A Navigation System for the Successful Entrepreneur
I’d like to introduce you to a new GPS that many savvy entrepreneurs are using to realize their Dream Business.
This GPS relies on the ability to make decisions, not a global positioning satellite.
It stands for Guts, Persistence, and Strategy and these are three traits that every entrepreneur must have if they want to achieve the lifestyle and success that they want.
Let’s take a closer look at each of these traits in turn.
Trait #1: Guts
There are two aspects of guts: Courage and Intuition.
First is “guts,” as in the courage and the ability to make hard decisions.
There are three stages in the life of any entrepreneur.
Guts and Courage: First Stage
The first stage is simply having the guts to start a business.
There are millions of “wantrepreneurs” (people who dream about starting a business), but few of them actually have the guts to pull the trigger and start their business.
There could be several reasons for this, including a lack of start-up funds, fear of failure, or, believe it or not, fear of success.
The bottom line is that starting a business takes guts – a lot of guts.
Guts and Courage: Second Stage
This is the stage when even more guts are required in order to see you through the lean start-up years.
I’ll admit that my first full year in business was what I now affectionately refer to as “revenue free!”
That’s a nice way of saying it took me 12 months to land my first customer.
With a family to support, I had to find a way to keep my entrepreneurial dream alive, which meant borrowing money to keep the business afloat.
For many entrepreneurs, this might mean borrowing against your credit cards.
Using a credit card is a quick way to keep paying your bills, but it is also emotionally difficult for many people.
Nobody likes credit card debt, and here are a few things that I did that got me over the mental hurdle.
1.First, I stopped referring to it as “borrowing on my credit cards or credit card debt.”
Instead, each transaction was either drawing down my “business line of credit,” or referring to the balance on each credit card as “a business loan.”
It’s not uncommon for any business to have business loans, so I had several with various banks that chose to lend me money in the form of credit cards.
2.Secondly, I DECIDED I was going to be very successful.
This decision made it easy for me to borrow what I needed as my company started to grow.
In a way, getting my head straight about this cleared my conscience and moved my mindset from one of “Holy crap, I owe a lot on my credit cards” to “I am one step closer this week to turning the corner on this soon-to-be-very-successful business.”
Guts and Courage: Third Stage
The third stage of “gutsy” arrives after your business has achieved some success.
In this stage, entrepreneurs typically grow more conservative or perhaps even downright cautious when making business decisions.
This is due to the increased responsibility you now have to your staff, customers and family, and the memory of your struggle if you went through being broke.
This conservative stage can stifle growth and make you unwilling to try new things.
My advice: To the best of your ability, always be on the lookout for new growth opportunities, new revenue streams, and new ways to harness your creativity.
Combine your current knowledge and experience with your once youthful exuberance and “damn the torpedoes” entrepreneurial spirit with which you started.
Guts and Intuition
The second part of “guts” is learning to trust your intuition.
When I look back on decisions or plans that didn’t go well, truth be told, my gut was “buzzing like a disturbed beehive,” warning me not to proceed.
However, my heart was saying, “Ignore that old conservative gut and plow full steam ahead, you brave entrepreneur!”
Of course, I should have listened to my gut.
Whether it’s a major decision or even one as seemingly simple as taking on a new client, pause and check in with yourself about whether it feels right, and you will likely get the right answer.
The bottom line is this: DECIDE to trust your gut.
Trait #2: Persistence
The next feature of your business GPS is Persistence.
Nothing is more essential than the willingness to be persistent and keep going, even in your darkest hour.
This is true in any endeavour, but it is especially true when launching and running your business.
Imagine if, after my first 11 months in business and not getting one paying client in that time, I gave up, refusing to tap one more credit card to make it one more week.
Certainly, I would not have the successful businesses I have today, so my strong advice to you is: DECIDE not to quit!
If you need more inspiration about being persistent in the face of adversity, I recommend It’s Okay To Be Scared But Never Give Up, the book I co-authored with Martin Howey.
In addition to our stories, you can read the stories of nine other highly successful business owners and the challenges they faced and how they overcame them.
Trait #3: Strategy
Finally, the last part of business GPS is Strategy.
No matter what your business may be, whether you sell a product or service, it is essential that you have a clear and focused strategy for success.
Step one is to have a business plan.
Those words, “business plan,” strike fear in the hearts of many new entrepreneurs because business plans seem complicated and difficult.
But they don’t have to be.
You can find plenty of templates and how-to information with a basic Internet search.
The point is you really do need a business plan.
It will help you see where your weaknesses are and who your competition may be so that you can correct those issues before you even get started.
Know Your Audience
Your target audience is another critical component of your business plan.
Knowing exactly who your target audience is and knowing your market are more important than the product you sell or the service you offer.
Don’t skip over this aspect of building your business plan.
You want to know with intense hyper-clarity and specificity who your perfect target customer is.
You should know how old they are, their gender, their occupation, and the type of neighborhood they live in.
If you don’t know this information, you will never reach them with any type of marketing you do.
All great marketing should be one-to-one communication. We all want to be special and to be the center of attention.
Target the message to a single individual – the right individual.
There you have it.
Three essential traits that successful entrepreneurs need to have and develop if they are going to realize their Dream Business.
So, now it’s time to DECIDE to use GPS – guts, persistence, and strategy – and start moving toward success.
If you would like to learn more, head on over to getjimpalmer.com where you can access new and exciting smart marketing and business building strategies for growth-oriented entrepreneurs and small business owners.
To your success!