Starting my own business was one of the best decisions I ever made. Well, outside of giving my life to Christ, marrying my husband and becoming a mother.
We all have different reasons for wanting to start a business. Mine was simple. I got tired of chasing the carrot in corporate America. Every time I would get close, the carrot moved again and again.
I finally said to myself, you know what? I’m done chasing the carrot in hopes of catching it someday. I loved my job, but it was time to take my destiny into my own hands. I took the leap and created the future I wanted and stopped relying on someone else to create it for me. And you know what, it feels great—well, sometimes.
What do I mean by sometimes? Well, starting a business is not for the faint at heart. Taking the leap will mean that you may stumble along the way. Stumbling is a part of the entrepreneurial experience. If you stumble, get back up and move forward.
Here are five tips I’d like to share from my experience.
1. Do Your Research to Find a Coach Who Fits Your Needs
As a coach myself, I want to say please don’t skimp on this. Do your research, and ask questions like: How long have you been in business? Who are your clients? What client success stories do you have? Can I contact them?
2. Avoid Investing in Tools Prematurely
Not all tools work for every business or are even needed. I spent $2,500 on a funnel system and I never touched it. I didn’t know how to work a funnel and barely knew what it meant. My business was simply too young, and the customer service representative even told me the same thing and allowed me to cancel the subscription with grace. I found a simple, free version that worked just fine for my new business. I simply bought things too soon.
3. Become Laser-Focused on Your Offerings
Don’t offer a huge menu of mismatched options. Just because you can do something does not mean you should. I can write copy for websites because I have a gift of writing marketing and branding documents for my clients. But, I won’t do it as it does not align with my business.
4. Speak into Existence What You Do and Who You Are
Introduce yourself as such, and be ready to share the value you bring. Consider it your business elevator speech. When I began telling people I was a resume writer and career coach, I grew into who I wanted to be known for. As time went on, I evolved and now have no problem stating exactly what I do and the value I bring.
5. Make Your Business Cards a Part of Your Daily Attire
Never go anywhere without your business cards. I use a small plastic pouch on the back of my phone because I always have it with me. So when someone asks what you do, you can not only give them your elevator speech, but you also have a card to hand them right away. No more “My card case is in my other purse.”
Finally, Don’t Be Afraid to Fail
If it does not work out, it’s not the end of the world. It took four failed businesses before I hit the jackpot with iRock Résumés. The failures may have delayed my goal of becoming an entrepreneur, but it didn’t stop me. I learned valuable lessons that helped shape me to be the entrepreneur I am today.
So, go ahead and take the leap! You will be glad you did!
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