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Starting A Business

Starting A Business

what i’ve learned in 6 years of ups and downs in business

do you ever feel so pumped after listening to someone so successful only to feel deflated when you look at your own life? i’m with you. today, i want to share with you the ups and downs i’ve had in my own business. totally raw and real.

i’ll just start by telling you that i run a local service-based business in nashville. it’s all about interacting with customers and closing sales every day. i’m not a multi-millionaire, but i have successfully started and still run a 6 figure business which i’ll get to later.

here are the 5 things i’ve learned in the past 6 years.

1. hold on to your vision: no one will understand your vision until it is working. when i first started my company, i knew exactly how successful it could be…but no one else did. i almost quit several times in my first year. now that it is working successfully, the vision is a reality and people get it.

bottom line: you’ve got to prove it for people to believe your vision. don’t lose heart!

2. it’s supposed to be hard: anything worth doing in life has to be hard. if it were easy, everyone would do it and then it would be meaningless.

bottom line: make sure you have a good idea, and then just persist.

3. there are good phases and bad phases: the best day of your business life can be followed by the worst day ever. you might feel the need to go into therapy because you feel so emotionally unstable. don’t sweat it. it’s all normal. every entrepreneur feels this way.

bottom line: take the good and the bad with a large grain of salt. learn what you can from both success and failure.

4. obsess about your product and customer experience: do all that you can to make sure your product or service is unmatched. do it for the integrity of business and other benefits will follow. the best marketing is a happy customer.

bottom line: stay far away from people who market bad products. make your product excellent.

5. enjoy the process: for too long, i felt uneasy about where i was. i wanted to be in a thriving and self-sufficient business. there’s nothing wrong with being there now, but looking back, i realize how sweet the grind really is. it makes the payoff that much better.

bottom line: be where you are. push for more, but enjoy the day.

like i mentioned earlier, i am blessed to be among the businesses to survive and thrive and i now use the resources my business generates to support other creative ventures like writing a children’s book and some charity work that is in it’s infancy.

tell me…

what are you thinking these days? what lessons have you learned on your journey?

till next time,

grace

Starting A Business

What It Really Takes to Start A Business (Even If You’re Stuck In The Grind)

It’s all a big lie…

Overnight successes…

Don’t believe the stories.  Behind every overnight success story, you will find caveats that that were conveniently left out.  Allow me to give you some truth and hope to fuel your ventures…

If you’ve made it to read this, you have something in you searching for more.  There are great things happening in the 9-5 world, but it’s not for everyone.  It’s great for the ones who love it, but if it feels like you’re stuck in the grind…YOU NEED OUT! 

So, what does it take?  What separates the successful from the hopefuls?  There are three things that I’ve observed in my own journey to success, affirmed by most every honest entrepreneur I’ve met or read about. 

Do these things and set yourself apart.

1. Follow Through. 

“I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.”   Steve Jobs (the late CEO of Apple).

I believe in that 100%.   Do you have a business idea OR even just the hopes of leaving the grind? Just stick with it.  Some of the greatest companies in the country almost shut down before something turned around.

Expect to fail.  That’s right!  If you know that failures and low points are normal, you will have the foresight to follow-through.  If you truly have a good idea, we NEED you to turn it into a reality.

It is well documented that Steve Jobs, founder of Apple, was forced to resign in the mid-80s when the company was running at a loss.  Over a decade later, Apple purchased the new company he was working on and he was once again the CEO of Apple and went on to develop the iPod, iPhone, and iPad.

What about Airbnb?  This company worth $25 billion dollars was sustained on cereal in the initial stages when investors did not like the idea of homesharing as a business.  Of course, they have now changed the game in travel.  I’ll talk more about the single piece of advice that grew their customer loyalty and growth in a bit.

Coming out of the billion dollar range, what about something to serve a local audience?  When I started my first company, I was in the stagnant state for the first 9 months.  I almost quit (multiple times), but the grind was just not cutting it for me.  I kept persisting until things started moving and then it became a self sustaining machine.

Through my business, I replaced my nursing salary while only working half the time.  Because I followed through…

I’ve reached thousands of thankful clients

Have been invited to celebrity homes

And was a part of a pilot episode on CMT.

We need you to follow through.

2. Think like a pro.

When Airbnb was crashing in the early stages, Advisor Paul Graham said: “It’s better to have 100 people that love you than a million people that just sort of like you.  Find 100 people that love you.”  This changed their business.

That was not common sense. 

This is why you need to think like a pro. 

The major turn-around point for my business was when I gleaned from business mentors both locally and online.  You almost need to brainwash yourself and change your mindset. 

You will be going against the grain, so you have to remind yourself constantly that there is a greater purpose.  You need to think like the successful to become successful.

Experts from all different fields all start sounding the same.  There is a unifying path to success.  This is why I love listening to interviews of Jerry Seinfeld, jazz pianist Bill Evans, and business gurus alike.  They are extreme examples of people going against the grain. 

Think like a pro to go pro.

3. Start.

This is in no way an afterthought.  This is your next step.  You might want to wait for the perfect moment, but can I let you in on a secret?  There is never going to be a good time.

We have to start. 

Perfectionism is the enemy of starting.  If you feel it creeping in, just tell yourself: “Start now.  Tweak later.”

This life we live…

This is it, it’s not a dress rehearsal.  It’s the real thing.

You don’t need to have an extra special business sense, loads of money or connections.  I didn’t have any of those and I know that you can succeed if you follow through, think like a pro, and start

Tell me…

which of these seems the hardest for you?