Everyone is talking about startups these days! If you’re thinking about starting your own business or maybe just need a little kick in the butt to stay motivated, here are my thoughts on 10 ways to become a successful rockstar entrepreneur.
1. Have a plan – You can’t just throw it to the wall and see what sticks! Building a solid business plan is essential if you want to succeed or need to convince a venture capitalist that they should invest in your brilliant idea. If you’ve never taken a business class or just don’t know where to begin SCORE (not to be confused with Scores!) is a great resource for small business owners and they have a business plan template that will enable you to see your ideas on paper.
2. Set realistic goals – It is important that you get up each day with your goals in mind otherwise you will find yourself taking 2 hour baths and sipping margaritas by 4:00! Before you go to bed write down or type out your goals so you can get a good night’s sleep. Be realistic with what you can accomplish in a day and don’t over commit. Be flexible. Sometimes life takes over and you won’t be able to get everything done. Just set it for the next day and cut yourself a break. Which leads me to the next point….
3. Time Management –This is especially important for people who work from home. Do you find yourself feeling accomplished at the end of the day or are you just barely getting things done? Where is your time going? For one day carry a notepad with you and write down exactly what you’re doing and how much time is spent on each thing. Maybe it’s time to get off the Facebookie and TweeterTweeter. What? Yep, I said it. I don’t mean give it up altogether, it is important to give your updates and check your messages, but if you find yourself in a trance reading what Aunt Sally had for breakfast and looking at cute little kitty photos for 2 hours, you might want to set a time limit. Give yourself 10 to 15 minutes a day or 10 to 15 minutes twice a day for that stuff, instead of checking it every 5 seconds. I guarantee you’ll focus better and accomplish more. The only exception is if you own a Social Media management company or post for a celebrity, by all means tweet away!
4. Be self motivated not driven – There is a difference. It’s good to be motivated to complete your tasks each day but if you are driving yourself to exhaustion eventually you will burn out. If you feel like you’re about to throw your computer through a window it’s probably time to call it a day.
5. Treat people with respect – Be kind to everyone if you can help it. Those who have been in your industry longer than you may have some very valuable things to share so be open to learning. Those coming up in your industry may need some encouragement so be easy on them and don’t be overcritical. You never know when they might contribute to your vision someday. I will also add to this, respect yourself. Don’t subject yourself to harsh treatment from anyone in your industry or otherwise. If someone won’t give you respect then it’s probably best to just avoid them if possible.
6. Meet people’s needs – Most people are searching the internet because they need answers or products. Think about how you can help others become successful with their endeavors. How will your business or website add value to another person’s life?
7. Be a person of integrity – Stand by what you say, do and sell. If you say you’re going to do something or be somewhere, do your best to follow through. If you can’t do what you promised just be honest and apologize. There’s no reason to be shady about something, and most people will be understanding if you let them know you gave it your best shot.
8. Be a leader – With everyone clamoring for attention on the internet, it takes a real effort to stand out. How do you accomplish this? Be unique! Don’t be afraid to approach your industry from a different angle by using your own voice. Don’t just copy other people’s websites or blog posts. Nobody wants a Facecrook.com! It’s fine to be inspired by those you admire but strive to create your own content. For example, writing a top 10 post for entrepreneurs is not ground breaking but my content is 100% original and from the heart.
9. Build relationships – Networking is great…I love networking! Introduce yourself to others in your industry. Drop by other people’s blogs and sites and say hello. Get out of the house and go to trade shows and conventions if you have the means. Meeting other like-minded people can keep you excited about your business and inspire you be creative.
10. Don’t give up! – If you have a vision and believe you are on the right track, keep taking steps toward your goal. Don’t let anyone get you down! This especially applies to friends and family. They may have good intentions by telling you to “just buckle down and get a real job” but listening to them can be the quickest way to sap your energy. Now if you’re about to lose your house then maybe you should hold on to that day job for a bit, but if you have a clear plan stick to your plan and work it!
You may also encounter some “haters” along the way. Once you start to gain some recognition in your industry these are the people who will say jerky things to you for no apparent reason. This is a good sign, it is your indicator that you are now on your way to “Rockstar status”!
Remember, it takes time for any business to start generating revenue. Believe in yourself and believe in what you are writing or selling and others will come on board in no time!
Till Next Time,