Okay… so you’ve decided to start your own business. Good for you. The excitement of starting something new is really addictive. That addiction (like most others) can be quite dangerous. Business is for people who can finish the drill. Equally as important, business is for those who are strong and disciplined enough to stick to their “walk away plan”. Inc. Magazine’s Norm Brodsky told me that he has a strict formula for calculating his money loss threshold. Once he hits that threshold, he shuts down. Boy, I wish I was that disciplined (I’m getting there). You will need to be disciplined about your rules. I’m talking about passion man … passion (in my Allen Iverson voice). You must have passion for following rules, learning, educating, and supporting your community in order to be successful.
Passionately follow the/your Rules
Following rules has a lot to do with removing emotion from your business practices. This is weird. I’m writing about passion and I’m telling you that emotions need to be put to the side. You must have the passion for making the tough and right decisions at all cost. Be passionate about facing the challenge this creates. This is easier said than done right? It becomes easier as we see the positive results from sticking to our guns. This takes experience so don’t beat up yourself if you struggle out the gate.
Passionately Learn and Educate
Our world marvels at innovation — complex and simple. Innovation and progress are impossible without the passionate pursuit of knowledge. Every business owner should set an example by openly embracing knowledge. You don’t have to strictly depend on books, seminars, and conferences for good knowledge. Business leaders can learn a ton from their employees. Give public credit to the employees who teach you something.
Educate your customers. Most customers are not experts in the product or service you’re offering them. If they happen to be an expert, shut up and listen to them. This is a great opportunity to add to your sales arsenal. People want to be taught and lead through the sales process with useful information. Don’t put so much focus on the tactic of aggressive selling. Show your potential customer that you possess deep knowledge on your industry (be careful not to go over their heads though). Having the passion to educate your customers will build influence and brand loyalty. Learning and educating are crucial components of your business system.
Passionately Support Your Community
Give back. Don’t give back simply for the tax write-off or the p.r. Genuinely and passionately support the community that supports your business. Without their support, you would have no business. There are a myriad of ways to support your local and web communities… participate in career fairs, speak to students at various education levels about your career, broadcast free webinars, donate unused equipment to people of need and aspiring young entrepreneurs. You never know… the kid at your local elementary might be the CEO of your business 30-40 years from now. Nao is working on a plan to support young entrepreneurs in the metro Atlanta area. We’ll keep you posted.