Are You Ready for This? You Can Be a Business Owner!
This page accompanies the chapter, Are You Ready for This? (You Can Be a Business Owner), in the book, Hire Your Job, Fire Yourself. Here you’ll find a brief recap of the chapter, additional information, and some valuable resources to help convince you that the biggest hurdle to owning a business is the fear inside of you!
“But I don’t want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked.
“Oh, you can’t help that,” said the Cat: “We’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.”
“How do you know I’m mad?” said Alice.
“You must be,” said the Cat, “or you wouldn’t have come here.”
(Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Chapter 6)
The Most Valuable Real Estate in the World
The chapter opens with a very inspiring story about the most valuable real estate in the world. The author wrote an article that appeared in the Business Corner section of multiple newspapers. This article was based on this story.Here is a link to the article to the story about the most valuable real estate in the world. See if you can figure out the answer before you finish reading the article.
You Can Learn Qualities for Success
Successful people have similar qualities. The qualities you need to be successful CAN be learned. These include:
- Do what you love. Got an idea to get rich, but don’t like the business? Find something else! Becoming successful will take a lot of effort and time and if you don’t love what you do, it will be extremely difficult to dedicate yourself to the effort. Successful people do what they love to do. They just happen to make money at doing what they love so they don’t mind working hard to become successful.
- Dream big. If you don’t have big dreams, it’s hard to focus on what you want to achieve. Dream in detail about your future life, family, vacations, income level, home, and lifestyle in general. Then work backwards to determine the steps necessary to achieve each of those goals. Playing Xbox in the middle of the day, while sitting in boxer shorts, eating Cheetos, probably isn’t on that list of steps to achieving your dreams.
- Commit to excellence. If you’re not committed to being an expert in your field, you might not have the passion needed for excellence. To commit to excellence, you must commit to reading, asking, learning, and applying your skills. Experts are never born experts, they take the time necessary to learn the subject matter. Committing to excellence brings deep satisfaction. Dedicate yourself to lifelong learning. Covey says the half-life of your knowledge is two years. Read in your field each day and study the experts. Take every course and seminar in your field that you can. These experts often distill years of knowledge into a single presentation. Listen to audio programs in your car as you drive around. A thirty-minute, quality podcast for your industry will push you closer to your goal than thirty minutes of music or news. Be prepared to climb from peak to peak as the industry changes and shifts. Be flexible. The quality of learning self-discipline is huge, even when you don’t feel like it. All professional athletes have incredible self-discipline.
- Develop a workaholic mentality. Don’t worry, you can back off later. Until you become an expert, you have to work harder than everyone else. Self-made millionaires work an average of 59 hours per week. When it’s time to work, work, don’t play. Most people play during work and their inefficiency causes stress (crunch time) and low production.
- Consider yourself self-employed. Even if you are an employee and not a business owner, if you view yourself as a business that is contracted for services, you can learn to take on a higher level or responsibility with less goofing around while on the clock. This mental shift is a great way to prepare yourself for excellence. Even as an employee, serving your employer with excellence will make you highly valued and able to gain better contracts (responsibilities).
- Don’t let the fear of failure hold you back. Failures are merely ways of learning and obtaining feedback. Highly successful people always seek the lesson in failure so they learn from the situation and can make wiser decisions in the future. Develop resilience and bounce back quickly from failures. Develop a quality of courage. Courage to leap. Courage to endure and persist. Never give up, only adjust your course.
Fear of launching is a failure that many experience. Don’t wait until the stars are all aligned perfectly. Many successful business owners admit that if they had to do it all over again, they wouldn’t have waited so long to launch their business.
- Surround yourself with quality people. If you want to improve your situation, hang out with people who are smarter than you and who have far more experience than you. This habit will transform the way you think. This might mean that next week you will choose to take a successful business person out to coffee to pick their brain instead of go watch college football in the garage of Ernie, your alcoholic neighbor. Winners pick you up and recharge your energy batteries while losers drag you down to their level.
Write 10 fairly realistic goals for next year. Try not to prioritize them or jump ahead in this exercise. Then carefully review your goals. Ask yourself, “If I could automatically accomplish one of these goals right now, which one would I choose?” That goal will be the major goal you need to start focusing on! Post it in your work space where you’ll see it daily as a reminder of what you need to be doing.
Are you struggling with ideas on how to tackle a big challenge? Clearly write out what that challenge is. For example, maybe you need to double your income in the next year so your challenge is how to go about doing that. Then write down a minimum of twenty answers to that challenge. Try to avoid send guessing your answers and just let the ideas flow in a brainstorm fashion. This technique has been used by many people and, in almost every case, the best answer to that challenge will be listed among those twenty-plus answers. When you are finished, take a careful look at your answers. If the answer doesn’t jump out at you, take it to some trusted friends and mentors.
One shortcut to this exercise is to spend a lot of time clearly defining the challenge. Get as detailed as possible. Many experts feel that if you can define the problem in enough detail, the solution to the problem becomes obvious.
“In my consulting business, I can often help a client determine the best course of action by asking a series of questions that force the client to define the problem in greater detail. By the time we get the problem laid out in enough detail, the answer is staring both of us right in the face.” – Scott Alvord (CEO, Advanced Development Concepts, LLC)
Additional Resources to Help You Gain the Confidence to Become a Business Owner
Among many other topics, the chapter spent a lot of time covering some unique groups of people in interesting life situations. These groups include Military Veterans, Baby Boomers, Gen X, Minorities, and Parents. While some excellent material was presented for each group, the book referenced some additional material (below). Here are some great resources and links that help prepare you for owning your own business:
- Advanced Development Concepts provides a variety of expert business consulting services, specializing in business startups, business process improvement, and generally helping businesses thrive.
- Baby Boomers.
- We’ve added a separate page to cover Baby Boomer Entrepreneurs.
- The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) as an elective track within the Department of Defense’s revised Training Assistance Program called Transition Goals, Plans, Success (Transition GPS). NOTE: Here is a great Boots to Business video that should be linked to on the website.
- Female Veterans. To fuel the growth of female veteran business owners, Count Me In and Capital One have partnered to develop the Women Veteran Entrepreneur Corps (WVEC). This training and mentor program is “designed to help established women small business owners who are veterans or spouses/domestic partners of veterans conquer daily business challenges and plan ahead for future growth and success.“
- VetBiz.gov – Once you finish your business plan, you should apply at VetBiz.gov to become an official veteran-owned business. It is a free service from the Department of Veterans Affairs that can lead to many benefits.
- Here’s in interesting article titled, Young Military Vets Show Strong Interest in Business Ownership.
- 6 Successful Mom-owned Small Businesses (link to Kabbage.com)
- Kelly Moore created a very large list of mom and dad owned businesses in the Des Moines area. What’s impressive about this list is that it’s only for Des Moines…and it’s a HUGE list.
Do You Have a Suggestion for Something We’re Missing?
Let us know if you think of something else we should include here. Add to the Comments section below or Contact Us.