Don’t wait for the perfect moment. Take the moment and make it perfect.
Now has never been a better time to realise your goals.
There is no “perfect” moment. Make your move now. Throw caution to the wind, say screw it and set sail for uncharted waters. Are you one of those people who want to start their own business, but is waiting patiently for that wonderful moment when the world will be calm and all will be well? That moment is unlikely to ever happen. The right time is now!
You’ve got one life. Why waste it by working for someone else's dream, doing something you hate? why not go out and make a name for yourself? Don’t be that guy who spends his whole life living other people’s dreams.
Note to Buddhists or smartasses: You may believe in reincarnation, so you can contest that you will live many lives. This may be the case, but even then you can’t guarantee that you want come back as a slug. And as we all know, those slimmy critters aren’t known for their Entrepreneurial skills.
Deep down we all know that the perfect moment doesn’t exist. We’re just making excuses because we don’t want to own up to the simple fact that we are scared sh*tless of the unknown and the changes that come with it. Afraid of failure? Of losing a monthly wage? of having no security? I say to hell with excuses and to hell with growing old and fading away gracefully. It was always going to be the road less travelled for me.
Entrepreneurs are not born with a special skill set. There are no magical unicorns who happily sprinkle pixie-dust over the heads of fresh faced startup CEOs. Entrepreneurs are a stubborn breed of visionaries who have decided that they want to take their destiny firmly in both hands and create their own piece of the universe. Magic? no. Hard work? Yes.
What you’ll need to do won’t be easy but believe me when I say that it will be worth it. You will have to be willing to do what 95% of the world’s population wouldn’t even contemplate doing. When the world is sleeping you’ll be up coding, designing, creating, working. While others watch television, you’ll be reading, re-educating yourself, learning the latest techniques in your field of choice. -In other words: “upping your game”
Things that restrict us from reaching our full potential
I’m going to resist giving you examples of people who where told they couldn’t do it but went out there and did it. The internet is full of such articles and adding one more to the pile would be overkilling it a tad. So instead I’m going to share some tips based on my experience, with the hope that it will be of service to you.
Gonna wash those friends right outta my hair. Or alternately speaking: Getting rid of friends who are a negative influence. You’re serious about starting a business, right? Man-up and get rid of the energy vampires and negative people in your life. Real friends applaud, encourage and help you on your journey.
You’re too old or young. Ah that old chestnut! People who put an age on everything are usually the ones who are the most insecure. Age is irrelevant when it comes to achievement. I had a guy tell me once that I was too old to learn new coding techniques. Overnight I threw out everything I knew which was firmly routed in the eighties, and I learnt to code in Apple’s iOS mobile programming language. Were there intense moments of difficulty? Yes. Were there times that I wanted to quit? Yes. Did I quit? Hell no!
You’re too young and lack experience. Yet another myth. Gain experience as you go along. When you lack the necessary skills, find people who have them or learn them yourself. Being an entrepreneur is all about finding solutions to issues. Henry Ford was an uneducated man, his talent lay in the fact that he could find the best talent and fuse it in the right way in order to achieve his goals. Age is a barrier only if you make it so.
Limited cash-flow. Having limited funds should not deter you from opening a business. It goes without saying that when you’re operating on a shoestring budget, your spending should be more conservative. There are ways to put badly needed money in the piggybank. The internet gives us the tools to do this. Sell old stuff on eBay. Google the companies who have affiliate programs where they give you commision for every new prospect you recommend that becomes a customer. It won’t make you a millionaire, but that’s not the goal. It will bring in a little extra cash to plug up some holes.
Difficult economic times. Most people see it as a big setback. An entrepreneur sees it as an opportunity. The biggest fortunes where made during ressesions. In prosperous times businesses pop up like lillies in the spring time, only to be brutally mowed down with the first signs of economic instability. See building a business in uncertain socioeconomic times as an opportunity to learn, to finetune your craft.
Tips on becoming more productive and successful
Clearly define what you want to achieve. Duh, yeah okay! I hear you say. You’ll be amazed to learn how many people start a business without a clear idea of what it is they want to do. It does not have to be a detailed business plan. (Although some kind of BP is highly recommended) Start with a piece of blank paper and write down a definition of what your business will do, who it will serve and what will be its main differentiator. -What will make you different from your competitors. (The world does not need another Starbucks. Don’t be a clone, dare to be different!)
Keeping a journal. Document your progress, write down ALL ideas, keep notes from books you’ve read and interesting things people have said.
Make daily to-do lists. I love this one! The previous night make a list of things you need to do. As you complete each task tick them off. I’ve found ticking off tasks a great way to make me feel good about the day. Also helps combat procrastination. Think of it as a game where the goal is to tick off all the tasks in one day.
Learn to listen. Okay so you’re the world’s leading authority on the spotted night owl and want to show the world what a special human being you are. -Great! But remember that no one ever learnt anything by talking. Learn to listen.
Exercise. Oh yes, that one! Saying that you have no time to exercise is like forgetting to breathe. You don’t have to run a marathon every week. Aim for at least 40 minutes of exercise in the morning. At the very least, four times a week. You may even find that as you grow more “powerful” you’ll want to up the tempo and duration of your workouts. -Some crazy fools even start running 100km+ races (naming no names.)
Morning ritual. Start your morning away from the computer and destractions. (Especially loud ones.) Clear you mind, think about the wonderful things in your life. Meditation is also recommened. Start your day on a positive note and not in headless chicken mode.
Have fun! Not having fun? That’s not good. You obviously need to rethink the way you do business and how your approach it. Don’t be a grumpy cat. Why? Get a calculator right now. Got it? Okay now punch in 82 (years) x 365 (days in a year) = 29,930 days of life! If you’re a pesky smoker and hellbent on not giving it up maybe you’d like to cut the 82 down a little. (If you really want to freak out: Multiply your age by 365 and subract it from 29,930. How many days do you have left? e-mail me here: email@example.com and let me know.) We are on this earth for such a small fraction of time, don’t waste it being miserable. Be positive, have fun, help people, inspire those around you!
Never see a problem as a problem. See it as an opportunity to grow. I never use the word “problem” for me there are no problems only “Issues that need resolving” -How we see things dictates how we deal with them. Keep a positive mindset. If your carriage comes off the rails, don’t see it as the end of life as you know it. It’s a setback and nothing more.
If you think you’ll fail or succeed you’re probably right. Believe in yourself. Visualise your goals. Don’t succumb to peer pressure.
If you’re in it for the money you’re in it for the wrong reasons. Money is a sub-product of success, nothing more. Enjoy the challenge of creating something from nothing. Of making a difference in people’s lives. No one will remember the guy with the Ferrari. What legacy do you want to leave the world?
The x 10 philosophy. Always exceed the expectations of your customers. Give them x10 more than they paid for. Assist them above and beyond the call of duty. They have honoured you with their custom, when they could have easily gone to your competitors. Make them feel special, because they are.
When you promise to do something do it. No one likes to deal with unreliable people. Deliver and deliver on time. If you need to work for five days straight without sleep, if that’s what it takes, then do it. (Don’t forget to detox afterwards with a short weekend break. -refuelling is important)
Read and invest in your education. I know of NO successful person who does not read, go to conferences and invest in their personal education. In a fast moving world we need to be constantly coming up with new ideas. No one wants to buy into a stale concept.
Try reading diverse material. If for example you’re an arcitect don’t just read stuff that pertains to your area of expertise. Be a rabid bookworm and devour all kinds of material. -Why? because doing this will rewire your brain, and get it thinking in ways you never thought possible!
You can do anything but not everything. Establish a team of people who are passionate and believe in your vision. Remember: No one ever innovates alone. Choose your team wisely.
Are you a gorilla or a guerrilla? There are two types of businesses. If you’re a gorilla then you’re a huge multinational and basically you can throw your weight around and take a bigger piece of the pie. -because obviously you’re a huge intimitading hairy thing with massive resources. The gorilla has an air of arrogance and he often looks down on others, branding them insignificant. Most of us are not gorillas, we are what I call “guerrillas.” A guerrilla lives on his wits. He prefers stealth manoeuvres and is known to be more flexible than the gorilla. The guerrilla has one advantage over the gorilla. -They never see him coming, he has the element of surpise. DON’T be intimidated by the gorilla, be a guerrilla.
It’s your canvas. How you paint it is entirely up to you.
Every canvas starts out blank but has the potential to become a masterpiece. How you choose to paint it will determine its value.
If you falter along the way, know that it’s not the end of the world. Like the great masters, you have the choice of painting over the canvas many times.
Finally I leave you with this piece of wisdom from Sir Ricki….
It took me many years to become an overnight success -Richard Branson
If you found this article enjoyable, please do recommend it and feel free to share the link and love on social media.