Some of the biggest barriers to being an entrepreneur are all in your head.
The greatest obstacles to becoming an entrepreneur is simply becoming an entrepreneur. If you have overcome this hurdle, congrats, you are making progress.
The next issue we frequently experience are individuals who are caught up solving problems that they don't have. If you have decided to start a business, the most immediate need is to find customers and generate revenue. Too many entrepreneurs are wrapped up in complicating their business and get lost in the weeds of creating solutions to issues that their business does not yet even have to face.
Recent examples include a service business that was attempting to establish complicated pricing structures that they thought would appeal to their customers. When we sat down with this business owner we asked, "How many doors have you knocked on? How many business cards have you handed out in the last week? Why are you solving imaginary problems for customers that you don't have? Go get some customers." We were discussing something similar with a internet based business that was spending too much time attempting to figure out the right pricing structure when they had yet to approach or interact with an interested customer.
We will discuss price point metrics and how to have some meaningful conversations with your clients to determine the right valuation at another time. But if you are like the clients we mentioned above, get the customers and then figure out the pricing.
A few tips for initiating a successful business launch:
1. Keep things simple, don't over complicate your most important tasks. Prioritize.
2. Solve your most immediate needs first. Find customers and generate revenue - nothing is more important than this when you are starting out. Marketing, Step One.
3. Set simple and achievable goals - "Today I am going to hand out ___ number of business cards and/or I am going to visit ___ number of potential clients..." Good g0als.
4. Spend your time with value added activities rather than solving problems that you don't yet have. Don't let fear own you.
Trust is important for leaders as well as employees. Trust is important at every level. At the core of trust is doing what you say you are going to do. If you can be trustworthy and build a team of trustworthy members, you will have a strong culture.
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If water chooses the path of least resistance, humans are attracted to the course of greatest complication. We do it to ourselves. Trading clarity for complexity and flash for function when neither serve our vision or our goals. How do we ensure that we aren't over thinking our processes and missing out on our opportunities?
We over think. We over analyze. We freeze when if we would begin moving in a direction we will find that we can still steer our ship in a different direction. We are so afraid of failure that we fail to seize upon an opportunity. Something to remember is that failure to act is often more detrimental than failing while we act and learning as we go.
Have a vision.
Put your plan in motion.
Adapt as you gather new information and experiences.
Inability to adapt
In contrast to failure to launch, what happens when we are making progress but we refuse to receive information, analyze results and adjust our course? Darwin's concept of survival was built upon a species ability to adapt. Adaptation does not mean that you are the smartest, strongest or most capable but that you are willing to respond appropriately to new data along the way. Having vision and momentum does not guarantee success.
Do not lose sight of your vision.
Do not lose your thirst for knowledge.
Do not lose your hunger to improve.
The attraction to complexity
If something can be made more complicated we will find a way to do it. There is a fine balance between too much and too little information and both can be deadly.
Break things down to their most basic functions and ensure that the core values are provided the greatest measure of operational energy. Fine tune but don't be so attracted to being flashy that functionality is sacrificed. Regularly ask, "Are we missing something?" while also asking, "Are we making this harder than it has to be?"
Keep it simple.
Be clear, consistent and accountable.
People have an affinity for saying stupid things. When using good as an adjective to describe another human it is important to listen to the qualifier in order to grasp the context of what they are communicating. Listen to what people say to and about others in public, while they may use good in a sentence it is important to understand that there are at least three levels of good.
1. He's a good guy.
Let's be clear, this might as well be a diss. People say, "He's a good guy," when they have nothing of substance to say. You can fill in the the preamble, "He sucks at everything else but at least he's a good guy." This level of good is bad. It's bad in a bad way. And by bad we mean it's a negative thing. Please, unless you hate me, don't ever use this statement about me. A good guy is the status quo, they meander through life and don't leave a substantive mark one way or the other. If someone describes you as a good guy, you know they hate you. Find some good dudes and get your crap together. If someone introduces you to a good guy, they are telling you to go meet someone else.
2. He's a good dude.
Now we are talking. This is what you say when you have genuine affection for someone and value some aspect of what they bring to humanity. A good dude has their faults but they contribute to society and they are working through what they understand to be their negative attributes. Good dudes are humans. Good dudes make mistakes but they also make life better. If you hear someone say, "He's a good dude," they you are being introduced to someone who is worth knowing. Good dudes are a mess like the rest but they have a genuine interest in trying to be better, they lead by example.
3. He's good people.
This is a level of noteworthiness. The is a phrase of praise for another human. When you declare to another human, "He's good people," you are saying that if you get to know this person you are getting to know someone who makes the world a better place. Good people are those who rise above the status quo, they often go out of their way to do the right thing, to help others and have likely done something in your lifetime that made you want to be a better person. Good people are not saints, but they inspire greatness. Good people are those handful of friends that would drop what they are doing to help you in a time of need.
Life is full of good guys, good dudes and good people. Knowing who you are and who you are around is important. Being and surrounding yourself with the right people are the types of decisions that can lead your life down a path of success or failure. If bad company corrupts good character, the wrong kind of good can be just as dangerous.
Check out our IZ Ventures video on making good hires with Lola
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Jon Isaacson has a monthly feature column with Restoration & Remediation (R&R) Magazine titled The Intentional Restorer