I incorporated my current business in January 2002.
Before I fax in the incorporation papers over: here are somethings I forgot to do:
- I did not check what the stock market was performing for the year, last six months, last 90 days, last 30 days and that particular January day.
- Did not ask friends, family, and acquaintances if "it was a good idea to start a business in (gulp) Michigan? Like right now?"
- I did not build a list of every single reason about what could, would, & might go wrong in the next 3 years that would ensure that my business would shut down.
I just incorporated. And then launched.
We, the entrepreneurs, are true believers. Nobody comes closes. If you doubt, hesitate, flounder, look up, look sideways, seek approval of others, fear failure, doubt success...
Then you are not one of us.
The next 24 months, without a doubt in my mind, are the single most important months of every entrepreneur’s life in this country.
This recession is going to test you. To see if you have what it takes. A lot of folks will try, some a little bit, some a lot and then they will throw in the towel. You and I, on the other hand, understand that these are the months that are game-changer.
Your competition, right now, is sitting and writing suicide notes. By not investing in their education, their web skills, their online marketing efforts, by not investing in building a better relationship with the people they already do business with, by not thinking faster, by not reaching out to find potential partners.
They are dead in water, 24 months down, but just don’t know it yet.
I am working very hard, right now, to launch. Meeting new people. Forging new alliances. Calling people and see how can I help them. Investing more and not less in my education, reading more instead of watching the 60 minute Prozac popping binge on network television that passes for news currently.
Continuously throwing mud on the wall and see what it sticks. Most of it will probably fail. And I have made my peace with it because some will stick and take everybody involve to a higher and different level.
What is the plan?
Nobody is going to make you rich but you and your effort. People like me lead and guide but we cannot make money and bring it to you in an envelope every night. Nobody, but you and you alone, are responsible for making yourself more coin. Belive in that.
Shortcuts exist but it is only people who are already walking. There are ways to convince somebody to do business with you but it requires you to FIRST launch a business and then work on finding people who will help you grow the business.
Nobody can find you and do business with you if you don’t come out of your room. I write a blog. I go out and meet people in my industry. I try new business relationships. I try this. I try that. And sometimes doors do open that make the distance seem shorter but the thing is… I am at the door, not sitting at home.
You have a bigger ego than you realize. I ask for help. I give away my contacts. I am not embarrassed to tell my people when I screw up. I have an ego also. I just keep it in check when it comes to business. Take a hard look around.
You are surrounded by lots of folks who are down, sad and confused on what is going on. Ask them if there is anything you can do to help them. Zig got it right when he said that if you help enough people to get what they want in life, they will in turn give you everything you ever wanted. But nobody will come to you. You have to go and ask them yourself.
There is a little game I play myself every December. Take a piece of paper and a pen. Go to the bathroom and lock the door. Turn the water on so your significant other will think you are in the shower and hopefully will not bother you for 10 minutes.
Sit on the floor and make a list of everything that you know now that you did not the year before. Flip the paper over and write the names of people you know now because of your business that you did not 12 months ago. Don’t lie. You should never lie especially to your own self while you are sitting on the bathroom floor. Do you have a good list? Both sides of paper? Couple of things? Nothing? Fix it maaan.
Want perfection? I have two words for you - Microsoft Windows. Bill Gates is worth how much again?? There is no perfection in business only a daily attempt to do better than yesterday and not to repeat dumb ass mistakes of last week.
If I can just repeat and rinse that strategy on a consistent basis in my businesses... I know I will do better than last year. And one more thing… how can you make your customers happy? There is lot of profits in asking that question every day.
Get mad skills. Here are some skills that are not taught in colleges but in real world these skills pay a lot, in real dollars, to people who learn how to do them right: public speaking, ability to do a great PowerPoint in 30 minutes or less, knowing how to get your website on page 1 of search engines, knowing how to put people together in deals where both of them come out shining, becoming passionate about throwing great parties and entertaining people who will and would matter to you.
Read a book by somebody you consider a heretic. Hate marketing and selling? Read Secrets of Closing the Sale by Zig Ziglar. Voting Democrat? Read any book by Ann Coulter. Voting Republican? Read Hot, Flat and Crowded by Thomas Friedman.
Because it is good to train what-lies-between-your-ears to open up to ideas you don’t like because when you start your business, your head will tell you all day long how much distaste it has for your new heretic ideas.. Train it otherwise in the beginning so it does not bother you that much later.
Today is a perfect day to do something. Anything.
While the whiners are whining. The fearful are hiding. The naysayers are drunk with joy.
Good news about that is that they are all busy and cannot bother you.
You and I need to plan.
Everything else will fall in place once you start.