As entrepreneurs we compete as underdogs, challenge is a guarantee, we play a game that has the odds stacked against us. Entrepreneurship can be a lonely game that will stretch us as participants and that’s why I think it’s powerful to share our stories, successes and failures amongst each other. We are in this together. I’ve been asked to share 5 rules to live by as an entrepreneur, an entrepreneurial employee, a startup or an existing business revitalising itself.
Rule 1: Vision overcomes challenge
We have had it drummed into us. We’ve all heard it 100 times. Vision is the corner stone of growth. The question I constantly asked myself and our team is to share stories that represent our vision in action. Yes, you need a flash vision statement and flag ship wording to express your group vision, mission and purpose but my challenge to our team is to constantly share core stories that represent our vision playing out in real life. Ensure your vision is imprinted into the minds of your people with more strength than your challenges. Vision overcomes challenge.
Rule 2: Take the high ground
As entrepreneurs we’re often put in positions where we’re challenged. This might be because an employee isn’t doing their best work, a problem with a competitor or the odd disgruntled customer. From day 1 it’s important to take the high road. Get into the habit of doing the right, moral and correct thing early on in business and focus on solving the problem rather than winning the battle. I think it’s so important to remember as entrepreneurs rejection is an element of growth. Be prepared, expect it and be ready to take the high road.
Rule 3: Thinking time
As growth occurs it’s a guarantee we will have more than enough tasks to get bogged down. As business owners a large part of our days are often spent fighting fires and overcoming challenges. I think it’s powerful to allocate time every day or every week when you can just think. This means removing yourself from the daily hustle to work on bigger picture tasks or think through a specific problem. In this time you should examine the problems you are facing and develop strategies to avoid them. An hour a day spent thinking will be one of the greatest investments you make.
Rule 4: Hope is not a growth strategy
No matter what people tell you – hope is not a growth strategy when it comes to your businesses’ finances. A lot of startup businesses shy away from the numbers due to fear or a lack of understanding. But if you’re serious about scaling your startup then finance is an aspect you can’t hide from. To enable growth you need to have a strong and realistic budget, a business plan and a cash-flow forecast. Treat yourself like a listed company in the way you report and plan. Your financial dashboard is your scoreboard.
Rule 5: Believe
As entrepreneurs we are taking a vision, something that doesn’t yet exist in the physical world and we are doing whatever it takes to make that vision real. Belief is a requirement of entrepreneurship. Belief is a requirement of growth. You have to believe in your customer (market), your product, your plan, your people, yourself and believe the world is conspiring to help you. I like what Jim Rohn said, “great wealth can’t be earned as efficiently as it can be attracted”.
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