Episode Summary – Gain momentum using your excitement
Learn how to gain momentum at this critical point. It’s essential to use your excitement positively at this stage, as it is giving you plenty of enthusiasm and energy. Your excitement is likely to decline with time. So make the most of it while it’s strong before other things push it down your to-do list.
We discuss 5 qualities of successful owners and so that you can make a decision about owning a business or discover if it’s all just a pipe dream.
Links and resources
Blog-Avoid procrastination and improve your decision making
Blog-Buying a franchise-is friction inevitable?
How to gain momentum using your excitement
How to gain momentum and make progress toward deciding if business ownership is for you is crucial.
We explain the relationship of momentum, excitement and preparation.
There are 5 qualities of a successful business owner that we highlight for you to focus on.
Are you excited?
Have you noticed that excitement abounds when people are thinking about starting a business? When you’re thinking of buying a business, a franchise or starting a business, it can be very exciting. The prospect of owning a successful business can mean great things such as-
- Having no boss to answer to.
- Taking holidays, a couple of times a year to somewhere overseas.
- Have flexible working time around my lifestyle.
- Use tax benefits to buy a new car.
- Get people to work for me and earn me money.
- Becoming much more affluent
- Being happy
- You think this “could well be the best thing I ever did”.
The spanner in the works
Sorry but there is a “spanner in the works” (that’s a wrench for our American listeners).
It’s a pretty big spanner too!
The spanner is that the majority of new businesses aren’t going to make it as the odds are against you.
In our last Episode Understanding Your Motivation, we discussed some of the factors that get people into a business. Now, assuming you have identified your motivation and you are super excited, how do you move forward?
You can harness that excitement and positive energy into MOMENTUM that will help you decide whether owning a business is right for you.
If you don’t get some momentum, you may well get excited and find out that nothing much else happens. Until you get your next business idea, and then you get all excited again. The entrepreneur inside keeps nagging at you to get out and another year drifts by.
So what is momentum and what we mean by it? MOMENTUM is the force or speed of an object in motion. Now, let’s think about taking your excitement about a business idea and push that idea along. So that you can decide if owning a business is right for you and perhaps whether this particular idea is a good as you think it is.
How can we get this moving along?
The SIOAB equation to gain momentum
The way we say to get MOMENTUM is to add some PREPARATION to your EXCITEMENT
So, our SIOAB equation is EXCITEMENT + PREPARATION = MOMENTUM.
We want you to use your EXCITEMENT and do some PREPARATION so that you get MOMENTUM and decide Should I Own a Business? Perhaps after your PREPARATION, you might decide that yes, you should own a business but not this idea. Or you might decide no, it’s not for me.
Unless you apply some PREPARATION to your EXCITEMENT, it will just remain as, well, excitement.
Energy and enthusiasm come together to create momentum
It’s essential to use your excitement positively at this stage, as it is giving you plenty of enthusiasm and energy. Your excitement is likely to decline with time. So make the most of it while it’s strong before other things push it down your to-do list.
You should be excited and enthusiastic about your idea there’s nothing wrong with that at all.
If you are not excited at this point, then potentially, it’s not right for you. This is probably a unique time where you experience very high degrees of excitement about the future as a business owner.
When we use the word, PREPARATION we are referring to YOU – Your self-preparation to move forward.
In Episodes 2 and 3, we introduced you to the concept of looking at yourself from a 360-life perspective and understanding what your motivation for business ownership is.
Now if you have a business idea or opportunity in mind, you are probably gathering information on it and thinking about the business side of things. Our future Podcasts will give you a lot more knowledge and resources about How to Evaluate Your Business Idea. There is plenty to help you in the Episodes ahead. Geoff and I have a carefully thought out pathway for you that we have developed-so keep listening.
However, it is easy to over concentrate on the business idea and get carried along with it. So today we are focusing on the PREPARATION that YOU can do to build on what you learnt from the YOU 360 and Understanding Your Motivation episodes.
Business Ownership doesn’t suit everybody. We say “Listen Before You Leap” because the more you know about it, the more informed your decision making will be.
It’s all about Your preparation
Let’s point out why we say YOU and your preparation is so important. In smaller businesses, you are an integral part of the business and its very difficult to separate yourself from it. You need to understand what business ownership is like, and if you think you have what it takes to be successful. Your business is not likely to be successful if you are not happy owning it as business ownership is full-on.
We have met plenty of owners who given their time again would not start their business.
We believe that too much emphasis is on the business idea. Not enough attention is on the life as an owner and whether they have enough knowledge, skills and the disposition needed.
This is why we emphasis YOU and Your Preparation.
What you need to know
Preparation is about equipping yourself with enough knowledge, too:
- understand what you have to do as a business owner;
- what you have to be;
- and how to reduce the risks of getting into business as much as possible.
There are no guarantees in business, and this is the first thing you have to understand.
Some risks are simply out of your control, and therefore, they can be tough to predict or mitigate. For example, major economic upheaval like Brexit if you are in the UK or perhaps a natural disaster in the US or the trade wars currently raging around the world. Events like these could blindside you no matter how well prepared you are.
The smart money bet
So, this is where the “smart money” is – knowing what you can’t control and what you can and then preparing to handle those risks. Unfortunately, many new entrepreneurs are not aware of these and therefore have significant issues unnecessarily-some of them catastrophic. This can cause business failure and a heap of distress.
Starting any business is a risk and the more you can understand those risks and balance them against the opportunity that you see, then the stronger the position you are in.
When we use the term “new entrepreneur”, we mean someone new to business ownership, whether they buy an existing business, a franchise or start a business from scratch.
Knowing the hurdles ahead will most likely give you an automatic competitive advantage. This is because so many people going into business for the first time don’t know what they are.
We believe that if people were better informed, they might have chosen not to get into their business and therefore not become a failure statistic. We also believe that understanding what it takes to be successful will also help those people that go ahead and get into business.
In order not to become another statistic, you need to be able to harness positive energy and thinking into reality.
Probably the most critical self-preparation is around your mindset so that you can look at owning a business in a balanced and objective way. You need to spend time to understand the things that will enhance your chances of success and those traits that might work against you.
You also need to comfortable with the fact that you will be a Leader and that you will be responsible for everything that your business does-good and bad.
Being a Leader can be challenging even in small business. Part of your preparation is to understand what is expected of you and whether or not you like it.
Many books written on management thinking are focused on large businesses.
SMB’s are not corporations, and their success depends upon capable Owner-Leaders who are also effective General Managers.
You need to understand that developing your knowledge is vital as it will enable you to make better decisions.
Here are five qualities for your preparation stage
Our five qualities might sound a bit weird but remember that we’re thinking differently about this stuff.
To take your idea, quit your job, and have a crack has proven, over many years to produce unacceptable failure rates.
1 Build Resilience – Your Personal Resilience Plan
The one characteristic that stands out about successful business owners is their resilience.
They can absorb stress, setbacks, defeats and challenges and keep bouncing back.
We suggest that you start with planning how you will build and maximise your resilience.
Running a business can be very demanding, physically and mentally. Unless you look after yourself, it can take its toll on you. Your resilience plan needs to include both physical and mental preparation. The purpose of getting into business is to improve your life in some way and to become ill, rather defeats the object.
You also need to be at your best performance to make right, timely decisions and exhibit a calm, consistent leadership style. If you are suffering physically or mentally, then your performance will suffer.
Wellness and wellbeing are not nice to have; they are essential.
2 Build Your Knowledge
New entrepreneurs often lack business knowledge which they learn through trial and error, which is a time-consuming and very costly way to learn. Some fail before they work it out. Don’t be one of them.
Look out for what will make you and your business successful. But please be very careful where you access your advice and knowledge. Never before has it been so easy to obtain information from the internet. A lot of it is BS designed to enrich the presenter.
Perhaps find a mentor with business knowledge and experience that is willing to help you.
Talk to business owners and ask about their challenges.
Research your business idea, the market size, competitors, prices etc. Become an expert so that your expectations are realistic AND you can see where the opportunities are in the market.
Opportunities are all around us, but you need enough knowledge to spot them and then work out how your business can use the opportunity.
If you are thinking of buying a franchise, then understand how the franchising industry works.
Franchising, in general, has its risks and benefits that you need to understanding to evaluate a specific opportunity. It is tempting to believe that buying a franchise is low risk, but this is not the case. Read this blog for an interesting insight into buying a franchise.
If you are thinking of buying a business, then understand the process and who can help you. Have a good knowledge of what you are getting into and how you think you can make it successful.
3 Personal Development
You need to accept and embrace the transformation from being an employee and into a business owner who is a very different mindset.
Being a successful business owner demands certain traits:
- You will accept responsibility for everything on a 24 x7 basis.
- You must be resourceful and creative at finding solutions to the challenges you will face.
- Have an open mind to consider risks, opportunities and be prepared to change your beliefs.
- Accept your role to lead change not hold the status quo.
- You must be a confident, positive self-motivator.
- Invest time in your learning and personal development.
- You are responsible for the culture of your business.
- A stagnant person will have a stagnant business, and therefore, personal development is essential.
4 Your Total Commitment
Getting into business is life changing-hopefully for the better. Understand the risk you are taking and know that if you are in, you’re in 100%.
Your business will make demands on you, your relationships and finances.
You cannot walk away from issues as you must find the solutions.
Business owners have to be self-motivators with sharp discipline and a “never give up” attitude. How self-motivated are you and how driven to succeed do you feel? Lukewarm passionate doesn’t work.
What will keep you motivated when things aren’t going to plan?
Think about the time and money input you will commit.
There will come the point when to evaluate your idea that it will only move forward by you putting in the time and, or money.
What quantum of money are you willing to invest?
How will you get it, and how will you feel if you lose it?
How much time are you willing to commit, and how will you find the time?
Many people have great ideas about new products.
Let’s say your great idea needs patent protecting, industrial designers, prototypes, testing and investors. Are you willing to invest $ 10’s of,000 dollars just to get to that stage or are you dreaming about it and would never risk this amount of money?
5 Your Comfort Zone Has Gone
Business life will challenge you, and new entrepreneurs are sometimes surprised how uncomfortable this can be.
Your comfort zones will get challenged frequently. For example, you might be uncomfortable meeting people or being your sales ambassador, but you still have to do it and do it well.
Extrovert or introvert?
Extroverts are comfortable in the sales and marketing areas. They can confidently talk to strangers at networking events or engage with people through cold calls. They deal with rejection like “water off a duck’s back.”
More introverted types find this very uncomfortable and often avoid these situations. Rejection and being in these situations can be very stressful for some people.
If your business will rely on you, as the primary person to get sales- how do you feel about rejection?
Confrontation and conflict resolution
Another common area is confrontation and conflict, which are inevitable. Dealing with employees who take too much time off or regularly make mistakes is not uncommon. Customers who complain-sometimes, quite unfairly and refuse to pay need handling.
How well do you handle conflict?
Procrastination can be a business killer. See our blog “Avoid Procrastination and improve your decision making” for great tips. Making decisions is a daily event, and something must feel comfortable doing.
Strategy and tactics skills
“Big picture” people who can’t do detail or vice versa is another common occurrence. Both aspects are crucial, but one without the other can hamper a business. Living in either extreme won’t help unless you can have some balance in your business. Its Strategy AND Tactics, not Strategy OR Tactics.
You need to come to be comfortable with being uncomfortable.
You can see that these five aspects have nothing to do with which business you may own as they are all about the owner.
We suggest that you consider which ones from this list apply to you need to improve and do preparation work while your excitement is intense.
The first place to start is some realism. The vision of having no boss, taking exotic holidays, buying a new car to reduce tax etc. is achievable. It is also statistically, unlikely as most new businesses fail. To reach this vision, you will have to overcome several hurdles.
Approach the Should I Own A Business Question in the professional, organised manner. Treat it like a part-time job to which you devote an amount of time on a consistent and regular basis. Work on your preparation like a project and aim to create momentum.
Collect your thoughts, notes, questions, information etc. in a journal or electronically, which can be a test for how you will be in business. If you are too casual, not willing to research and learn or lack a high degree of motivation and stamina, then you probably should not start a business. Business owners must be creative and resourceful but also organised. Disorganisation is not efficient, and it costs money.
Another aspect of your preparation is to consider how much are you prepared to sacrifice.
Business ownership might look like a cushy number, but it’s not. It is hard work and requires an absolute commitment. Half-hearted won’t work.
Being the best technician, “tradie”, cook, chef, lawyer, manager or accountant is not really what matters. Being able to harness your specific skill and make everything work in harmony is what matters.
During this preparation, phase keep asking-“is this me?” Would I enjoy this challenge? What would I do in that situation? Am I comfortable being uncomfortable?
In the upcoming episode, we discuss Critical Business Functions that you need to master along with assessing your Knowledge and Skills for ownership. This often catches people out, so it’s a great episode to catch.
We have plenty to keep your MOMENTUM going along our specially designed pathway.
Thank you for joining our podcast conversation. We believe that better decisions make better businesses. If you found our podcast helpful please give us five stars on iTunes so we might help other people like you.
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The information contained in this podcast is general and does not take into account your situation. The content does not constitute legal or financial advice and should not be used as such. You should consider whether the information is appropriate to your needs, and where applicable, seek professional advice from a financial adviser or lawyer in your jurisdiction. To find out more, please go to www.ShouldIOwnABusiness.com.