Twelve Practical Tips For Entrepreneurs

I’ve been thinking about the most important personal attributes you need when you’re starting a new business.  

So here’s my own list of twelve top practical tips for entrepreneurs.

Twelve Top Practical Tips For Entrepreneurs

1. Know your purpose, your values, and your mission

This isn’t about money – it’s about the reasons why you do what you do.

If you’re clear in your own mind about these, then you’ll be able to create the energy and drive needed to power your business start up.

2. Maintain strong intentions and desire

Create this by vividly visualizing what you want to achieve and how your life will be when you have achieved it.

3. Beware the negative majority

Most people are employees and live in the employee 9-5 mentality.

They’re not supportive of people who leave them behind and break out of that way of life. They’ll tend to be critical and negative towards your entrepreneurial ideas and ventures.

Don’t expect support from them – and don’t try to enlist or canvass them. It will be wasted time, effort and will only lead to frustration.

4. Seek out your mentors

Be they online, or offline. Or preferably both. They are out there, amongst the positive people.

Know who they are. Find them, learn from them – and emulate them.

5. Always be yourself

If you try to be someone else, you’ll always do a second rate job of it – and people will see through you.

Be yourself – and you’ll be unique.

6. Remember you serve yourself by serving others first

Not the other way round.

Always put the interests of your community first.  By “community” I mean your audience, your visitors, your market and your customers.

7. Value your time – it’s your greatest and most scarce resource

Money and capital can always be found.

But time is limited. It’s the most scarce resource you have, so always use it wisely!

8. Restrict email, phone calls and web surfing

These three have now become major time robbers for many people. Prevent these from taking over your time by severely restricting these to eg twice or three times a day maximum – and bunch them together at the same time.

Then, when you’re done, you’re done. Let new emails wait til your next session. The same for voice mail.

And beware of “surfing”. Flitting from website to website eats up time faster than you think. It’s become the equivalent of TV channel surfing.  Unless you are searching for something specific, don’t kid yourself that you are “researching” or learning. You’re not. You’re just eating up time which you will never get back.

Severely limit the number of sites, blogs and forums you visit. Most of them aren’t really necessary. Don’t waste time commenting on forums and blogs unless it supports your business. And use an RSS Reader.

9. Always apply the 80/20 rule

This is the Pareto Law which states that 80 percent of the results of something come from 20 percent of the effort. Find which small (20 percent or so) part of your efforts are creating the bulk of your results, your traffic, your customers, your sales and your income – and concentrate on these efforts.

10. Always be learning – everyday

Never think that you have reached a point where you know it all.

You never know it all: no matter how old you are, how much education or training you have under your belt, or even how much personal experience you’ve notched up. There’s always someone else out there with more experience and knowledge than you. You can learn from them – if you allow yourself.

Remember: you don’t know what you don’t know!  So always keep an open mind and always be willing to learn.

11.Take action every day

Don’t fall into “analysis paralysis” or keep putting things off.

We never have enough information. And the time is never right.

Remember: “ready, fire, aim” is always better than “ready, aim, aim, aim…..” and never firing – or firing too late!

12. Always know what your competitors are doing 

The competition – be it existing or new ones – never sleeps.

So find out who you competitors are. Always keep an eye on what they are doing – and do it better.

And finally, a bonus tip… to make it a nice round thirteen..

13. Business isn’t actually about money

It’s about providing a service to your community or market. It’s about identifying people’s needs and meeting them. The money is just the by-product of doing this successfully.

If you lose sight of this, as some businesses do – such as some of those taken over by “private equity”, then your business will go into decline and you’ll earn less money – and maybe even go out of business.

And more more thing…

Don’t forget to “smell the coffee” and enjoy the journey. Being an entrepreneur is really about the journey and not just about the destination.

Because when you’re “there”, there’s no “there”!

Any thoughts or ideas on the above tips? Any that you think ought to be included that I’ve missed out? 

Leave a comment below or via the contact page.

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