Freedom, aaahhh, the joy, the blessing, and… the curse. We all want freedom on some level. It’s often the driving force for many entrepreneurs. While it can be extremely liberating to start your own business and take control of your own destiny, the desire for freedom can quickly lead to distraction and the so-called shiny ball syndrome.
Distraction is a common mistake for many entrepreneurs – this may be the first time they’ve actually felt as if the shackles have been removed, the sleeping giant, as Tony Robbins calls it, is awakened. This new found freedom allows our mind to explore and entertain possibilities that we may not have had the time or energy to explore.
We begin to think of all the goals we’ve put off and begin to believe that we can achieve them. It’s as if the floodgates are open, our minds race from idea to idea, seminar to seminar, and possibility to possibility. This freedom and flexibility causes us to cringe at the idea of time management and structure after all this is the very reason we chose to start a business, take back our lives, and live it on our terms. Yet, this lack of structure, and ultimately lack of focus will eventually lead to failure. Just how do you create that internal structure and stay on track so you can achieve your dreams? You implement the following 4 vital steps for new business success.
When I work with entrepreneurs, I ask them to first take a look at the reasons they chose to start their business. Take a look at the big picture and work backwards. I then ask them to run through the following checklist to determine if they are truly mentally ready to build a business.
Vital checklist for new business success
Be Realistic – Be honest with yourself.
- What are YOUR expectations for this business
- How much TIME do you have to commit?
- Is this part time or full time?
- Will this be your PRIMARY income?
- Do you need to SUPPORT your family?
- Are you PASSIONATE about your business?
- Can you truly see yourself building your business?
- Do you have an overall GOAL for your business?
- Do you have a plan to achieve that goal?
- Can you break that goal into a series of smaller WINS?
Be Committed – One of the primary reasons most small businesses fail is due to clarity. Often disguised as a lack of knowledge, belief, money or resources, a lack of clarity will derail effort every time. Yet, in reality the lack of clarity is simply internal. Not knowing what step to take next is one of the most common problems for many people just launching their own business. The lack of a clearly defined plan of action is a huge time waster and leads to the ‘busy’ work that simply keeps you on the hamster wheel. Yet having a plan but failing to take action is just as bad as having no plan at all. So how do you create a clear plan of action that you WILL follow daily? It starts with commitment to self, and that begins with self-confidence.
If you believe in yourself, your vision and your abilities, you’ll have an easier time committing to your goals and taking consistent, persistent action. As you step out in confidence and follow your plan, you set in motion the necessary steps to place you in the right environment. It’s the like attracts like principle. If you are willing to think back to why you started your business, and feel the excitement you initially felt – even if just one tiny fragment of your mind can believe that it is possible to grow your business, then absolutely YES, you can build your business and enjoy the freedom that comes from controlling your own destiny, but you must be willing to do the work.
Be Coachable – Trust that others may know more than you! It sounds so simple yet it’s one of the most common mistakes people make; their ego gets in the way. Especially when individuals who have held prominent corporate positions complete with an internal support team, decide to try their hand at their own business.
First, there’s no trying, either you commit or you don’t. It’s ok if you can only work at your business part-time initially, but you have to make a commitment. Second, you may have a wealth of knowledge in your corporate position but recognize that you also had to start somewhere; as an entrepreneur you are probably a complete neophyte. It’s important to listen and learn from others who have already achieved entrepreneurial success. Many entrepreneurs have little to no marketing or sales strategy in place.
Without a plan, how can you quickly build a strong viable business? Take a lesson from successful businesses, regardless of the industry. They all invest in training, employ time management tools and effective marketing campaigns in order to strengthen their abilities, position themselves in the marketplace and generate traffic. Think about how many people you can reach with social media, article contribution to [your] industry related publications, guest blogging, webinars, and events? Think BIG and broaden your horizons!
Be Focused – A lack of structure leads to poor time management. Poor time management leads to a lack of focus, and lack of focus leads to poor results. The most important thing you can do every day is to look at your daily goals and take action to achieve those goals. Remember, a body in motion tends to stay in motion. And this brings us back to the beginning lesson – think about your overall objectives.
- What are your goals – on the grand scale?
- Why do you want to achieve these goals?
- How will the attainment of these goals affect your life, your family’s life and the world around you?
Goals are vital steps for new business success
Infuse your goals with emotional energy. We know thoughts are real. Thoughts generate emotion; emotion generates action – positive or negative; action generates results – positive or negative, productive or non-productive. The outcome is dependent upon the input. This is why it’s imperative to have daily goals and a strategy to achieve those goals – each and every day.
Most people only look at the big picture. They know it’s important to set goals, but it’s also important to set milestones, check points along the road that will enable you to realize your ultimate goals.
Start by looking at your overall goal for your business. Next take that goal and use it to create the vision for your company. Every business should have at least a five-year vision statement, and in many cases a ten-year overall plan. Break that vision down into three-year and one-year objectives. Then, implement a 90-day plan of action, this is a crucial step in the process to achieving your vision and ironically it’s the step that is most overlooked by entrepreneurs.
The 90-day plan makes your goals more digestible, believable and thus more attainable. Your 90-day plan of action contains the steps that you plan to put into practice to help take your business to the next level. For example, will you hire a virtual assistant or a social media director. Will you use content marketing to reach your clients? Will you hold live events or webinars? Everything you do during this 90-day period should be focused on supporting your overall vision, if not then you probably don’t need it at this time.
If your not focused on doing the daily activity necessary to support your weekly goals then you will not see the results you desire – it’s simple math:
A + B = C – Goal + Action = Results.
Implementing these vital steps for new business success is crucial to building your company. Once you have these 4 points in place, you’ll be ready to start and expand your business online.
For help understanding the online process grab the free training series – a step by-step, visual guide to reaching clients online.