Tips for the Go-Getters and Entrepreneurs at Heart
The easiest phase of any project or business venture is developing the idea. Without fail, if fear and time permit, you’ll lay or sit there thinking about the possible materialization of the idea, success, income generation, status change, improved lifestyle, being able to help persons in need, and the list goes on. Not forgetting the ‘what will people think’ idea. While being filled with excitement, I can almost guarantee that most persons, if not all, never take the time to write the ideas which come to mind or conduct research in order to effectively and economically strategize as a new entrant into an industry, or first mover.
To add, in the height of the excitement, we do not seek God’s guidance for divine clarity regarding the next steps, neither do we seek mentorship from someone who has mastered the skills we desire to adopt.
If I am to ask, ‘have you ever been at this place’, I’m sure you’ll respond with a resounding ‘yes’.
Too often I see people with big dreams, big ideas, and great minds live little lives that suffocate their purpose and potentials. However, there are two scriptures that I love so much and would like to share them with you:
Hosea 4:6 - My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge, because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me, seeing thou hast. (KJV)
Matthew 6:33 - But seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you. (KJV)
There are some key principles and practical steps we can take away from these scriptures in order to first get up, before we can begin living the abundant life we were created to. However, I have summarized them into two (2) categories for you: knowledge and priority.
Research: I do not care how intelligent you think you are. The knowledge you have right now may just be enough to allow you to develop a great idea, but it will not provide the competitive edge required for sustainability and relevance. We live in a world where laws, rules, regulations, technology, fashion, trends, modes of communication, etc, all change and improve on a daily basis. If you’re going to be successful, you have to conduct in depth research. Google, however, should not be your only search engine. Seek to empty the minds of those who are already seasoned and progressing in the industries you have an interest in. Ask questions. Conduct surveys. Pay attention to local, regional, and international news.
Mentorship vs. Sponsorship: One of my observations has been the fact that many are unable to differentiate between a sponsor and a mentor. A sponsor is one who acts as an advocate on your behalf and assists in building networks and business relationships that will aid in materializing your dreams/goals/ideas. Sponsors may also provide financial support. On the other hand, mentors are persons who assist you in navigating through the mazes of your journey by providing guidance, support based on experience, self awareness, helping you to recognize and capitalize on your strengths, and assisting in developing the ideas that you are trying to give birth to. Depending on which phase of the journey you are on will determine whether you need a mentor or a sponsor.
Unlearning: Through research, mentorship, and sponsorship, you’ll be amazed at the many beliefs and information you perceived to be ‘gospel’ that are actually enemies of the dream you are trying to materialize. As I always say, if you’re hungry enough to get what you need, you’ll be desperate enough to let go of what you want.
Learning: Everyone has the ability to learn, but everyone doesn’t. You’re never too old or too young to learn. Make it your business to keep learning and stay abreast with everything that pertains to your dream, its related industry, competitors, substitute products and services, and ways of improving your skill/craft.
Observing Behavioural Patterns: One of your downfalls if this aspect is not attended to, will be failing and making the same mistakes continuously. Observe your patterns: good and bad. Do you plan, properly manage your time, and constantly seek to better yourself and your brand? Or do you make poor business decisions, spend unnecessarily, procrastinate, and never accept responsibility? What about timeliness, are you always late? Believe it or not, your behavioural patterns aid in creating the culture of your service/business. Why? You are your service/business. Take some time to observe, journalize, and develop strategies in unlearning and dealing with your cringe-worthy behaviours. If you fail to do so, it will not only cause you your time, but it will your money and that dream you worked hard for.
Teamwork: I'm sure you have heard the adage before -no man is an island. Team work helps in building mutually relationships through collaborations, discussions, assistance, support, advice, business referrals, product and service reviews, peer to peer subscriptions, etc. Do not ever take for granted the beautiful opportunities and life changing benefits that are possible to be derived from helping a fellow entrepreneur/dream chaser. Even if you are not financially remunerated, the knowledge, experience, and exposure gained from the 'exercise' may help improve your idea and scope of bigger, better, product/service provision. PS: You never whose life you're impoacting while lending a helping hand. benefiting
Loan/Investment/Collateral/Savings: Another important subject, factor, whatever you want to call it is this - take time to determine whether you need to save toward your dream, get a loan, find an investor, or obtain collateral for a loan if applying for one that is unsecured. You’re probably wondering how you would know which option best suits your dream. Refer to above: research, seek mentorship, and seek sponsorship. And let me just put it out there - starting a business does not require you put yourself in debt. Here are a few questions that may help to guide your decisions:
Does your disposable income allow you to take on the financial responsibility of a payment plan for your dream? If yes, you do not need a loan.
If no to the previous question, is it possible to reduce your expenses to accommodate the payment plan? If yes, honey, you do not need a loan. Save. Adjust your monthly budget to furnish the start-up expenses for your business. That way, if there’s anybody you need to pay back with interest, it’s you.
These are actually some of the tools which were instrumental in starting my businesses. While I did not have the opportunity and privilege of anyone sitting me down and providing advice, I want you to not make some of the mistakes I made, hence this blog post. All in all, it has and continues to be a learning process that I am forever grateful for.
I hope you enjoyed a good read. I really didn’t want to bore you so we’ll catch up on ‘Priority’ in my next blog.
To my Go-Getters, Entrepreneurs, and Entrepreneurs in the making, I’m happy for you and this journey that you’re on.
Get up! Do the things that only people with BIG ideas and BIG hearts do - LIVE PURPOSEFULLY!