Small Business Saturday: Expert advice from the expert
Saturday 24th November is Small Business Saturday and to celebrate we have put together some top tips from an entrepreneurial expert, author of The Entrepreneur’s Book and CEO and Founder of Pogo-Studio. So, if you are a small business or entrepreneur starting out, read on.
Why start with belief?
“At the start of your entrepreneurial journey, your business idea is normally in your mind only, and you are the sole person who has the belief, desire, and vision to envisage the great business it could become one day. You have no proof, yet, that it will work. It might be a service or a product. It might appeal to the private sector, the public sector or the voluntary sector – or all three.
But you believe in it and this belief gives you a purpose; you are driven by a passion to make it happen. Now, many of you may be thinking that having a belief in what you are doing is merely stating the obvious. But is it obvious?
If you have an idea, if you are about to set up a new business or if you are currently running a business, I want you to pause for a moment and ask yourself this question:
Why do I want to be an entrepreneur?¬†
My guess is that there will be range of answers, from “I think I could make a really good go at it and become beery successful and wealth” to “I’ve seen an opportunity in the market and I want to start a new business” to “I need to pay my mortgage and pay for my children to go to private school and I think I could earn lots of money this way” to “I just love being an entrepreneur and being my own boss, and I’m on target to be a millionaire.” These answers are okay. And, if you work hard, have the right talents, build a great team around you and have a slice of luck, then you might be successful.
But are any of those answers driven by a belief in something, a purpose, or are they just a desire to be financially or materially successful?
Belief in something that gives you purpose and that you are passionate about will inspire you to achieve great things. This is the engine that drives successful entrepreneurship. Like any engine, entrepreneurship needs to cope with all types of situations.
Some of those situations will be easy, and the path you will be on will be smooth and straight. however, other situations you will find yourself in will be incredibly difficult, challenging and uncertain.
So ask yourself again: “Why do I want to be an entrepreneur?”
Here are a few possible answers:
- “I am passionate about and I believe that…”
- “I believe my idea will…”
- “I believe in this cause so much that…”
- “My company is based on the belief that…”
If you don’t begin your answer with something along these lines, there is a good chance that ¬†– whether in the short, medium or long term – you will fail or give up. Crucially, you may become successful but, and it is a big ‘but’, deep down you will have a feeling of dissatisfaction that you cannot put your finger on.
That is why it all started with belief. If you don’t fundamentally believe in what you are trying to achieve and why it gives you purpose, then when things get tough, you are more likely to give up. O the opposite end of the spectrum, you might achieve significant material success but, if that success is not founded on a belief, a cause or a purpose, then deep down there will be a feeling of emptiness and a lack of meaning in what you do.
Over my years as a CEO, a caddie, a mentor and a director of several entrepreneurial companies, I have had many meetings drunk gallons of coffee and eaten too many lunches talking to a wide range of entrepreneurs (some very successful, others less so). And I can honestly say that those who have a belief and a purpose in what they are doing are the ones who are more genuine and passionate, and who get a real sense of meaning from what they do. They believe what they are doing is important and will make a significant impact on their life and the lives of many others. Oh yes, they have bad days and weeks or even months, they have cash-flow problems and they can get incredibly stressed. Some of them have huge salaries, drive fast cars and have second homes in Europe. Others struggle to pay the car that’s eight years old. Either way, it is their belief in what they are doing that drives them on. If I ask any of them, “Why did you want to be an entrepreneur?”, all their answers will have the word ‘belief’ in it. This is where their passion comes from and gives them their purpose as entrepreneurs.
So, don’t underestimate the power of having a genuine belief, then it can drive you to achieve fantastic things as an entrepreneur.”
To read more from Neil Francis, take a look at The Entrepreneur’s Book here.
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