As an entrepreneur you need to get out of the office and continue building business connections. Toward this end though you need to make the most of business meetings. If you attend an event or a business luncheon and walk away, hours later, with a sense of “that was a waste of time” you need to sharpen your skills to see if you can determine beforehand just who might be wasting your time before you schedule time out of the office.
Make The Most Of Business Meetings
It’s all about them. This is a red flag you should notice up front. If you meet someone at a networking event and they launch into their elevator pitch without even a “getting to know you” question or two. You can rest assured that if you meet up again, the conversation on your end will not be furthered, but their agenda will be continued. As a side note, make sure when you meet people that you aren’t the one who is monopolizing the conversation.
Future planning. If they say, “well, at some point in the future” or “we aren’t at the point of bringing on vendors” or “we don’t have any plans currently” you will know that it might be a good getting-to-know you time, but you won’t walk away being any closer to a new business deal than you originally were. This is not to say that “future” promises should be discounted, but know that you’re not getting a contract signed any time soon.
I’d love to pick your brain. When someone says this, they KNOW you have a product or service that they would benefit from BUT they are not willing to open their checkbook and invest. Sharing insight and information isn’t a bad thing, but you don’t want to continually accept invitations to, “brain picking” sessions. You deserve to be paid for your expertise. Bottom line.
What raises red flags for you when you’re scheduling a business meeting with a potential client?
It’s not a trick question. You do need to ask yourself what will you risk for your business dreams? Do you want to “go big or go home” or do you want to dip your toes into the entrepreneurial stream? You can choose to be somewhere in the middle. No matter which path you choose you need to understand the risks, the rewards and how long it might take you to achieve either.
Everyday when I am talking with entrepreneurs, we have the discssion about what type of risk-taker they are. About how quickly they want to achieve their goals and myriad other items necessary to help them pull together their business plans and become gainfully self employed.
What Will You Risk For Your Business Dreams?
Here are some steps you can take today to move yourself forward toward becoming an entrepreneur.
- Act as though you are the success you’re dreaming of. While I don’t embrace the “fake it til you make it” mentalityI do believe that if you dream of being an entrepreneur you need to have the entrepreneurial mindset. You need to move away from being an employee to being an employer. Are you ready to act as though you’ve already “arrived”?
- Believe in yourself and know that you have what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur. You need to surround yourself with people who will help support your dream, but more importantly you need to believe in yourself and that you have the skills, knowledge and drive to make it happen. If you can’t boldly say, “Yes, I can do this!” It will be difficult for those around you to believe it.
- Live the dream. Your small steps toward entrepreneurial greatness means you need to work at it each and every day. Sure, you can take a day off and spend time with friends and family, but when you’re starting out, you need to be focused, driven and see that goal you’re driving toward. As they say, “there are no shortcuts on the road to success.”
Are you willing to make the sacrifices necessary to achieve your goals? Is your family supportive of your dreams? What’s holding you back from your dreams? Let us know. We can help.
Is it possible for your mom and pop business to be in the million dollar club? Can you build a million dollar business? Many others have and there is no reason you can’t… if you make plans and execute them.
Can You Build A Million Dollar Business?
Here are ways you can make that leap toward the million dollar business echelon.
- Have a written business plan. If you don’t write down a plan that you can follow that has measurable goals, you will likely get off track. Write down how you will run your business, your measures of success and your income and expenses.
- Get, and stay, organized. If you don’t have a marketing budget in place and if you don’t have your business entity properly set up or if you don’t have a business bank account, you will be floundering financially and this can eat into your potential million dollar earnings.
- Surround yourself with a stellar team. Even if you’re a solopreneur, you will still likely need an accounting professional, a legal professional and perhaps even a graphic designer or content creator on your team. You will be busy pursuing your area of expertise and your core competency and it makes good financial sense to hire professionals to take on the tasks at which you don’t excel.
- Learn to delegate but don’t forget to supervise. It’s great to delegate, but quality control is your ultimate responsibility. Drop in on your social media pages and see what information is being shared. Check in on the quality of products being manufactured and services being delivered. Your name is on the line with every interaction your staff or contractors have.
- Track what is getting done. Track income. Track expenses. Track the number of clients coming through the door. Track those clients with whom you no longer work. If you aren’t measuring successes and failures, you won’t know when it makes sense to course correct, or raise your prices, or drop an underperforming project.
Are you on your way to building a million dollar business? Are you feeling that your progress has stalled? If so, reach out to us, we can help.
Are there secret traits entrepreneurs share? Perhaps, but they certainly don’t have to be, and likely aren’t a secret. If you’re an entrepreneur, I’ll bet you share these traits.
- They understand what gets them out of bed in the morning. Being motivated to be an entrepreneur through good times and bad is what motivates entrepreneurs.
- They choose an endeavor that is in alignment with their skills and their passions. Trying to fit a square peg in a round hole and running a business around it, is not going to bring joy to you or your employees. Find what you love and then find what people will pay for that aligns with what you love and you are on the road to a business that will inspire you.
- They are frugal. Start-ups know that money will be tight and because of that they are willing to “eat Ramen” and cut expenses to help their business succeed. They also know it’s not necessary to operate from a high end store front or to invest in all new equipment, when used will work just fine in the start up phase. You need to be penny-wise in your start up phase.
- They are “shameless” in promoting themselves and their business. You can be shameless with self promotion without being obnoxious. Keep front of mind how you can HELP others with your business, not just what you can SELL others.
- They interact with like-minded individuals. Getting out of the office and being with like-minded business owners at networking events helps keep you motivated and inspired to move forward. Talking through your struggles with someone outside of your organization may help you find a solution you hadn’t considered.
- They are resilient and don’t take failure personally. Sure, it hurts when something you’re trying fails, but if you can bounce back and learn from that “mistake” then you can move forward stronger for having had that failure. I don’t look at anything in business that doesn’t work as planned as a failure; I look at everything I try as an experiment that I learn from.
Do you share any of these entrepreneurial traits? What secrets do you have?
Are you a “yes” man or woman? When you’re an entrepreneur it’s easy to say “yes” to every opportunity, especially when you’re just starting out. If you’re an over-committed entrepreneur, you need to find a way out so you can begin working smarter, not harder and so you can focus and deliver the highest quality to your clients and prospects.
Are You An Over-Committed Entrepreneur?
How can you get out of your over-commitment? Here are a few ways.
- Don’t shun the responsibility of having “brought it on yourself.” You need to look at what you’re saying yes to, why you’re saying it and how you can have better processes in place to know when to say yes, when to say no and how to complete the tasks you’ve committed to. No one can force you to do more than you have time for — it’s your over-commitment. Own it.
- Do you have a fear of missing out? Generally called FOMO, it is something that faces everyone — entrepreneurs are not the only ones who want to be involved in everything and worry if they say no they will miss out. The fear of missing out is a powerful “motivator” for many entrepreneurs to become over-committed.
- You don’t look closely enough at your calendar. In order to not be over-committed, you need to know what time you have available in your schedule. Block out time for necessary tasks, block out time for personal and family time, block out time for new opportunities.
- Know what your goals are and what the most important tasks to complete first. Complete them. Move onto the next task. If you don’t know what the important things are you may let items fall through the cracks. For many, the important, may be the most time-consuming and require the most effort, but you need to complete them to move forward. Block time in your calendar to complete these items.
- Practice self care. Even though you may be thinking, “I’ve over-committed. I don’t have time to take time off or get a good night’s sleep.” I am here to tell you, you don’t have the luxury of not practicing self care. If you get ill, who will run the show? If you’re a solopreneur, all tasks fall to you. You need to be healthy enough to perform them.
What do you find yourself over-committing to? Do those items fall into the same categories? Are you clear enough on your goals and business vision to know what you should be saying no to? Take a step back. Regain your perspective. Start anew.
Everyone procrastinates from time to time. Don’t beat yourself up when it happens, BUT if it happens regularly and if you’re not completing client tasks and if your to do list is getting infinitely longer and there is no “done” tasks, you need to find ways to break through procrastination.
There are many reasons we procrastinate and there are many reasons you need to break through and get back on track. Procrastination has an emotional side — you KNOW you need to complete a task but you’re just not doing it. That feeling of not being complete will lead to anxiety and even more avoidance. Thinking that, “I’ll do it tomorrow” is not helpful — especially if you have had more than one “tomorrow” that you’re putting it off.
Here are some of the reasons entrepreneurs procrastinate:
- Can’t make a decisoin
- Biting off more than you can chew
- Never saying “no”
- Lack of organization
- Lack of resources to complete the task
- Not knowing where to begin
- Taking on a task that doesn’t fit with your values or mission
- Knowing that the outcome will not be a good one. Ie, if you have to fire an underperforming employee or contractor
- You’re confused on where to begin and what the outcome will be
In order to break out of procrastination mode you need to look at the reasons you are procrastinating and that will help you break through. If you simply can’t make a decision, for example, I suggest writing a list of pros and cons. If you always say “yes” to everything that’s asked of you — you need to learn how to say no, but more importantly WHY to say no. If something doesn’t fit into your business vision, it’s not a fit. If you’re being asked to do something you just don’t have the time for, say no. If you want to say yes, but aren’t certain, then say, “I might be interested in that, let me get back to you.” Don’t let yourself get boxed in and feel you have to make an immediate decision.
Why do you procrastinate? Which of these items on the list above plague you? If you need help breaking through, have you ever considered working with a coach? If so, leave a comment below or send me an email.