecting safety pins? I’m sure you would agree that this passion may not necessarily provide a viable business opportunity.
However, you can go to a wholesale outlet and buy a bunch of plain t-shirts and resell them at a $2 profit and voilà an entrepreneur is born. Let’s not make this anymore complicated than it really is. Oxford defines an entrepreneur as a dealer in trade, someone who buys and sells in hope of a profit, a commercial intermediary or a merchant.
It’s as simple as that.
Count the Cost
A student of mine came to me to ask my advice on how to get his car wash business off the ground. The first thing I asked him was how much would it cost? He paused and looked up to the sky as if the answers were coming straight from heaven.
It really isn’t that deep. At that point it became clear to me that he never counted the cost to get started. The fact is, a lot of the time we either overestimate or underestimate the cost. It is important as an entrepreneur to attempt to itemize the initial cost to get started.
No, don’t take it for granted that the cost will be too high.
Write it down!
I know of a lot of people who discarded an idea because they believed the cost was too high, only to realize after listing the initial investment that it is actually somewhat affordable to begin. So, find out exactly how mu h it would cost to get your business going.
Timetable your business building
My father, when he was not policing the streets of Trinidad, tended to a fairly large parcel of land left to him by my grandfather. He planted sorrel and pigeon peas in his down time. I observed that after he prepared the soil and planted the seeds, he would devote a certain amount of time everyday to his garden.
Everyday he would water the garden.
Everyday he would pull out the weeds.
Everyday he would check for pests.
After this process was continued over a period of time, I would go back to the garden to find fully grown, fruitful plants. The plants, both sorrel and peas were now Mature and bearing fruit.
It’s the same when starting a new enterprise. Entrepreneurs must put aside time frequently and consistently to perform meaningful tasks as it relates to their business. Even the smallest acts daily can have a huge impact in building your business later on. Just think about it. If you put just one hour a day into actively building a business, at the end of two years you would have already put seven hundred and thirty hours in. That is a lot of time. So timetable your business. Find a time each day, or each week to plug into your business and commit to that decision. The dividends will come.
You have to want it BAD
Desire. This I believe, is by far, the most important factor in the entrepreneurial process. What is the reason; the driving force; that burning compulsion if you will, that makes you want to build a business?
It could be to break the cycle of poverty in your family, or maybe you want to provide a better life for the people around you or even provide a service that you believe is essential.
Whatever the reason, it must be emotionally tied to your inner most ideals.
I may not be too keen to sell socks. Its not exotic or exciting or cutting edge. But if I know that my wife won’t be able to stay home to raise our kids in their formative years, and that is a deep seated desire of mine, then that desire will keep me selling socks.
What if the last three generations of my family were on social welfare? What if I made up my mind that I was not going to live the same way and I knew that selling socks would give me the capital I needed to invest in my “big” business idea? I would keep selling socks.
What if I just despise having someone telling me when I could go for lunch or whether or not I could get time off to go to my daughter’s dance recital or my son’s football match? I would sell the living day lights out of those socks…IF I wanted it bad enough.
The question is, do you want it bad enough?
While these ideas may sound overly simplistic, it is in these simple things that empires are birthed. Apply them to your life and your business and in three, six, nine months, a year from now, find me and let me know how things in your business are shaping up.