My response is very much driven from my own experience, drawn from many years as a senior executive in multi nationals, then starting up my own consultancy business and, more recently, moving that business online – with all that it takes.
So, the following are my own personal views:
- Be passionate. If you do not have that in spades, then you will find the going very difficult. When you are passionate the bumps on the road are simply things to be overcome – not showstoppers. Passion is what gets you out of bed in the morning, driven to succeed. My passion is that I really want to help clients win at business and life.
- Perfection is a silly goal. If you wait until you have everything perfect, with all the “i”s dotted and “t”s crossed you will never get out into the marketplace. Stop analyzing more and more options – that is death by paralysis. Chip and Dan Heath said it well in their book Switch – “More and more options, even good ones, make us freeze” Be like Apple – get the product out in the marketplace and make the changes as you go.
- Be a big thinker. Don’t just settle for what everyone else is doing. See how you can do it bigger, better, more attractively! Keep driving your ideas forward, seeking out more opportunities to become an authority in your marketplace. Don’t settle for being just another accountant, financial advisor or executive. What would set you apart? What would make a big difference?
- Ignore the doubters. There will be plenty who will tell you that your idea won’t work. That the market is difficult. That the opportunity isn’t there. The one consistency from all those voices? They are not at the top of their game. They want you to be standing beside them – in the field of average!
- Know your target market and your niche. Be crystal clear about your target market – down to the finest detail. Be able to describe your target market as if you were meeting that person for lunch tomorrow. Without this clarity you are floundering around aiming at everything and nothing! Then once you have your target market in your sites, determine your niche – the service that you provide to that target market. Do not confuse the two!
- Find the right partners and mentors. I don’t mean you have to hire staff.Just find the right people to surround yourself with that will help and support you. You will need resources to do various things – legal, accounting, website development, graphic design etc. But, above all, find people that resonate with your values, what you stand for and can share in your goals. Also, get a good mentor and coach. This will save you a load of time and money going down the wrong avenues. I have always had my own coach – (no, I don’t coach myself!) – as I need the objectivity. That coach will serve as your sounding board and advisor, as well as keep you on track to achieve your goals.
These principles have stood me well over the years. So, what are yours? I would love to hear.