Jamie Wolf

Mar 152013
 

Confident business woman with her team standing behind herWhy does he ask you “How”?

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on.” Steve Jobs, 2005 commencement address at Stanford University

If you’ve been following along with this series, you’ll know that we’re a fourth of the way through 24 short lessons on what exactly to do to get started if you want to be an entrepreneur or have your own business. Of course, since these are mini-lessons, there will be more to it than just the content of these articles. But at least it’s a place to start to get from where you are now to where you want to be – in a situation where you have a “business”.

I’ve hammered the point (hopefully in a nice way) that making choices and decisions that result in plans is essential for whatever you do. Without this action on your part, life will happen to you by default. Especially as change comes upon us faster and faster, as the need to stay relevant and keep pace becomes a bigger feature of our landscape, making plans becomes imperative. You can change them, but you must lay the foundation first.

In going through the steps as outlined so far, you are consciously deciding what you want in your life. You are actively choosing what you want your life to look like. You are making plans to get there. And you are remembering to check in with yourself to make sure that you feel peace, contentment, satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment. Plan your mission, then make it so.

Here are eleven essential and helpful Planning behaviors:

1. Be honest with yourself – no excuses, no sugarcoating

2. Be accountable – drop your sense of entitlement

3. Just do it – don’t be afraid of hard work and don’t wait until everything falls into place, or else you won’t start

4. Take one day at a time with your actions, but focus on results in the long term

5. Don’t wimp out because of short-term setbacks

6. Plans aren’t the end of your life -you can change them. But first give them your all and stick with them long enough to experience success

7. Be of service. Have high intention with low attachment. Give with no expectation of getting back

8. Maintain your composure and keep your sense of humor. Roll with the punches. Be the person you’d like to be around.

9. Don’t elaborate. Simple is good. There is no need to impress anyone – under-promise and over-deliver.

10. Be proud (not egotistical.) Keep your word. Know that actions yield results. Take steps today, and tomorrow you’ll have the pedigree or credentials you think you need.

11. Be in the now. Give this moment your all rather than being in a hurry to reach some endpoint. The end will take care of itself if you give now your full attention. Understand how your actions today contribute to an endpoint you have set for tomorrow.

As important as it is to know and develop behaviors of successful entrepreneurs, some of you may want more tangible instructions. How do you get from here to there? How do you make decisions and plans that lead you forward?

Ask yourself HOW and then answer by doing the following:

Every evening make a plan for your day tomorrow.

This should be broken into components:

  • Projects you plan to work on
  • Projects you plan to delegate, including a completion deadline and who they are assigned to
  • Tasks that need to be done

For the projects you work on, note:

  • What goal they are related to
  • The results
  • What the next actions steps are that you need to take to keep it moving forward

Description

Delegated To

Deadline

Results

Next Action Step

Goals

Projects

Tasks

  • Block your time. The hardest or most intimidating item should go first.
  • Set a stop time! Work this one item until you complete it. It will make you better at completing things in a shorter time frame as you get used to intense focus.
  • Limit your tasks to 30-60 min max. Schedule them for just after lunch or early afternoon or whenever your energy is a bit low as they take less thought and creativity.
  • Ask yourself at least twice a day if what you are working on is moving you forward to your goals. Remember, you don’t want to be busy; you want to achieve outcomes that produce results you have decided you want – time, money, health, relationships, etc. While you work, keep in mind what outcome you are working towards.

BREAK TIME! Be sure to take breaks to move, breathe, eat something nutritious, or have some fun. It’s as important to nourish your creativity as it is to push forward. And at the risk of being politically incorrect (though I don’t believe that was the intention) here’s a suggestion for one of your breaks: Why do the Indians always ask HOW? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y_at9dOElQk

DO’s

  • DO appreciate that HOW you go through the process of planning and decision making – whether you rush through it or really dive into it – affects how you get to success, or not.
  • DO go back and review the steps of who, what, when, where, why in addition to this how as you work through the process of making decisions.
  • DO recognize that a plan is useful only if it is implemented. The next element you need is the ability to take action so plan to stay tuned for more articles!

DON’Ts

  • Don’t forget to take some quiet time to reflect deeply on what brings you joy, contentment, peace, and fulfillment. You are creating a business to serve you – not a life in which you serve your business.
  • Don’t forget to step back and look at the big picture and remember that your decisions affect your health, your finances, your family, and your future. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pursue entrepreneurship. In my opinion that should move you to entrepreneurship even more passionately and quickly! But in all circumstances you are part of a greater whole and in our frantic lives we sometimes forget that. Don’t.

ACTION ITEMS:

  1. Get very quiet. Sit someplace with no distractions. Make a conscious decision. Decide you are ready to do the work to start from where you are today.
  2. Make a list of things you know how to do and things you like to do. Pick one or two short-term and mid-term goals you can reach in a month and in a year. Then pick one wild ass thing you’d love to do, be, or have ten years from now.
  3. Start plotting your course. Think of the one why that will compel you to go forward. Now pick three mini-targets, or milestones, to get you to your one-month and one-year goals.

About the Author:
To find more information about entrepreneurship be sure to look for ebooks by Jamie Wolf on Kindle: How to Be a Successful Entrepreneur: A Step by Step Guide on How to Start a Small Business. For your free ebook on Ten Keys to Success in Business and Life enter your name and email address here: http://www.thestartover.com/products.html and be sure to buy the book Start Over! Start Now on Amazon.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Jamie_B_Wolf
http://EzineArticles.com/?How-to-Be-a-Successful-Entrepreneur—Making-Decisions,-Part-6-of-6&id=7443402

 

Mar 082013
 

boy with colorful paint on handsChannel Your Inner Two-Year-Old: why, why, WHY?

This is a series on starting your own business. WHY? So far we have only considered making decisions- and this is the 5th segment just about making decisions – WHY? We have discussed WHO is an entrepreneur (WHY?), WHAT resources you need and have, (WHY?), WHEN you will start your new venture (WHY?), WHERE you will work and find customers (WHY?) and now we are looking at WHY you have chosen to start a business. Yes, WHY?

Starting a business is not difficult but it is hard. It doesn’t require that you have an advanced education or decades of experience but it does require tenacity and discipline. It should not involve unexpected risk that causes you to lose everything but often it will test you and keep you awake at night with worry. If you don’t clearly and deeply know WHY you are doing it, you won’t keep going. If you don’t keep going, you won’t have a chance to succeed.

I’d like to recommend some reading:

  1. Write It Down, Make It Happen by Henriette Anne Klauser walks you through figuring out what you want and clearly defining your why.
  2. The Ultimate Happiness Prescription by Deepak Chopra. Happiness is something everyone desires and Deepak explains what brings joy. Your business endeavors should be a source of joy more often than not.
  3. The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz teaches you to be impeccable with your word. It takes time but learning to be authentic will deepen your understanding of your own motivation.
  4. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey is hardly new but it’s as relevant today as ever. When you experience challenges with your business – and you will – your integrity, human decency, and other qualities of effective people will help you to persevere.
  5. The Success Principles by Jack Canfield is a very thick volume of stories and examples and principles – things you need to do and proof that others have gone before you and done them – so you can get clear on why you want to succeed and how to do so.

These five books won’t tell you how to start a business but they will help you get in tune with yourself and understand what motivates you, what drives you, what inspires you, and how to get clarity and focus. You must understand why you have decided to start a business, why you want a certain outcome, why it’s important to you to participate in such a steep learning curve and why you will be inspired to keep going.

Clearly identifying why you want to be in business is only half of the equation to your succeeding in business. The other half is WHY does the market want what you have to offer?

  • WHY is your product or service going to be in demand?
  • WHY are you unique?
  • WHY is your timing right?
  • WHY are you going to have a direct impact on your market with your product or service that another company hasn’t had?
  • WHY have you chosen a particular market segment?
  • WHY are you the right person to solve the market problem?
  • WHY will people pay you for your product or service?

And pay attention – I didn’t ask why the market needs what you have, I said the market must WANT what you offer. Remember, if people won’t pay for your product or service then you have a hobby, not a business. Even a charity is a business that must make money to sustain its activities or at some point be forced to close its doors.

I told you we were channeling two-year olds today! WHY? WHY? WHY? When you can answer why you want to be in business no matter how tired you are and how many things have gone wrong – and when you can answer why the market will pay you to solve a problem it wants solved, you will have answered critical questions allowing you to make key decisions. Now you can have a lollipop!

DO’s

  • DO read voraciously, journal or meditate if those are tools you use, talk to people at length, involve your family and friends, and examine your beliefs and desires so you know why you want to work so hard, today and next year and the year after that!
  • DO know that starting a business is a lot of work! Even if you adore what you are doing, there will be other obligations that will slide, priorities that take second place, and free time that will no longer exist. You must approach starting a business as something you really want, no matter what. You do have to be prepared to change directions and let go of your ego in order to respond to market feedback, but that’s a story for another day.
  • DO review the decisions you have made so far about what entrepreneurial attributes you have, what resources you bring to the table and what you still need, when you’ve decided to take the plunge and start, and where you’re going to set up shop and find customers. Put this all together and see how it fits with why you know you want to do this and why your customers want to buy from you!

DON’Ts

  • Don’t ever answer your why by saying it’s someone else’s dream or expectation of you. Doing it for anyone other than yourself won’t be enough. And don’t delude yourself that having your own business will be easier than what you are doing now – it won’t. Maybe more enjoyable and maybe in the long term more rewarding – but never easier. Just different.
  • Don’t overlook the importance of knowing why your market wants to pay you for your product or service. Start small, put something out to the market as soon as possible, and see what response you get. Don’t invest too much money or time trying to make something perfect first – just get it out there. You can improve or change direction based on feedback, but only after you’ve put a product or service out where people can respond.

ACTION ITEMS:

  1. Read at least two of the books listed above. If possible, read all five.
  2. Talk to people who currently do what you are thinking about doing. People love to talk about their experiences and people truly love to help others. It’s very rare they will consider you a competitor and not want to share anything at all – and you don’t need to be afraid someone is going to steal your idea. Most of us are too busy to follow through with our own ideas let alone anyone else’s! Find someone in your town or someone in your online community and ask them to tell you how they started, what advice they have, why they love it, or what they’d do differently now that they are more experienced.
  3. Do take time to get quiet and look deep into your heart. After all the feedback and advice, ultimately it comes down to this – only you know what you want and you are more capable than you know. Get clear on why and then go for it!

About The Author:
To find more information about entrepreneurship be sure to look for ebooks by Jamie Wolf on Kindle: How to Be a Successful Entrepreneur: A Step by Step Guide on How to Start a Small Business. For your free ebook on Ten Keys to Success in Business and Life enter your name and email address here: http://www.thestartover.com/products and be sure to buy the book Start Over! Start Now on Amazon.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Jamie_B_Wolf
http://EzineArticles.com/?How-to-Be-a-Successful-Entrepreneur—Making-Decisions,-Part-5-of-6&id=7443392

 

Mar 012013
 

A man sitting by a haybalePlaced Successfully!

Congratulations! You are really doing well with your deep dive into planning, making conscious choices, sorting through a number of decisions, and crafting your strategy for starting a business. It might feel a little overwhelming – or maybe it feels a bit tedious and slow – but hopefully it is bringing you clarity and narrowing your focus! What you are doing now is ensuring your success and the ability to sustain your venture. You’re not leaping without thinking. Being actively engaged in creating a process is a lot of work and it will really help keep you moving in a common sense, organized fashion!

One of the things to consider is where do you want to do business. What are some of your options?

WHERE, personally, would you like to do business?

  • from your home with unrestricted hours (to meet a variety of time zones or because your life and work are intertwined by choice)
  • from your home, knowing that you are a part-time resident of several locations rather than of one year-round residence
  • from your home with standard business hours
  • from an office but with trips to clients, for instance, as a consultant or insurance broker or financial adviser
  • from a retail environment – your store or restaurant, for example)
  • from out in the field (think about drilling wells or training horses)
  • from a warehouse or manufacturing environment

WHERE would you like to your customers to be?

  • in cyberspace, shopping online from you
  • In your local market only (ie, someone who comes directly to your store for purchases)
  • In regional markets
  • In domestic only markets
  • In a combination of domestic and international markets
  • Only in one foreign country – or anywhere overseas

WHERE would you like your customers to work?

  • Are you selling directly to individual consumers (B2C)
  • Are you selling only to other businesses (B2B)
  • Are you selling to companies in a certain revenue category – only Fortune 500 companies, for example
  • Are you selling only to non-profits
  • Are you selling only to schools or to government entities or to religious organizations

WHERE can you access things important to small business start-ups – and what things are important to new business?

  • How many patents are issued per 10,000 people (the national average is 1.8)
  • What is the cost of living and can you find access to affordable and/or flexible lease space (the Council for Community and Economic Research calculates cost of living indexes specifically for the self-employed)
  • Can you find creative talent and/or a skilled work-force (what is the density of universities and/or tech schools and community colleges with job-training programs)
  • Is there a density of small businesses and/or incubators with a track record of creating start-ups
  • Is there access to private seed capital and/or a track record of such monies being available to start-ups
  • Is there a state income tax
  • What is the franchise tax cap
  • What are the local zoning laws (including parking regulations) and do they allow for or promote co-working space
  • Are there regular gatherings or networking events for start-up minded folks?
  • Are there financial incentives and are there mentoring opportunities, some of which are often provided by business incubators or business accelerator programs
  • Is there access to low-interest business loans
  • Is there access to government contracts
  • What is the corporate tax rate
  • Are there tax credits available promoting certain industries or certain geographic locations

The fact is new businesses start everyday and they start even in places that can’t claim to have everything on the list above. If you are willing to move and interested in moving, you might increase your odds of success by making a decision to move to a location that meets the majority of the considerations listed above. I happen to be quite fond of Beaufort and believe there are many attributes here that will contribute to your success, not the least of which is quality of place. My personal bias says that living in Beaufort, SC – a community where people you don’t know wave when they drive by or say hello when they walk by, with people who slow down to let you walk your dog across the street or who stop to chat in the grocery line even if it slows things down, a place that celebrates our Gullah influences, our French beginnings, our military presence and sacrifice, and a place that provides beautiful flowers and bench swings so that living here is calming and visually pleasant – means living in a place where you are reminded that being an entrepreneur is just one component of your life, a life that is interconnected with family, friends, and community. And besides, the more of us who commit to being part of job creation and the entrepreneurial scene here in Beaufort, the more vibrant our town will become!

DO’s

  • DO keep constantly in mind that planning to start a business is a process that requires you to lay a foundation. Keep deliberately slogging through this decision making process in order to create a business that meets your needs and lifestyle
  • DO consider your flexibility, or lack of it, in considering where you want to live when you start your business and as you grow your business. If you start a business with a physical location you have committed yourself to staying put. That is neither negative nor positive – just make sure you have decided in advance you are content with that outcome.
  • DO consider whether traveling is something you want or can accommodate. A good friend recently advised me he logged over 200,000 flying miles last year – and he has twin 9-yr-olds at home. He loves his work and is very successful – and he loves his family. But it takes a lot of energy to travel that much and there are very real sacrifices made by all because of the type of business he does. I also know of people who limit their travel by limiting the frequency and destination of their trips. But they go on buying trips to places they would have traveled even wthout a business. Having a business purpose to visit their favorite places is a real bonus for them on a number of levels!

DON’Ts

  • Don’t choose a new location for starting a business based on the false pretense that the grass is always greener somewhere else. If moving makes sense after doing your research and laying your foundation, then go. But don’t go TO somewhere new just to get away FROM your current dissatisfaction. Problems have a bad habit of traveling with you so it’s best to fix things right here first.
  • Don’t minimize the impact of a move on your family members. If you aren’t single, consider the issue of ‘the trailing spouse’ – will there be things your ‘significant other’ can do for work and recreation that they will enjoy enough to make the move satisfactory to both of you? These days we often spread out pretty far geographically but it does create considerations when there is a need to be close to aging parents or a desire to be close to young grandchildren. Don’t forget to consider the whole big picture when deciding on the best location for your new business and it’s success.

ACTION ITEMS:

  1. Sit down and review this article. Write down where you want to work from ideally, where you anticipate your customers will come from, where you anticipate the bulk of your sales to come from, and where there are resources that your business will need for its success.
  2. Think about where you spend the majority of your time now and where you’d like to spend your time – in one place year-round, in one location for the summer and a different one for the winter, not currently tied anywhere and interested in visiting or living briefly in as many places as possible? Also think about where your family members are now and determine if their circumstances will affect yours in the next 1-2 years and the next 5-10 years, and think about how this might affect your choice of where (and how) you want your business to operate. Depending on the type of business you choose and its success, you may create greater freedom through increased flexibility and finances. If these are your goals be sure you are clear on the outcome you want and in understanding if the business you propose to start will indeed land you this outcome.

About The Author:
To find more information about entrepreneurship be sure to look for ebooks by Jamie Wolf on Kindle: How to Be a Successful Entrepreneur: A Step by Step Guide on How to Start a Small Business. For your free ebook on Ten Keys to Success in Business and Life enter your name and email address here: http://www.thestartover.com/products and be sure to buy the book Start Over! Start Now on Amazon.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Jamie_B_Wolf
http://EzineArticles.com/?How-to-Be-a-Successful-Entrepreneur—Making-Decisions,-Part-4-of-6&id=7443386

 

Feb 222013
 

Free-LunchTomorrow Never Comes!

How do you start a business? What are the steps to take? We learned last time that you must apply a process to figuring out who you are, what you want to do, when you’re going to do it, where you’re going to do it, why you want to do it, and how you’re going to do it.

Let’s talk about when.

“Time is really the only capital that any human being has, and the only thing he can’t afford to lose.”Thomas Edison

“Until you value yourself, you will not value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it.”M. Scott Peck

What are reasons people go into business? (Please feel free to write in and tell me your reasons!)

  • You grew up in a family business
  • You had an idea that your boss wouldn’t let you implement at work
  • You retired and want something else to do
  • You like working with your hands and/or don’t have a higher education
  • You got laid off and couldn’t find a job
  • You want more money than you can earn with a fixed wage
  • You want a flexible schedule or more time to do what you love

With the exception of the first example, each of these situations requires making a decision about WHEN to go into business.

The oldest woman lived to be 122 and the oldest man lived to be 115. My guess is that most of us have a lot less time than that, especially assuming that at some point our energy levels and/or physical capacity simply diminish. We all make the assumption we’ll have a tomorrow but there is no guarantee of that.

Unlike time, money is limitless. We are so trained to feel limited by financial resources while living with the illusion there is always some other day for us to get motivated to change a life that is less than fulfilling today. Do you see how you need to adjust your thinking? More often than not we are faced with the unexpected – loss of work, health issues for us or for a family member, financial pressures that might result from either of the first two. Unfortunately no matter how well we plan or how much we want to think we’re in control, often outside forces step in – sometimes in a big way!

The good news is there is a lot to be said for the rug being pulled out from under your feet. In this situation, when you are intently focused on regaining your balance, your imagination about all the things that might go wrong is temporarily suspended. Although there are things you should and must consider, at some point you simply have to DO something. Otherwise, before you know it, the game’s over and you never got a shot. So if something unexpected happens forcing NOW to be the time, take a deep breath and know that you’ll look back on this at some point and be grateful for the nudge.

I recommend applying common sense to your decision-making. You, as an entrepreneur, don’t live in a vacuum. Who knew? So the other thing about timing is to recognize you are a whole person who fits into a larger fabric. As you think about when to make a move, recognize that there may be other areas of your life to focus on before you exert energies towards business. Therefore, consider which areas of your life are a priority demanding attention for improvement now, which areas are in a state you are comfortable maintaining, and which you’d like to see improve but they can wait awhile. It may be that you decide to postpone focusing on business temporarily. Don’t worry, though. Business ideas ruminate and life lessons are always useful when you are paying attention!

Here’s a little chart to help you decide both when and where to exert effort, see what you’re already managing beautifully, and determine what can get done later. At least you now have a plan of when to look at each facet of your life, acknowledging you are integral to your family and your community!

Priority: needs extra energy now

Mid-term: will plan to address it within 6 mos

OK: maintain, continue expending same energy levels

Family/relationships

Health

Career

Finances

Environment

Community

Spiritual

Volunteer Work/Charity

DO’s

  • DO consider your stage in life. If you are single, without children, without a mortgage, without student loans, and not in need of major healthcare, what are you waiting for? Get started NOW!
  • If you need healthcare, have a mortgage, are paying someone’s tuition, or are the major breadwinner for a family, DO consult WITH your significant other to determine what amount is acceptable, in terms of time and money, to spend on getting a new venture started.
  • DO consider working part-time in your off-hours to start your venture to determine if the market is willing to pay for what you offer
  • DO maintain a sense of urgency. Remember tomorrow never comes and there is no time like the present. If you have always had a dream to start your own venture, make plans to get started sooner rather than later. You deserve to have your dreams come true!

DON’Ts

  • Don’t jump into the deep end without some preparation. At a minimum you must determine what you want to accomplish in the next 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, and 12 months.
  • Don’t get started without some pre-determined boundaries in place: for example, you will devote 40 hrs/wk to your job, no more than 15 hrs/wk to your new venture, and at least one hour of focused (not distracted, shared, multi-tasking!) time each morning and evening with your family plus one full day on weekends. There’s no point in having a business if you lose the respect and friendship of your loved ones along the way! Also have financial limits in place – make an agreement with all interested parties that you won’t spend more than X dollars or Y months getting going.

ACTION ITEMS:

  1. Remember that starting a business is a process, not a one-time event. You are in the stage of building your foundation and outlining your strategy to bring your vision to life. Review and write down what you have accomplished so far in making decisions about who you are and want to be, what you have and what you need, and when to get started.
  2. Explore the myth that there is plenty of time and no urgency to make plans and consciously decide a go/no-go date. Think of two or three instances of friends or family members in which time ran out before they took a chance on their dreams.

About The Author:
To find more information about entrepreneurship be sure to look for ebooks by Jamie Wolf on Kindle: How to Be a Successful Entrepreneur: A Step by Step Guide on How to Start a Small Business. For your free ebook on Ten Keys to Success in Business and Life enter your name and email address here: http://www.thestartover.com/products and be sure to buy the book Start Over! Start Now on Amazon.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Jamie_B_Wolf
http://EzineArticles.com/?How-to-Be-a-Successful-Entrepreneur—Making-Decisions-Part-3-of-6&id=7443377

 

Feb 152013
 

Shocked TeenNo Fish Burps!

I walked into the pantry and saw this statement. It sits prominently on a bottle of fish oil capsules but I’d never actually noticed it before. There’s a strong parallel to choosing a direction. So often the signs are right in front of us but we’re oblivious until one day something happens to cause us to focus and see what was there all along.

Let’s recap. You’ve reviewed the attributes of an entrepreneur. You’ve decided you are an entrepreneur or at least you’re still determined to start a business and are encouraged that you can take skills you’ve developed in everyday life and apply them with greater attention and intention to new activities. Now, you need to choose a direction.

Making decisions includes making choices, making plans, setting goals, choosing directions, determining outcomes. How can you get someplace without first choosing where it is that you are trying to arrive?

Remember that 6th grade English class? To write an effective essay you want to include Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How? So in part 1 we looked at who – that is you. Now we’re going to look at what.

  1. What do you want to do?
  2. What do you want to sell (products, services, information, technology, etc)?
  3. What do you want your actions to accomplish?
  4. What skills do you bring to the table?
  5. What resources do you have to help you get where you have decided to go?

For instance, you tell me you want to have a bakery business. Is that because you like to bake, you like to sell, you designed a new type of oven, you have a secret recipe handed down from Great Uncle Otto, the market needs more cookies, you want to earn a little part-time money, you want to replace your income, or you just inherited a bakery and you hate your job so you might as well take it over?

This part of making decisions is about WHAT you want to do – with a little bit of why thrown in!

What are your Resources?

  • How much time do you have to devote to starting your business?
  • How much money do you have to get your business started?
  • How much work are you willing to do to get started?

What are your Goals?

  • How much time do you want to spend in day-to-day operations, if any?
  • How much money do you want to generate from your business?
  • How much work do you envision doing?

In other words, are you looking to grow a large business with lots of employees and multiple locations or do you want one location in your hometown with a few employees or do you want an internet-based business – or something on the spectrum in between those choices?

What are your strengths and weaknesses? What can you handle by yourself and what do you need help with?

  • Are you great at strategy?
  • Are you great at details?
  • Are you comfortable with numbers?
  • Are you comfortable managing people?
  • Do you like negotiating (think contracts, vendor payment terms, etc)?
  • Do you like traveling, staying at home, socializing, working alone?

Are you getting annoyed because what you really want from me is this: “Jamie, tell me how to start a business!”and what you are getting instead is questions for you to answer?

  • First, you have to figure out what questions to ask.
  • Next, you have to go find the answers!

None of this is difficult but it is hard work. You must apply a process to figuring out who you are, what you want to do, when you’re going to do it, where you’re going to do it, why you want to do it, and how you’re going to do it. If you just jump straight to HOW you have guaranteed there is no foundation to support your efforts, thereby risking your success.

So back to what you are going to do.

Do’s and Don’ts!
Do narrow your choices. If you have too many decisions to make you risk getting overwhelmed and doing nothing

Do remember this is your life, your dream, you get to design it any way you want to, and it must meet your goals and desires for your lifestyle and the outcomes you determine you want

Do take small steps. It is important to be clear in what you want so that you don’t invest time and money only to end up in a place you don’t like.

Don’t skip the step of validating what the market wants. Maybe this means to understand you have to sell your product or service further away than your local market.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that working in your own shop all day is different than having a job with a boss. Really spend time exploring what outcome you want as a business owner and be sure you understand what you get by taking different business routes.

ACTION ITEMS:

  1. Write down what you want to have gained and accomplished in one year, in two years, in five years, and in ten years, as a result of your entrepreneurial efforts.
  2. Write down what resources you have to get you started and what resources you feel you need to help you get started.

About The Author:
Visit [http://www.thestartover.com/posts]http://www.thestartover.com/posts. To find more information about entrepreneurship be sure to look for ebooks by Jamie Wolf on Kindle: How to Be a Successful Entrepreneur: A Step by Step Guide on How to Start a Small Business. For your free ebook on Ten Keys to Success in Business and Life enter your name and email address here: http://www.thestartover.com/products.html and be sure to buy the book Start Over! Start Now on Amazon.

Article Source: [http://EzineArticles.com/?How-to-Be-a-Successful-Entrepreneur---Making-Decisions,-Part-2-of-6&id=7443367] How to Be a Successful Entrepreneur – Making Decisions, Part 2 of 6

Feb 082013
 

Car-SalesmanBe Kind! New Clutch Driver at the Wheel!

I saw this hand written message on the cab window of a pickup truck the other day. I flashed back instantly to stalling on a hill, in an intersection, on Martha’s Vineyard, with some guy screaming out the window at me, “Why don’t you learn how to drive!” and thinking that is exactly what I was trying to do!

Getting your entrepreneurial feet under you is kind of like learning to drive a standard when you’ve always driven an automatic. Jamie, how do I start a business? What do I do? I’m new to this and it all seems too much! Can you walk me through it step by step?

Yes! Just like learning to drive a standard, there are certain tricks to getting the hang of it as well as some very definite things not to do. But once you know how, you’ll get kind of attached to your new skill and you’ll never look back!

Let’s break down the steps to get started. Employ common sense. Approach the process rationally with your endpoint in mind. It’s almost like a 6th grade English writing assignment – can you answer Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How? Once you can, you’re on your way! See how simple that is?

Here’s an outline of what we’re going to go through. To start a business, take the following steps:

  1. Make Decisions
  2. Take Action
  3. Fail Frequently
  4. Listen Intently

If this is not a list you were expecting, let me tell you how to use these steps to get from where you are now to where you want to be – in a situation where you have a “business”.

Let’s dissect Making Decisions. First, don’t skip the obvious first few steps. I get that you can’t find a job or maybe you’re sick of your boss or maybe you’re ready to find meaning and have what you do make a difference. But what exactly is an entrepreneur?

Are you an entrepreneur?
What are the attributes of an entrepreneur? You are an entrepreneur if you are someone who is

  • comfortable working independently, alone, creating your own parameters, defining your own goals, working without someone watching over your shoulder, driving towards self-imposed deadlines
  • comfortable networking, asking for help, sharing your questions and concerns with others, receptive to feedback, able to set work down and celebrate creativity and people
  • doggedly determined, able to push in the face of setbacks, energetic and optimistic, rigid in devotion to high standards and high expectations
  • willing to let go, walk away, redirect, respond objectively to information that tells you you’re on the wrong path, flexible and comfortable with constant flux
  • a numbers person, constantly watching metrics
  • a people person, in tune with your market, capable of creating a great team

In summary, an entrepreneur is a complicated person with totally conflicting attributes! Is that you? Do you really want to be an entrepreneur? Before you get intimidated, not sure if you’re crazy enough to go down this route, think about things you have done before that you’ve really loved…

  • Have you ever lost yourself in a project or activity, whether it’s gardening, cooking or baking, playing sports, reading about a new subject, volunteering on a project, traveling to a new place? If yes, you know that when you’re in that zone you are not thinking that you might not have what it takes.
  • Have you had a party, helped in a child’s classroom, been on a committee, organized a reunion or family get together or church social or golf outing, or in some other fashion, rounded up people around a common theme? If yes, you’ve got the people part down.
  • If you haven’t pushed for yourself, have you been stubborn on behalf of someone else? Maybe a child having a hard time on a team or in a class, a spouse that was having trouble with family or at work, a buddy going through a rough time, an elderly parent that needed some care or assistance? If you have been involved in any of these situations, you have demonstrated perseverance and determination!

By now, you’ve got the idea. Entrepreneurial skills are ones we use every day in regular life. In fact, I believe the more you can use these skills with conscious awareness, the more you can develop them, the more successful you can be in any endeavor, whether you’re generating revenue from these behaviors or not!

Do’s and Don’ts!
It’s not an all or nothing label. There’s no such thing as you are or aren’t an entrepreneur. You can get quite creative at home or within your department at work and employ entrepreneurial attributes. Do this intentionally and you’ll grow your entrepreneurial muscles to the point you might be curious to try them on larger projects.

  1. Do keep learning, reading, studying, talking to people, asking questions.
  2. Do understand that ONE key behavior separates entrepreneurs from want to be’s; entrepreneurs TAKE ACTION, they EXECUTE, they IMPLEMENT. At some point, sooner rather than later, they stop talking, studying, and planning and they DO SOMETHING!
  3. Making money as an entrepreneur is 100% dependent on the urgent needs and desires of THE MARKET! There are plenty of ideas, plenty of gadgets, apps, and software, and it doesn’t matter how much in love you are with your technology or service. If you are not solving a problem the market wants solved, nobody will buy what you are trying to sell. And if nobody buys it, well – I think you can figure out what results in that situation.
  4. Make sure you don’t quit your day job until you have sales. Make sure you don’t spend all your retirement savings without first having solid proof (sales, contracts, orders) the market wants what you’ve got. Hint: don’t get confused – hunches and good feelings are not proof that your business concept is viable!

ACTION ITEMS:

  1. Review the list of attributes of an entrepreneur and write down things about yourself and your activities that intersect with these attributes.
  2. Start thinking about things you want to do and what entrepreneurial muscles you are going to work on developing.

About The Author:
Go here now to http://www.thestartover.com/posts and check out the ebooks on Kindle by Jamie Wolf: How to be a Successful Entrepreneur: A Step by Step Guide on How to Start a Small Business Vol 1 and Vol 2. Get your free copy of Ten Keys to Success in Business and Life here! http://thestartover.com/products.html or purchase the book Start Over! Start Now! on Amazon or Kindle today.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Jamie_B_Wolf
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