When you decide to become an entrepreneur, unless you’re going be a non-profit, there is the expectation you want to make money and have some form of success. What do you do to make that happen? What don’t you do? There are seven simple secrets that can keep you on track for success.
First why are you doing this? Sticking it to the man/boss/parents, proving to your mentor or someone special that you could do it. You get off to a passionate start but then you get sidetracked and other things start to get in the way. You’ve Lost Focus. Get back to the reason you started doing this in the first place and hang on to it like a drowning person to a life preserver.
Second; ever been stuck in traffic and that barely comfortable amount of time you gave yourself to get to the theater/church/date’s place or job evaporated? Were they happy about watching you rush in and talk about the traffic/bus/lost cabbie? Don’t Be Late. They’ve made time for you and how you honor that investment can change whether they trust you with their business or not.
Third; have you had the blood level in your energy drink tested lately? Are you more prone to have a can of EnergyPOW or something halfway to your lips most of the day? “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” is a common phrase among hard charging types. You should change the motto to “I don’t need any fresh ideas” or “I’ll inhibit my driving and working ability with fatigue.” Doesn’t sound as impressive does it? Don’t Give Up Your Rest. Sleep allows you to recover and recharge your mental and physical reserves to be at your best.
Fourth; you had the best lemonade stand in the neighborhood. You graduated knowing you were going to make your family proud by becoming the person that revolutionized the world. Instead you settled for a paycheck and security. Like George Clooney’s corporate terminator tells one employee, “How much did they first pay you to give up your dreams?” Remember the Dream. What special memory about your business can you think of? The first day you opened? The first product you sold? Lock in on that and don’t let it go.
Fifth; maybe a reason you struck out on your own was the mind numbing meetings. They went on forever with no end in sight. A customer who appreciates speed and directness is rolling their eyes at your elaborate power point presentation. Respect the Time. Theirs OR yours. Make your appointment with the deal maker, not the gate keeper or lowest person on the totem pole. When the client says they have X amount of time for a meeting, give them x amount of time and give them the option to answer questions or conclude if they need to. They’ll respect you for it.
Sixth; so you do have the app that tracks your time and accounts for every mile you travel and every contact you make in person or online. Do you have social media apps, games, stuff that can sound very enticing when you’re bored? Distinguish Distractions. What do you need to work on and put away the stuff that’s keeping you from your projects.
Finally seventh; there are lots of books and articles about work/life balance. Some things are obvious. When your partner comments it would be nice to see you at dinner. When your kids ask about making an appointment to play with you. Your sibling says they miss having coffee together like you used to. Don’t Fail Your Family. They love you the way you are want to be a part of your life. If there’s a big project that’s going to keep you from them for a while, explain it. Don’t let it become a never-ending string of projects.
Being an entrepreneur isn’t easy, it can be rewarding and you can keep your dreams, focus, family and freedom if you remember these seven basic ideas.