Starting a new business venture is both exciting and terrifying at the same time. Nothing gets me more excited than succeeding in all the little tasks I set out for the day, but Entrepreneurial success is much more than just completing tasks and bringing in some bucks. Sometimes when you’re on the journey of starting a business, the only thing you need is for other creative entrepreneurs to say “Yes, I know what you’re going through. This is what helped me.”
Long before I launched Resolution Creative, research and preparation was on my daily schedule. I wanted things perfect before the launch. Even though you can never have things perfect, all the pieces of information I gathered from all kinds of resources helped me in more ways than I could imagine. Amongst all, there is 7 pieces of advice that stuck with me from the beginning:
The YES effect
I take a lot of inspiring reference from Richard Branson, his words and knowledge is the motivational pot of gold I love to dig in from time to time, but there is one thing he says that sticks with me through all my decision-making:
“If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later!”
This is probably the best advice any person can get. Not only does it challenge you to expand your knowledge, but bringing in new clients with different needs broadens your service horizons in so many ways. Try it, you will be surprised by what you can actually do!
Nothing in life is new
This heading might sound a bit pessimistic, but it is true. I’ve had to sit and listen to my farther say this for years, never really taking note. The older I get the more I realize how true it is. From a business perspective, it means that every successful person you might know or look up to has been thought the exact same problems, just in a different way. Listen intently to those around you, learn from their experience and mistakes and apply it to your decision-making process.
Fake it ‘till you make it.
This is a crucial piece of advice with several fine lines so be sure not to cross any of them. Researchers concluded that by undervaluing ourselves, we could be unwittingly sabotaging our own careers. But this is not what I mean here. I’ve once read somewhere that in order to compete with the big agencies and get the client you dream of, you need to play the part. Maybe you are a freelancer, working from home, and it is only you sitting in your living room/semi-office. This does not mean you have to act like a small freelancer. If it is only you on your team doesn’t mean you have to think and act like a one man show. You can be at the level you want to be regardless of your company size or profit margins. Go big with your branding, your customer service, your ways of thinking. Just keep in mind that it is the little details that can make a big difference. Having the confidence in your business will rub off on new potential clients, so don’t be afraid to play a big role, ditch the small role.
Ask rather than assume
This is probably the biggest reality hit I received once I started with my business- you will ask more questions than answering. In the beginning my mindset was set to having all this knowledge that I will be sharing with my clients. To my realization I was the one who had to keep asking questions in order to get all the information I needed to complete projects. Assumptions was out of the question, sharing some knowledge was low on the priority list. Be smart when it comes to the questions you ask. Prepare questions well in advance and make sure that it will give the client the opportunity to share everything you need to know to do your job the best you can. Asking more questions will give you the advantage of getting to the real problem your client is experiencing.
The human billboard
This is a new approach to networking that actually gets you more clients. According to Millo.com you identify key influencers in your area and you approach them (prepared), then you do whatever it takes to get them as your clients, even offering your services free of charge. In return they must refer you to others if they are happy with your service. This works like a charm. You can go read the whole article here.
Passion fuels purpose
I know we’ve all heard this over a thousand times before, what a cliché, right? Ever thought that it turned into a cliché because people always vouch for it? To quote Richard Branson “It’s foolish not to become an expert at your passions”, and without a purpose what are you working towards? There HAS TO BE a deeper purpose rather than cashing in some money. Without that extra motivation to succeed for your own good because you love it, hard work will feel harder, and long days longer. You have to find what you love, it’s not always a specific product or service. Your passion, for example, may lie in helping the schools in your community. It is your purpose and your passion, then create an awesome business idea with helping those schools in need with your profits as the main goal. It will also help give your USP an edge.
Find your difference
Have you heard about the term USP? It’s short for Unique Selling Proposition. It means exactly what is says, the unique element or angle you bring to the table. There are hundreds of construction companies, what makes you different? There is a coffee shop right next to yours, how can you make yours more unique? This is probably one of the toughest questions to answer when you start your business, but it is the most important one. To help you find your USP, fizzle.co constructed the ultimate guide to finding the answer to that question. Go have a read.
This is such an exciting time in your journey and I hope you found some inspiration in this read, not only for staring off your own business but also finding the interest in developing your career in every possible way. I will conclude with the famous word of Miley Cyrus (cheesy, I know) “Ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side, It’s the climb”. Work hard at what makes you happy!