Being an entrepreneur is the job of the future. Some may not consider this position a »job » per say, but it really is the future of the job market. If we want to fight unemployment in »service economy » advanced countries, where manufacturing delocalisation and commerce spread is prevalent, that is the avenue to embrace.
In this last fourth article of the career series for right brainers, we discuss about the most important professional avenue: business. Admissions in university business programs are in spike. There is a good reason why. Labors and workers are tired to be slaves of a merciless job market. They want to be autonomous and self empowered. Indeed, being his own employer is certainly an excellent choice.
1- Get a business or commerce education.
School is not made for everybody, but if you have chance to study in a business or commerce discipline, you will gain a lot of credibility in the eyes of bankers and other players in your business project. Try to get at least a university level formation like a certificate. If you can make it until the bachelor degree or even better, the MBA or a PhD, you have proven your intellectual skills. However, experience at the school of life remain the highest and most valuable asset.
2- Have a brilliant idea or present a distinctive expertise.
The first step of a business start up is an original idea or a unique and impressive skill, with a proven demand for. If you do not have any of both, you can also be simply attracted and motivated by the entrepreneurship challenge in general. That is okay as well, but make sure you have all the skills set required to create and adapt as you grow and your business reach complexity.
3- Be the boss.
If you want to associate with partners, make sure you do not split 50%-50% shares. It is an open secret in business, most associations end up in discord after a while. Take leadership of your project. Do not let money lenders dictate their rules. Stay in control. Develop your business your way.
4- Start small and slowly.
Start small, as a sideline, and build the business brick by brick. Take your time at the beginning. It is tempting to accelerate, but that could threaten the project. Unless you are a successful serial entrepreneur, it is highly suggested not to burn the steps. Make sure you assimilate each individual learning before to speed up.
5- Don’t use the business plan yet.
Unless you go all in for the marketing campaign knocking at institutional investor’s doors, do not spend energy into a business plan. Not yet, only when it will be required. That is a great tool, but it is also demanding and you don’t want to compromise relationship with partners because of theur expectations. Almost every successful entrepreneur will tell you: financial projection are almost impossible to keep up with during the first years. Let the destiny dictate the future of your business trajectory. You may have to realign the project a few times at the beginning. It is much easier to do so when the organisation is still small and flexible.
6- Come up with your idea demo and spread a lot of information.
Don’t unveil out your project too fast. Use the surprise effect and its leverage power. Describing and promoting your idea is facilitated with an elaborated website. Do not come up with the business website first. Start with the idea or trademark name on the website. As well, by developing a website, you force yourself to plunge into the essence of your project. By writing yourself each line and creating each illustration and diagram prior the announcement, you’ve got already 75% of the sale pitch training done.
7- Work part or spare time on your project at the beginning.
Early on, you should spend only 20-30 hours a week on your project. If you want that business start up to become your main or sole professional activity, make sure it is well rounded before to jump in. Even when you are full time dedicated on it, you could wait years before to have a profitable business. Don’t dive in too soon. Wait for the right time. Keep your full time job until winning conditions are met.
8- Find a mentor.
Mentorship is getting more and more popular these days, especially in business. A mentor will be another business man or woman interested in helping you in your business journey. The mentor has no personal interest in your project nor in your private life. The mentor will usually be a successful accomplished entrepreneur who simply desire to give wisdom and advices from its own experience. Ideally, the mentor must have evolved in a similar field or path than you or your business project.
9- Find a financial angel.
A financial angel will be an investor interested in lending money based on his appreciation, faith and resonance with your project, not on his best interests, nor for your nice smile or your eyes, although that certainly helps a bit.
10- Grow one step at the time.
One of the main reason why there is a high failure rate in business launching: the inexperience of the project’s responsible persons. If you are in your first attempt to launch a business, that’s even more true. The learning curve is enormous. There are so many things to assimilate and so many others not to neglect, that sometimes it will drive you crazy. The most complicated aspects are of course sales, but also accounting, legal and fiscal matters, or paperwork in general. Take time to learn each basic rudiment before to rush, or you risk to skip vital technicalities.
11- Use law of attraction.
In your growth strategy, use law of attraction principles:
– Stay positive.
– Avoid laziness and excessive procrastination. Be consistent.
– Be your toughest critique, but don’t be mean to you, reward you for efforts and results.
– Step back and look at your project from an external point of view. Be lucid, don’t be blinded.
– Everything happens for a reason, so each hard blow is a learning experience.
– Give a lot, especially at the beginning when you have to create the attraction vortex.
– Chose your partners and customers. It is better to sacrifice a contract or a sale than to be stock with problems and lose money.
12- Treat your employees nicely.
When you become too big to be on your own, the employees you hire accept to be part of your young and still fragile project. They understand the risk and accept the to take part in your adventure knowing the stress involved. They are your best partners. They believe in you and your project That deserves reciprocity. Some employee may be at your side until they or you retire. These persons are priceless. Protect them.
13- Favor cash flow approach and liquid money.
Most entrepreneurs dive in business because they could not satisfy their right brain in a job position. If you are a predominant right brain person, handle money as if it was free energy. Use cash money as much as possible. Money is a force in the universe and you don’t want it to be just digits confined in the virtual world, but a flow of constant energy coming in and out of your commerce. Don’t think like an accountant, but rather like an energy master. An accounting philosophy must be used when the company is mature and require optimal management. Right now, you want to keep the eye on the dash board day after day, not just quarter after quarter, or year after year. Watch closely cash flows and introduce gradually a more complex accounting service slowly bit by bit.
14- Avoid public purchase offer at any cost.
In the first years, do not go for PPO (public purchase offer), if you are incorporated. Stock markets is a tricky game. As long as your business is growing naturally, there is no need for massive investment. Unless you plan to sell the company, that is not recommended. The goal is to come up with an enterprise behaving, growing and regulating itself like a naturally self-sufficient organism, so you can make a comfortable living out of it.
Other articles from this series:
This article is also available in French at the following link:
Please share our articles at will!