Less than a generation ago, starting your own business was viewed as radical and risky. Only the fearless few were heralded as entrepreneurs, bravely blazing new trails in the marketplace. But in the age of side hustles and sharing platforms, entrepreneurism is for everyone. People of all ages and backgrounds have turned their personal cars into taxi cabs, opened Etsy stores, offered pet sitting services, and joined direct selling companies as independent distributors.
Although new technologies and shifting social norms have leveled the playing field in the world of entrepreneurship, success still does not come automatically. Growing a business, whether part-time or full-time, takes both discipline and strategy. Here are several insider secrets shared by many of today's most accomplished entrepreneurs:
Stay Positive. Building a business takes time. Many people will purchase a franchise or join a direct selling company because the systems are already in place, which can make the process go more smoothly. But you still have to find customers and grow to the point where you have steady income. Keeping a positive attitude and focusing on the long-term goal will help you overcome any challenges or short-term setbacks you may face. Surround yourself with people who encourage you and celebrate even the smallest milestones along the journey. Remember, too, that people want to be around happy people. When you stay upbeat, you help attract customers and colleagues who enjoy doing business with you.
Follow the Plan. Although your gut instincts often can help you grow your business, you need to have a set plan in place as the foundation for day-to-day decisions. This includes carving out time for things like marketing and customer follow-up, processing new orders, scheduling meetings, and honing your skills through training and personal development. From the start of your venture, you should establish a calendar system and a dedicated place to work, to help you focus and stay on task. Also be sure to write down short-, medium- and long-term goals, and determine the action steps needed to achieve them. The more repeatable processes you put in place, the easier it will be for you to take action that leads to expansion.
Use the Right Tools. Successful entrepreneurs rely on systems and tools to help them do their work. For example, a drone pilot will find the best software to create aerial maps of large properties, while a personal chef will invest in quality cookware and cutlery. Regardless of the type of business you're building, research expert recommendations on the appropriate tools to get the job done. One of the benefits of being an independent distributor for a direct selling company is that they do the legwork for you. The company already has invested the time and money into creating the best marketing and presentation tools, training materials, team management software, and other systems to help you achieve your goals.
Perhaps the greatest piece of advice to any budding entrepreneur is to know your why. What is the core reason that you're in business? Some people are passionate about helping others get healthy or feel better about themselves. Others want to enjoy more time freedom to spend with their family and friends or have the security of knowing that their income isn't dependent on an employer. Still others enjoy the opportunity to expand their social network or to be a mentor. Whatever type of business you are building, you will enjoy greater success as an entrepreneur if you remember each day why you are doing it. Keep your "why" top of mind, and your work will flow from the joy in your heart.
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