Have you always dreamed of being the one that makes all the decisions – the one that calls all the shots? Are you tired of working for someone else? Before you take the plunge and jump into the deep end of the pool have you done the market research – put a business plan together – and really thought it through? Have you thought about the impact it will have on your family and your personal life?
Before you quit your job and strike out on your own you might be interested in my answers to a series of questions I was asked by a former business student of mine. I hope my answers provide you with some valuable insight into what it takes to be successful.
What made you decide to get into business for yourself? Timing – it really boiled down to timing. I knew I wanted to make a career change. I was beginning to feel stuck and unfulfilled. For me – it’s never been about how much money I made. Now don’t get me wrong – money is important – but if it’s your only reason for getting into business for yourself – then you’re going to be disappointed – especially in your first few years. Make sure you have enough money saved up to pay your bills, put food on the table and keep a roof over your head for at least a year.
What are some of the challenges you faced in starting your own small business? I faced – and continue to face some of the same challenges everyone entrepreneur faces. Self-employed persons don’t have the luxury of a steady pay-cheque coming in. That puts a great deal of strain on your personal and family life. Everyone must give up something to get something. You need to decide what you and your family are willing to give up so that you can live your dream. Everybody needs to be on board. You need to be committed to doing whatever you need to do to be successful. If you and or your family aren’t willing to pay that price – then it’s best you stay where you are.
Any lessons learned that you can pass on to anyone wanting to start their own business? You need to be really passionate about what you are doing. You need to be prepared to work 80 hours a week for very little money. Have a budget and stick to it. Don’t spend money you haven’t generated yet. Find your niche Become an expert in something not a generalist in everything. What do you know or what product are you selling that someone else will pay you money to learn or have?
Food for thought: The two major reasons businesses fail are (1) Lack of management skills – and (2) Lack of financing. Most businesses fail within the first three years of start-up. (When I say most I mean over 90% fail) We have a tendency to overestimate revenue so divide your sales projections by half and run it by those numbers. You need to live and die by the numbers. Make business decisions – keep your emotions out of it. Always think worst-case scenario. That will help keep you grounded.
If I haven’t talked you out of getting into business for yourself after reading this article – then maybe – just maybe you have what it takes. Maybe you’ll make it to year five. I’ve been self-employed since 1998 and I’m still having fun. I wish you all the best.
Copyright (c) 2019. Brian Smith. Not to be reproduced without permission. To find out more about Brian and what he can do for you visit: https://briansmithpld.com
It’s that time of year again when we look back on the year that was and direct our attention to the year ahead. Instead of making resolutions the way you’ve always done – try something different this year. Write down 3 action words that will help you focus on your goals. Every action you take this year should be a reflection of what you want to accomplish. If they aren’t – then don’t do it. Resolutions won’t work unless you do. Your life is a planned event. Put a plan together and then work your plan.
Once you decide what you want to accomplish, you need to develop the how. Last year I wanted to improve my golf swing so I took some golf lessons and managed to take 15 strokes off my average score. I wanted to spend more time with my family and friends so I took some vacation time – rare for me because I’m a workaholic. The last thing I wanted to accomplish in 2015 was to expand my circle of influence so I spent one hour a day developing and executing a social media strategy on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and Google +. I accomplished all 3 in 2015 because I had a game plan and stuck to my plan.
My action words for 2016 are Health, Speaking and Finance. What 3 things would you like to accomplish in 2016? What 3 action words will help you stay focused and accomplish those 3 things that are most important to you? What 3 action words will give you the best return on your time investment? You only have 168 hours in the course of a week. No more or no less. Those who accomplish the things in life that are most important to them have learned to invest their time wisely. Spending your precious time on things that won’t get you closer to accomplishing your goals in 2016 is a total waste of your time. Any time is the right time to start a new beginning. On your mark – get ready – set – now go!!! – Make 2016 your best year yet.
Copyright (c) 2016. Brian Smith – Reformed Control Freak. Are you or someone you know looking for a keynote speaker who can entertain and inform on a variety of soft-skills topics? Visit http://briansmithpld.com
Every Friday night is date night with my 5-year-old grandchild. It’s our time to hang out and do what ever she wants to do. We usually start out at her favorite eatery and end up at the local toy store. I cherish the time we get to spend together. We where enjoying a fun moment when she playfully grabbed my hat and put it on. “Hey Poppa” she said – “I’m you and you are Mr. No Buddy”. It came as a shock to me because I’d never heard her say that before. I knew she was just repeating what she had heard at school. She didn’t realize how hurtful that saying can be.
Children are sponges. They soak up everything they see and hear. They are a reflection of the environment around them. Adults, especially parents, need to be mindful of the lessons they are teaching their children. Children aren’t born bullies. They learn that from others. Children aren’t born haters. They learn that from others. Children aren’t born racists. They learn that from others. You are the greatest influence in your child’s life. They take their lead from you.
What lessons are you teaching your child? Are you teaching them to be tolerant, compassionate and respectful of others? Do they know what it means to be a good citizen, to be kind to others and lead by example? Do they know that everyone you meet is somebody’s somebody? You have a very important job to do. I hope you are up for the task. The next generation of parents are counting on you.
Copyright (c) 2015. Brian Smith – Reformed Control Freak. Not to be reproduced without permission. Brian is available for key note speeches or conducting workshops on a variety of soft-skills topics. To find out more about Brian and what he can do for you and your organization visit http://briansmithpld.com
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing expecting a different result. You can’t argue with Einstein’s logic on that one. Nothing changes until you do. The question you need to ask yourself is; Are you better off where you are – or – will you be better off when you make those changes and end up where you’d rather be? Yes – Change is scary. Most of us would rather turn around and back into the future. Change can make you feel like you’re walking a tightrope without a net. After all, you’re venturing into uncharted waters, not fulling understanding what obstacles lay ahead. That’s totally understandable. We all feel that way when trying to do something for the very first time.
Worth Remembering … “We have to go for what we think we’re fully capable of, not limit ourselves by what we’ve been in the past” – Vivek Paul
What’s getting in the way of you making a change besides the fear of the unknown? Sit down and put a list together of all those things that are holding you back from doing what you’d rather be doing. Get it out of your head and down on paper. Now take a look at your list. Stroke off all of those things that you have no control over. Trying to change something that you have no control over is a total waste of time. Your time is better spent changing those things that you can.
Worth Remembering … “Change what you can, influence what you will, and give up on all of those things that you cannot control. ” – Brian Smith
Change starts here. Here’s where the real work begins. You need to put a plan together to change those things that you acknowledge are within your control. What do you need to do to accomplish each one? Focus on one thing at a time. Don’t do all the easy ones first. It’s OK to do a few easy ones to gain some momentum but I suggest you tackle the one that will give you the greatest return on your investment. Start with the one that will challenge you the most while you’re still motivated to take on all comers. Start with the gorilla in the room. Once you’ve removed your greatest obstacle changing the others will feel like a walk in the park.
Copyright (c) 2014. Brian Smith-Reformed Control Freak. Brian is available for keynote speaking and delivering workshops on a variety of topics. He specializes in soft-skills training and leadership development. Contact Brian today – He’ll work with you one-on-one to insure your event is an overwhelming success. Visit http://briansmithpld.com to find out more about Brian and what you can do for you and your organization.