Hooray! Hooray! At last, amid the sad gloom and gutting inevitability of downturns, redundancies and part time working, there is a glimmer of light on the dawn horizon.
The country is slowly awakening to the idea that starting your own business is worth it. Part-time or full-time, for those little luxuries, for feeding the kids or for paying the mortgage, starting and building a business for yourself makes sense – at least for those people who want to be in control of their own destiny. You’ll work harder than you ever have before, you may work hours longer, but think of it, you’ll get ALL the profit. YOU get what YOU work for. And you’ll enjoy it. You may even get to buy an Airstream.
As a business creator and coach, (and a bloke who was brought up in an entrepreneurial family) here are my top tips for making a business work – and I’ve made mine work since 1997. When I started I was on Family Credit and Housing Benefit.
Tip Number 1: See Problems in the World as a Business Opportunity.
Wherever there is a problem, someone somewhere will pay YOU to fix it! People make millions out of everything from manure and toilet paper, to oil disasters, toothache and getting vomit out of taxi cabs. You can make money from ANY problem that someone wants to go away – and all of us want problems to go away, don’t we? Have you noticed that YOU pay people to do things you don’t want to do?
Tip number 2: Don’t let ‘Pride’ Stop You.
How often do you hear people say, “Oh, I could never do that!” Poor them. They are letting their fear of what another person might think push them into poverty. If you think like that, you are probably not hungry enough. Believe me, the way things are going you will be hungry enough one day, so why wait until then? All over the country we are catching on to the attitude of a guy I met…
… in Mumbai. He had a shop that sold trendy belts. I interviewed him for a film we were making, and his excitement knew no bounds. He was about to open his SECOND belts shop a few streets away. Both shops had ground space of just 3 square metres! (He bribed the street wardens to let him have an extra square metre and increased his sales by 50%!) He was so pleased with himself. Yet in Britain people would rather be seen on anti-depressants than be seen on a market stall. And all because of pride. How stupid.
Tip number 3: Live beyond disappointment, criticism and blame.
I can tell you first hand what it feels like to have people rip you off, steal your money (ie, not pay their bills), lie (say they are going to), rubbish your product when they have never tried it, and lots more besides. They are the true poor, however much money they have. You will have every good reason to be fed up, mope, slag people off and use other methods to try and make yourself feel better, but all that will only distract you from your essential obsession: to build your business. It took me ten years to stop feeling mad at the disgraceful behaviour of some people who had treated me badly, and when I did, I changed for the better – I learnt to let it go and keep my focus.
I sell words, words that change people’s lives, rewire their thinking and give them hope, inspiration, and more money in the bank. Those words do not come cheap, neither to me nor to you. I paid a lot to be able to say those words with utter conviction and passion. I paid a price of personal pain, of rejection, of misunderstanding, and sometimes of real hard cash. (“Poor me”? Certainly not! They’ve made me a wealthier person.) Learning the hard way is normal, and entrepreneurs of all people have learnt to milk costly experiences for what they are worth, because they know those same experiences will mature into powerful assets in the future if they are humble enough to be taught by them. Those things become an investment.
So if, like Maria in the Sound of Music, you’ve had a door slammed in your face – or even watched helplessly as the wind blew it shut before you could get to keep it open – remember there is ALWAYS a way out, a window, even from some of the most awful of places. (As you may have read in my previous blog, even from a hard-core prison.) The closed door is perversely an invitation to a new life, maybe less lucrative than previously to start with, but a life of challenge, the thrill of creative inspiration and the joy of achievement.
Today may just be your day. After all, you’ve read THIS, and you’ve got THIS FAR. So what comes next? Are you going to be like the sad majority of people who surrender to the bad times, who plonk themselves down in a heap and get mad at people like me who ‘don’t understand’ but live happy and motivated? Are you going to get into more bad debt and go on the (anti-depressant) pill? Or are you going to come off the crippling contraceptive of distrust, allow yourself to be seduced by the possibility of a better life, and get pregnant with a business? It won’t be long before you give birth to a life that brings worthwhile action and purposeful, rewarding – deeply fulfilling – days months and years. Yes, starting a business is a bit like having a live, wriggly, demanding baby in the family. Mine is ten years old this year, and growing up fast!
If you’re at that point of decision today, give me a personal call on 0777-163-1945, or send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Of course I’ll help you. I’ll mentor you. And of course I’ll charge you. But just because you accepted my invitation and read this blog, I’ll give you a special summer discount in July and August. IF you remind me of this offer, that is!
Get in touch. You don’t yet know just how rewarding that will be.
You could know by tomorrow though, couldn’t you?