It’s a well known fact that there are more and more people today starting out to build their own business, particularly people over the age of 45. One of the most common reasons I’m told as to why anyone wants to start their own business is so that they have more freedom and flexibility to live the life they choose doing more of the things they love.
Yes I believe you can have this freedom in your life. Yes I believe you can have the flexibility to live a life of your dreams, what ever that is for you.
In my years as a coach and mentor, I’ve also seen many people start out and have the expectation that it will just happen! They set up a home based business and proceed to do some work, a little self promotion, focus on others they see on social media and feel overwhelmed that they will not be able to do as much, have a very basic plan – or no plan at all, set general goals and not stay focused enough on achieving them, have some self belief but not enough, and take a lot of time off. And, believe they’re building a business that will give them results and a sustainable income for the freedom and flexibility they desire.
Yes, people do get to live their dream life, and I consider myself one of those, however it comes with a price. I was asked recently if I would start out again if I knew what I know now, and the answer was a very definite YES. There are, however, some things I would do differently, and the 3 big things are that I would have invested more in myself sooner, taken even more action than I did in the first 3 years and had a much clearer vision of what I wanted to achieve in my life and how that would happen.
Here is a list of things to consider when building your business:
- Dream BIG. Be prepared to chase your dreams until they become reality. Keep going no matter what comes your way. Keep following your passion even when that little voice in your head tells you you can’t do it! And that voice will be there. Family and friends may also tell you you can’t do it, or you’ll never make it, so learn to not listen to their words either. It is your dream and you are the only one who can make it happen. Keep going.
- STOP Procrastinating. Postponing anything you know you need to do, will hold you back. Understand why you are procrastinating and learn to overcome those feelings, preferable before they happen.
- Surround Yourself With Positive, Successful People. It’s easy to get dragged down if you are spending time with negative people, so make it a priority to surround yourself with the best.
- Love What You Do. Be in love with what you are doing. This love must be enough to get you out of bed every morning with a passion to keep you going. If you don’t love what you do it will be tiring to keep going through the challenges you’ll face, so take stock now and stop living a disconnected life. If you are not doing what you love, stop and make a change.
- Never Give Up. Be prepared to keep going no matter what comes your way. Stay connected to your dream and why you’re doing what you do. Be prepared to continually challenge yourself to do more.
- Be Comfortable Being Uncomfortable. Keep extending yourself and learn to live with the uncomfortable feeling of being out of your comfort zone. Being uncomfortable means you are extending yourself and learning something new and different. Extending yourself will give you a certain happiness and contentment that comes only with growth.
- Be Prepared To Do The Work. To achieve the freedom to have your dream lifestyle, you must be prepared to do the work. Accept that there will be long hours, early mornings and late nights. If you’re comparing yourself to someone who appears to have it all, I suggest that they have done the work. Be prepared to do even more than you think you need to. Stand out.
- Believe In Yourself. This is a must. If you do not believe in yourself, you cannot expect others to believe in you either. If you are not confident or lack self belief, work with someone or do the personal development yourself to understand what is holding you back so you can move on quickly.
- Time Is A Valuable Asset. You have the ability to choose how you spend your time, so choose wisely! Value your time. As your business grows you will become increasingly aware of this valuable asset. I suggest you start out how you intend to continue. Outsource the things that you do not need to do yourself. Charge what you are worth for your time and don’t over service your clients, they will respect you for this in the long run. Learn the habits of great time management and make them a habit in your world.
- Ask For Help. When you are stuck, ask for help. Don’t be so precious that you imagine you can do this all on your own. When you are aware you need help, ask for it. Ask a mentor, or a trusted advisor and then move on. Have you heard of the power of the Mastermind? Napoleon Hill writes about this in his book, Think And Grow Rich. Get your hands on a copy if you haven’t read it, it’s a great read not only about getting rich. There is a certain energy and results that happen when there is more than one brain working on a problem. So, take the shortcut and ask for help.
- Fail Fast. Accept there will be failures and treat them as feedback and then move on quickly. It will be your ability to work through failures that keeps you going rather than being held back.
- Take Risks. Be prepared to become a risk taker. I often work on my gut feelings. If I know it is what I really want and need, I go with it. You know how much you want to succeed, so be prepared to do what you have to do to make it happen, and often that means taking risks. Go with it. Do what ever it takes to get that BIG dream!
- Don’t Settle For Ordinary. Be prepared to be extraordinary. Be a stand out and an expert in your niche. You only have one life so make it extraordinary!
- Invest in Yourself. I mentioned above in 10. about asking for help, well the best thing to do in business is to have someone who is on your side and who can be your coach or mentor. Most successful people have someone in their corner working with them. Continually invest in learning and growing and giving to others.
- Set Goals And Read Them Often. Goal setting is all about knowing where you are going and what you are aiming for. Set very clear goals, really focus on achieving them, and stick to them. If you are not achieving your goals, change your actions not your goals.
- Take Time To Care For Yourself. Look after yourself because without you there may be no business. Take time out to exercise and treat yourself to the things that keep you healthy. Eat well, drink lots of water, and sleep well.
- Make a Difference. Use your success as a platform to help others and make a difference in the world. Giving and serving others can be one of THE most fulfilling things you will do.
- Become A Storyteller. Telling your story is a powerful way of connecting with your audience and community. Your story (yes you do have a story!) is unique and is your point of difference. No one else owns your story. Sharing your story will inspire and empower others. You can choose what and how much you share, just make sure that it’s in a way of giving not coming from a place of ego and being all about you.
- De-stress. Learn to take the stress out of situations that have the potential to derail you. Work though situations as they come up. You will need all your energy to run your business and make it the success you want and to achieve your BIG dreams.
- Have FUN! After all, if you are not having fun, what are you running your own business for? If it is not fun, make a change.
Leave your comments below about what you have experienced in building your business.
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