1. Let fear be your fuel, not your barrier - Be comfortable with being uncomfortable because fear, doubt, and risk are all normal experiences for entrepreneurs and leaders in all stages of business, and even life. If you are in a 9 to 5 job that is providing steady income, let it serve as your safety net while you slowly start your venture on the side and build revenue. This is not the method that I chose to follow, and like me, there are some who will simply take the full plunge by emerging themselves immediately into full-time entrepreneurship, but it is a less risky route to take if you avoid full emergence.
2. Do your prep work - Research and understand what it will take to start, sustain and scale the business. What is the amount of startup funding; your cash flow and operating budget requirements; the market you will serve and why they will want to buy from you; who are competitors; your strategy for delivering your product and/or service to the market. Writing a business plan helps you to clarify these areas and more. Start with a 1-Page Business plan to lay it all out initially at the 50K-foot level.
3. Don't try to do it alone - Seek mentors. Look for people who are doing what you want to do and are seasoned at it. Ask if they will mentor you, but remember to add value and be able to serve them as well. Don't discount finding "virtual mentorship" through books and materials written by someone in the field that you admire, but don't have access to. Coaches experienced in specific topics are also good, but can be costly and in the beginning you may not have the funds for a coach. If you can budget for it, by all means do so.
4. Become laser focused and clear on exactly what goods and/or services you will offer - Knowing and understanding your market are critical to successful sales. Effective marketing comes from good research of your target market. Create avatars that list specific details about the character and buying habits of your potential customers. Knowing this level of detail about your potential customer helps you to target your sales campaign to be more relevant to what they are searching for. It helps you to more easily find your tribe that will become raving fans of your goods and/or services. It also helps you to establish clear and measurable goals.
5. Become part of the community and give back - Making money is important in business, but so is giving some of it back. If you build a mindset of prospering for purpose, it creates a sense of reward that no amount of money alone can give. It also becomes another method of marketing for your business. People like to buy from those they know, like and trust, and part of this is developed when your potential customers realize that you have causes greater than yourself and the bottom-line.
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