My Entrepreneurial Journey… I was always the one at school with the big dreams, big ideas and exactly no idea what I wanted to do as a career. Perhaps that’s the typical journey of any successful entrepreneur, all I know is that my entrepreneurial journey has taught me a good many life lessons (so far).
This article is all about what I’ve learned along the way in fact 7 life lessons that will serve you well on your entrepreneurial journey.
Entrepreneurial Journey Lesson #1 Be Goal Orientated
At 15 years old, I wanted to be a millionaire and a karate instructor, my school careers teacher in her infinite wisdom laughed at my notion of stepping away from the 9-5, 45 year plan, the one that she had invested in, and instead suggested I should take my head out of the clouds and consider a career in the Police Force.
I had given some thought to the Police during those ‘Serious conversations‘ with mum and dad, but I was still unsure what I wanted to do. I had no real fixed goal to aim for, and without a goal, you end up getting swept along with the next wind doing a job you don’t like, because getting a job was what you did back in the 1980’s. Not so much an Entrepreneurial Journey, more a road to a dead-end job.
In swift contrast to this was when I began property developing, my goals were mapped out, I had developed a plan of action. The plan was to work 16 hours a day. Half in the day job as a police officer (I hope you made the link here…) and half building and property developing.
We often talk about developing your reason why which in turn develops your focus for building your business. My reason why was a strong one, and 18 months later I had made multiple 6 figures…
Lesson #2 Work A Plan
Having a plan to work to, or plugging into a proven system is essential to succeed.
Too many people starting their own entrepreneurial journey try to re-invent the wheel.
It is far more profitable to utilize existing markets, utilize proven systems rather than trying to fabricate your own from scratch and yet so many people try and fail. It’s a brave move stepping out and building your own brand to an untapped and untested market, but in almost every case of failure, people underestimate the amount of time, resources and energy it takes to profit from forging your own path into untapped markets.
Don’t get me wrong the pay-offs from such bold moves can be huge, take James Dyson for example.
One life lesson I learned is to travel along the well-trodden path, and leverage proven systems that will give you the success you want. Once you become wildly successful and want to invest something into your philanthropic endeavours then that’s fine, but don’t build your business this way.
Lesson #3 Leverage & Invest
The first 12 months of my property developing career I was close to burning out. Working 16 hours a day doing everything myself, it was tiring but nothing comes easy. After my first couple of developments had sold, I had the money to hire people in, but it wasn’t just other people’s time I was hiring, it was other people’s experience, hiring people who were better at plastering than me, better at bricklaying than me. Alowing me to negotiate more deals and make more money. Working less and earning more money in the process.
To be successful as an online business owner, you cannot do everything by yourself. Of course you have to initially, but it’s essential to leverage other people’s time and skills to move forwards.
As well as investing in people you have to invest in yourself. Every successful entrepreneur has invested in education and learning. The statement ‘knowledge is power’ is never so prevalent than with self-education.
Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune.– Jim Rohn
If you’re reading this right now, then you’re investing your time to learn more. The fact is that many people would rather invest in a huge flat screen TV to watch nonsense, rather than invest in a training program that can develop a 6, 7 and 8 figure business.
Personally I have invested hundreds of thousands of dollars into my business education, and I have no plans to change that. Success really is the ‘entrepreneurial journey’ when it comes to education as it’s ever-moving and expanding.
Lesson #4 Embrace Change and Technology
You may remember the brand Woolworth. A company that established in 1924, who despite it’s longevity, failed to properly embrace the Internet as a trading platform and folded in light of aggressive online competition with little or no overheads.
Many people are cautious of change and new technology, but if you fail to embrace it then you will have a slow and painful path to failure.
The Internet changes quickly, marketing methods change, and whether you like it or not, you have to embrace change and adapt to them.
Lesson #5 Focus On Helping Others To Succeed
Zig Ziglar said “You will get all you want in life if you help enough people get what they want in life“
If your focus is to genuinely help other people reach their goals in life then you will have a life of abundance. Some people call it The Law of Attraction, others cause and effect.
My advice with this point is help people who want to take action, not those wanting a free ride, because while there is great joy and satisfaction is helping people develop a wealth and freedom lifestyle, similar joy can be had by punching free loaders and time wasters in the face.
Don’t suffer fools, but go out of your way to help your next success story on their entrepreneurial journey.
Lesson #6 – Grow A Thick Skin
The journey of any successful entrepreneur is always met by the nay sayers. The people who try to tell you your business won’t work, or say – “That’s already been tried, that market is saturated, you can’t compete in that market” and all the other potentially destructive nonsense.
The reason people say things like this is either they have a genuine concern for you (family) or they like to see you get ahead, but not ahead of them (insert adjective of choice).
The actual process of growing a thicker skin is building confidence, self belief and self-worth into your own skills and abilities that you apply into your business. Let me tell you that there is nothing more enlightening and empowering than showing your vulnerabilities and not giving a hoot about people’s opinions or what they have to say.
Every Entrepreneur on their entrepreneurial journey, has suffered with loss, being accountable for making mistakes and bad decisions. This experience develops your resolve, your mettle and into the 4% income bracket.
If lesson #5 doesn’t work, try lesson #5a – Grow A Thicker Skin.
Lesson #7 – Balance, Timing, Effort & Spirit
This final lesson I have kept till the end, it’s a concept I adopted into my life since I was 12 years old when I began Karate back in 1983. The concept is interpreted physically, spiritually and metaphorically.
Balance is equilibrium, a state of equal measure. In the business sense balance can be the work life balance, the effort and reward balance, or understanding the 80 20 rule where 80% of your results come from 20% of the effort.
If we get our timing wrong, our opponent will see a weakness and attack. Timing in business is crucial, when is the best time to post on social media, when do you release a new blog post for the biggest impact, when do you release your product to the market. Timing is crucial.
Take massive action, because getting any business going takes huge effort, I’ve done this a number of times in my entrepreneurial journey, and potential reward minus the effort equals nothing.
Be under no illusion, that whatever business you start, takes a huge effort to get it going. But if you build the foundations right in the first place your business will experience the ripple effect, with those ripples expanding and turning into waves.
Spirit is something that has been kicked out of people. Schools no longer teach pupils to ‘dig in’ and carry on to experience the value of achievement. Instead they instruct people to stop if they feel pain, to live inside their comfort zone, to avoid conflict at all costs, and to seek resolution whether conflict or otherwise by passing responsibility onto third parties.
There’s no wonder child psychology and the counselling industry has seen a dramatic increase when these principles are applied into the real world.
Spirit is pushing yourself outside your comfort zone and the exhilaration of pushing your boundaries to a degree where your original fears are a feather bed…
Nature loves courage. You make the commitment by removing impossible obstacles. Dream the impossible dream and the world will not grind you under, it will lift you up. This is the trick. This is what all these teachers and philosophers who really counted, who really touched the alchemical gold, this is what they understood. This is the Shamanic dance in the waterfall. This is how magic is done. By hurling yourself into the Abyss and discovering it’s a Feather bed.
– Terence McKenna
Your Entrepreneurial Journey
Now it’s time for you to make it happen, because wherever you are right now – you can always achieve more. Remember that if you put your mind to it, anything is achievable & I hope my experiences of my own entrepreneurial journey will help you on yours.
“Helping You Build Your 6 Figure Internet Business”
P.S. Starting any business can be daunting on your own. Use the link here to talk to one of my business coaches to help you develop a plan over 21 steps to build a profitable Internet business.