Without a purpose it’s very easy to get off track and end up somewhere you don’t want to be.
Having your own business isn’t easy. When people come up to me and say “Oh you’re so lucky having your own business” I just have to smile. It wasn’t luck. For years I didn’t punch out on Friday and head for a fun weekend. I was working all the time so that one day I could achieve the financial freedom to be able to go away for a month if I wanted.
Being a Business Owner Means Thinking Differently
If there’s one thing in common with successful business owners, it’s their mindset. Call it the entrepreneurial spirit if you like. This means being fully aware that some days things WILL go wrong, and knowing YOU are the only person who’s going to fix the problem. It’s getting up every day and looking in the mirror and saying “I WILL succeed” or “I WILL close that deal” because all your future goals depend on it. And of course it’s also about looking forward to success.
Do Something you Love
So many people hate their jobs – and I was one of them. I was told what to do by people who knew a lot less than I did, and my paycheck was only letting me scrape by. What a miserable existence! As for so many, the days of the month were marked by due dates with little else to look forward to.
I’ve also met some who’ve failed miserably when it came to starting a fitness boot camp business, They conned themselves into doing something they’d been told would eventually pay well, but it involved a business they weren’t in the least bit passionate about. Result: disaster.
Don’t fall into that trap. You’ll end up just as miserable as if you were working an 8 to 5 doing something you don’t like AND you won’t be getting a regular paycheck.
Even with this economic mess, the opportunities are still out there. People are fed up with huge, greedy corporations – they want businesses that care about them and what they want. Right now we’re also in a time of huge change. The jobs our parents and grandparents did all their lives no longer exist. It’s a time for innovation – there are endless opportunities.
The following data comes from the Small Business Administration:
• Represent 99.7 percent of all employer firms.
• Employ half of all private sector employees.
• Pay 44 percent of total U.S. private payroll.
• Generated 65 percent of net new jobs over the past 17 years.
• Create more than half of the nonfarm private GDP.
• Hire 43 percent of high tech workers (scientists, engineers, computer programmers, and others).
• Are 52 percent home-based and 2 percent franchises.
• Made up 97.5 percent of all identified exporters and produced 31 percent of export value in FY 2008.
• Produce 13 times more patents per employee than large patenting firms.
That’s impressive. Small business IS alive and well in the USA and you can be one of the success stories. But only if you have the drive, tenacity, and passion, and there’s a need for your product or service, along with the time and money to invest in and the balls to do it.
The Power of Positive Thinking
You have to be an optimist if you want your small business to succeed. You’ll also have to spend a long time researching, planning, understanding effective fitness marketing, budgeting, setting realistic goals and working tirelessly towards them.
All the entrepreneurs I know didn’t hit the big time straight away. Some of them started businesses that failed, but they LEARNED. They picked themselves up and started over, armed with the knowledge of what didn’t work. Not everyone is a Mark Zuckerberg, but he identified an opportunity and a need and was the first to exploit it.
If you keep your mind open and you have a passion, whether it’s food or fitness, blogging or tobogganing you will find a way to earn a living doing what you love.
Just bear in mind you’ll be doing this for the rest of your working life, so think long and hard. Will you get bored with it? Are you always going to be dedicated to it? Are you going to cave in the first time you hit an obstacle?
Don’t fool yourself – be perfectly honest, or a bad choice could lead to financial ruin or being miserable for the rest of your life.
This is still the land of opportunity and in many cases you can get free financial help and advice because the government knows that encouraging small business is the way to go. “Generated 65 percent of net new jobs over the past 17 years” should tell you why.
Make a List
If you’re still not sure if you should start your own business, ask these questions:
- Why do I want my own business?
- Do I want (eventual) financial freedom, or do I prefer the safety of a weekly paycheck?
- Do I want to spend more time with my family/traveling/pursuing other interests?
- Am I going to be able to deal with any obstacles positively? (And there’ll be many.)
- Am I passionate about what I want to do?
- Do I have something that others will want? (knowledge/expertise)
- Is there a market for it?
- Do I have the means to get me through startup and through any lean periods?
- Is what I want to do just a passing fad?
- Will people want what I’m offering in 10 years time?
- Will I have the help and support of my family and loved ones?
- Are there bona fide resources I can call on for advice and/or financial help?
- Am I willing to learn about effective marketing?
- Am I open to advice and criticism?
- Will I be willing to keep up with all the changes and innovations related to my business?
- Could I dedicate the rest of my working life to my business?
For me, it’s always been about doing something I love, helping people, having financial freedom and spending as much time as I can with my family.
What are your goals? Where do you see yourself in 10 years’ time?
Two simple questions that can lead to a ton of big break through moments.