Global Entrepreneurship Week - Starting Your Own Business
Keen to start your own business? Here are a few things that I wished I had known when I was starting mine. With it being Global Entrepreneurship Week, Liz Clare of MBSTUK shares her story. I was 25 when I started my business, and I only wish that I started earlier. I don’t believe that it’s ever too late to start something new, but I do believe that sustainable businesses take time to grow.
My only regret is what it took to start this journey. Prior to 2011, I had a few years of living with anxiety as I was unfulfilled and just living for the weekend. Then, in 2011 when two of my friends were tragically murdered, this gave me a kick up the bum to actually listen to myself once and for all.
Be vigilant when starting out
The amount of “business consultants” that will approach you will make your head spin. Just because someone is older and seemingly wiser, doesn’t mean they can tell you how to run your business. Have they ever had a successful business? Do they even have failed businesses that you can learn valuable lessons from? If you want to use a business consultant’s services, check that they actually have experience and they are not just trying to hitch a ride on your business in the hope of an easy payday.
I put in the work and earned my status before I started preaching what I practice. Too many wannabe Tony Robins’ out there are trying to sell their wares regarding ‘mindset' and ‘success’, when they haven’t even got that themselves.
I work on myself, I expand my mind, and I keep fit and healthy. I work on my mindset through yoga, eating well, gong baths and meditation. Am I perfect? NO! I love a Chinese takeaway and a dirty martini (not at the same, of course) but I do feel my productivity and mental health are impacted as a result. So be good to yourself.
I know what I am not good at and what I need someone else to do. Don’t try to do everything. Knowing your limitations isn’t defeatist. It’s as useful as knowing your strengths and playing to them.
If you are driven, passionate and positive, make sure you have someone with a bit more cynicism around you. It’ll either drive you more or help you see the wood for the trees when it is most needed.
Don’t be afraid to pay taxes. It’s good for society and it makes getting a mortgage, car on finance a lot easier!
Never give anything away for free! Value your work and your time. Also as soon as you give someone something for free or a reduced rate, they will end up being your most difficult customer!
If you start your business at a young age, try not to get too distracted but don’t forget to still be young. I know if I had stopped travelling and being so sociable, then perhaps my business would have reached success at a quicker rate. But then I would never have had the wonderful experiences that I did. No regrets.
Don’t fear change
The people around you will change. Friends will change as your priorities do, and similarities can often fade. You can still love them, but you will find that it’s healthy to surround yourself with like-minded people.
It took 9 years to truly believe in myself as a businesswoman (it only happened this year). I joined a mastermind business group to help me mature as a director of my own business. It helped me to realise that I already was the thing I was trying to become, I just need little fine-tuning.
You are already successful! Remember that. To even get to this stage of wanting your own business is a success, every small step counts.
It can feel like selling your soul to start with. Be genuine and help others, not just yourself. You never know where the magical beans will come from, and again, the relationships take time to develop. I don’t trust anything that happens overnight!
Do not do multi-level marketing business alongside your main passion. Don’t take energy and focus away from what you truly want to be doing. Either do one or the other! When you network you will get approached by many people trying to recruit you into this world!
Remember, don’t ever think that someone else could run your business better than you. They never could. It’s your business, and you’re in the right place.
Keep going. It will happen.
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