These are some of the best pieces of advice I can give based on 12 years’ experience of bringing ideas to reality as an entrepreneur and innovator.
Imagine your business start up is a new bus. You are the driver. You are about to begin a very long road journey on a totally new route in a place you have never been to before. You need to know where you are going and directions to get to your destination. You need to stock up on resources for the upcoming journey:
Find and follow your passion
Do what you love doing. Watch the doors open and you will enjoy the journey even more.
Believe in yourself & your idea
Believe in you first. Believe you can. Believe you are the right person to do this. This will help you build the right team, the right product and bring the right customers.
Learn from the best
Educate yourself by learning from the best. Learn from experts in your business domain.
Have a clear vision of the future
Planning the business journey is like planning any other type of journey: it requires a destination (or goal) and a clear path (or direction). Apply this to your business at all times… and don’t begin until you have it clear in your head. Visualize your goals and how you will get there, often. Imagine how it will feel to achieve your goal.
Plan your time
Prioritise and plan your day and week. I spend 15-30 minutes every Sunday evening planning the week and it puts me in control of my business and my life, not the other way around.
Challenge yourself & get out of your comfort zone
This may be difficult at first, but when you apply it regularly you will see great results and you will be amazed at how much more you are able to do. Do the things you feel are a challenge and watch yourself grow.
Surround yourself with positive, like-minded people
Getting a good mentor is an important part of this. You also need to build a team that shares your passion, goals and philosophy.
Trust in yourself and others
Have faith in your choices and follow them through. You have the amazing gifts of choice and free will, so the only wrong choice is to not make a choice at all.
Look after your health
It’s crucial to find a work/life balance that keeps you healthy. Exercise and good diet are great places to start. For me this involves getting outdoors, keeping fit, eating plenty of ‘live’ foods, drinking lots of water, prayer and meditation.
Get the right plan & funding in place
Be prepared and plan early for funding so that your idea doesn’t become sabotaged by a simple lack of cash flow. Seek advice from experts and talk to other entrepreneurs who have been successful getting funding.
Enjoy the journey and stay strong
It’s all about persistence… with a smile.
Daunting? Initially. Impossible? No way!
The important thing to remember is that you are in complete control of the journey, where you go and how you get there.
You decide who (your customers) you will take to where they want to go. You decide when to start the bus (begin your start up) and when to switch off (when to stop or when to step back and unwind). Which road to take (your business model) and how fast or how slow (when to put in extra hours or make quicker decisions). When to invite new passengers (your team) on board. You’ll see signs along the way (advice and choices) that will help you. You will have markers (targets) along the way too and every time you pass them you’ll know you are getting closer to your destination (your goal).
I have used this and it has worked and still works brilliantly for me as an entrepreneur.
So get on the bus, take the wheel and begin this amazing journey. Go for it!
About the author
Anthony is a New Frontiers participant. He has a passion for sports, and has combined careers in sales and business development with football coaching and training. He was also a professional football player. Anthony’s startup, Gateway Sports, is an online asset management platform for grassroots/amateur sports bodies and sports organisations.