This could be considered one of the worst job markets in years! On the bright side, one of the things I’ve been hearing a lot lately is that this is actually a good time for those with an entrepreneurial spirit! Many of today’s millionaires have risen to the top in a time of recession, think Jeff Bezos, Founder & CEO of Amazon.
Okay … I know it’s not that simple. We all have responsibilities, bills, and maybe student loans to pay off. But if you’ve ever dreamed of owning your own business, but are too scared and don’t know where to start — I recommend at least checking out Robert Tuchman’s new book YOUNG GUNS: The Fearless Entrepreneur’s Guide to Chasing Your Dreams and Breaking Out on Your Own.
In this book, you’ll learn how to start your own business through real stories of entrepreneurs making their dreams come true! Tuchman will take you through real and practical strategies to get you started and running, particularly in this economy. You’ll also learn how to sustain your business for years to come with “reality checks” that will help ensure that you’re on the track to success. For more info, visit www.youngbusinessexecutives.com.
Well … until you get the book, here are some exclusive tips from Robert Tuchman, that every entrepreneur should consider:
WHY NOT ME?
Get into the habit of asking, “Why not me?” The answer to this question will be the single most important thing in your personal campaign to build a great business from scratch. The answer to this question will lead you to success: it will strengthen your resiliency, persistency, fortitude and sense of purpose.
You have to make a decision to make a name for yourself in the field that inspires you. The decision to change, whether it is catalyzed by unhappiness or otherwise, must come first. Commit yourself, with all your energy and enthusiasm, without reservation to what you love.
THE BIG IDEA
You need a big idea to transform roadblocks into reasons to move forward. The big idea will awaken you and ignite your motivation. Find ONE passion and pursue it—it should be one connected to an activity you love and should engage you emotionally.
THE FIRST TEST… AND THE FIRST PLAN
Once you have the big idea, test it. If what you are doing reminds you in any way of doing homework or feels like a chore, you have the wrong “Big Idea.” If your work passes this test, do your research and build a plan. Find a mentor! Stay focused on your short-term goals leading you to your long-term end.
THE PARTNER PRINCIPLE
Start-ups that feature two people have a significant competitive advantage over businesses in which one person, without consultation, makes all the major decisions. Picking a partner is analogous to picking a spouse: find someone who compensates for your weaknesses. Take your time: be positive about your choice as partnering with the wrong person can destroy your business, reputation, vision for the future, and physical or mental health.
GUT CHECK: GETTING STARTING
Prioritize internal workings before external: the external observable processes will not make or break your company in the first year. Your answer to “Why not me?” will lead you past your gut-check moment. You will have to expose yourself to short-term pain in order to secure the long-term that you believe you deserve.
PRIORITIES FOR THAT FIRST ALL-CONSUMING YEAR
Make a commitment: three years of long hours, hard work, and high energy. Your commitment to yourself will shape the commitment others will make with your company. You should have some main priorities—some of these being building a culture of action and enthusiasm and taking daily action on your business plan.
YOU ARE THE COMPANY
The best entrepreneurs are focused on their “why” that drives them to connect to customers—if you are truly connected you will never stop selling; it will be automatic. There is no right or wrong way to sell: just jump on the phone and talk to everyone you can with all your passion and enthusiasm.
TECHNOLOGY: OUR GENERATION’S GREAT EQUALIZER
Online, your message must be crafted carefully, resources invested wisely, and potential and actual payoff evaluated closely. To sell, find out how your customers are communicated and connecting. Hang out with customers online and in person. There are inexpensive ways to launch and promote a business and its target message.
SERVICE IS WHAT YOU’RE SELLING
Business is all about relationships—it is the service that you deliver to support these relationships that is your one true product. And that service is all about follow-through. Be upfront about everything of consequence that affects your client; take ownership of any problem. Sell light, perform heavy!
BACK UP YOUR SELL
Honesty is the only policy. There is only one way to build credibility: tell the truth to clients and prospective clients, and then surprise them and deliver more.
INSIDE PLAYERS: YOUR TEAM
Entrepreneurship is not just founding a stage where you as the founder deliver all the good results yourself—it means building a good team. Delegate! Hire people who share your values and attitudes. You should have a strong personal connection with every person you hire. Keep in mind that the general atmosphere is more important than any one employee.
CELEBRATE FAILURE, REWARD SUCCESS
You learn the least when you succeed, and the most when you fail. To never fail is an impossibility. Failure does not equal losing! You only lose when you halt your momentum and do not move forward to help the people on your team to success. Learn to bounce back and look for a silver lining.
YOUR VENDOR RELATIONSHIPS MATTER
It is just as important to keep your vendors happy as your employees. Nurture, sustain and service your relationships with the right vendors. You are placing the future of your business in the hands of the vendors: you relationship with them needs to be one of trust. The two most important outside vendors you can have are your accountant and lawyer.
BY THE NUMBERS
Find someone who can keep you organized and on top of your expenses and obligations AND who can adapt and expand as the business starts to take off.
WHY NOT YOU?
Over time, you will have to find different ways to answer that question to keep you motivated on your path to success. Find new rituals that engage you in a fresh and motivating way. Master the art of supporting, learning about, and growing yourself before you try to do the same for your business.
In the end, take energy from taking risks. Live in the spirit of the entrepreneur!
Robert Tuchman is the Founder of TSE Sports & Entertainment, Executive VP of Premiere Global Sports and Author of Young Guns The Fearless Entrepreneurs Guide To Chasing your dreams and breaking out on your own.