Back to Basics in starting a business

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Just think of your business as a house under construction. We all agree that the foundation of any building is incredibly important. A properly built foundation ensures that your home does not sink into the ground unevenly and prevents cracks and damage to your home. Choosing the right foundation is as important as knowing how to construct the foundation., as it will affect the integrity of the building. It’s no different with business!

There are three phases to a successful business:

Phase 1 – Establishing the business

Phase 2 – Building the business

Phase 3- Growing the business

So, the first step is the foundation. Yet most people jump in at the deep end without first learning how to swim. They start with the second step straight away – is it any wonder that 20% of new businesses fail during the first two years of being open, 45% during the first five years, and 65% during the first 10 years? Just think about this for a moment, only 25% of new businesses make it to 15 years!

First get comfortable with the water and practice swimming in the shallow end of a pool with an instructor. Next, practice floating and kicking and after some time you can start swimming.

You can’t skip steps; you have to put one foot in front of the other. Things take time. There are no shortcuts, but you want to do those steps with passion and ferocity”

— Jeff Bezos

There are no shortcuts or easy ways! Let’s start with the first phase, the foundation. To have a proper foundation, you need these 3 important ingredients:

Entrepreneurial thinking – you need to replace your employee thinking!

Time management – you need to manage your time so that you can invest in your own project!

Financial Security – you need to create financial security so that you can invest in your business!

Let’s look at them one by one.

1. Entrepreneurial thinking

You need to shift from an employee mindset, expel the habits, and comfort levels of an employee to entrepreneurial ones. An employee mindset is the kind of thinking that is deeply embedded into all of us by society starting from school and continuing to adulthood when we start to earn money. You must learn to harness your passions, skills, experience, knowledge and insights, resources, and networks to spot and take advantage of marketplace opportunities at the right time and in the right way.

Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be fully satisfied is to do what you believe is great work and the only way to do great work is to love what you do.”

— Steve Jobs

You need to learn the basics of entrepreneurship – you need to see the bigger picture. You need to apply the knowledge you’ve acquired not only in theory but also in practice.

Nobody is making decisions for the entrepreneur except him or her, but as employee decisions are made for you. As you pursue your entrepreneurship journey you need to become to do tasks on time without someone looking over your shoulder like an employee. It will be entirely up to you to set the pace and achieve your dreams. If you want to be your own boss, you must learn to manage yourself in the wilderness.

And most importantly, you must maintain your motivation, because business is not a sprint, it is a marathon, where you need determination and perseverance even in the most difficult moments.

In the beginning, you’re bound to face a lot of challenges and new things. You may feel completely lost in endless information and left to your own devices. But don’t be scared, we’ll be here to help you get your business off the ground in the shortest time possible.

These are some of the skills you’ll need to possess or traits you need to adopt and put into practice as an entrepreneur:

  • Negotiation skills
  • Networking skills
  • strategic thinking
  • Self-Motivational Skills
  • Time Management Skills
  • Marketing Skills
  • Decision-making
  • Flexibility
  • Focus
  • Creative problem solving
  • Financial literacy

That’s a lot of things you’ll need a lot of time to do. This brings us to the second part of the foundation.

2. Time management

Time is perhaps the most critical factor in an entrepreneur’s life. For one thing, it’s limited, as you, us and even Elon Musk only have 24 hours in a day.

We realize our dilemma goes deeper than shortage of time; it is basically a problem of priorities. We confess, we have left undone those things that ought to have done; and we have done those things which we ought not to have done.”

­ – Charles Hummel

We must fit a lot of things into those 24 hours: work, family, friends, sports, shopping, cooking and leisure. So, to start your business, you need to really manage your time. One way of doing this is through setting priorities. Throughout the day, notice when there are idle periods and times when you are doing unnecessary things – fill those times with learning. Eliminate distractions. Listen to business podcasts instead of music while you drive or travel. Read professional blogs, not Facebook. Instead of watching an episode of The Witcher on Netflix, read a few pages of a business book. It’s a basic truth that you’re never short of time, you just don’t have your priorities straight!

And with time, it’s the same with money.

3. Financial security

The entrepreneur’s other most important resource is money. Most people want to start a business because of money, but they can’t. It’s a vicious circle, because they don’t have the financial security to quit – but they don’t have the start-up capital to invest in the business. Here too, we need to start thinking and building consciously. The first step is to start your business while working. This will obviously give you less free time, but you don’t have to worry about what you’ll be able to live on from month to month.

Have the end in mind and every day make sure your working towards it.”

— Ryan Allis

Start managing your costs today, which is essential for three reasons:

Loss of life – Now you can’t imagine where you could save money, but when you see your expenses itemized at the end of the month, you’ll realize how much you’re spending on unnecessary things. The money you earn with your time – the 8 hours a day you give your employer of your life in exchange for your salary.

6-month rule of thumb – As a rule of thumb, you need 6 months of savings to be financially secure. That way you don’t have to worry about what happens if you lose your job… or quit. 6 months is enough time to find a solution (for example: start a business).

Asset vs. Liability- As a basic rule, always put your money into something that can make money, an asset. not just take it away (a liability). Buying a large 65 inch 4k TV, for example, is always a liability because it doesn’t make you money. But if you invest the same amount of money in improving your own skills (e.g.: entrepreneurship course), you are investing it!

An asset puts money in your pocket and a liability takes money out of your pocket.”

– Robert Kiyosaki

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