Original post May 2012, due to popularity re-posting for 2015
So why did I decide to start my own business?
I did it partly for the challenge, partly because I wanted to pursue my dream of empowering business owners to create their own success and partly because I wanted to be able to tell my clients “I know what it’s like to be a start-up, I’ve been in your shoes.”
For many people having their own business sounds like a dream.
You get to be your own boss, you get the freedom to take a vacation when you want and you get to choose you own work hours. AND yet most of those same people also want the guarantee they will get a paycheck each week, they like the idea of a set work schedule 9-5pm and they like to have health benefits and paid time off.
Underestimating the difficulty of starting your own business is one obstacle you do not want to avoid. According to the Small Business Association Office of Advocacy in 2010: 50% of small businesses fail in year one
If that statistic doesn’t scare you, read on.
Knowing these statistics before starting my own business did not scare nor discourage me. Instead I was excited. I figured if 50% of small businesses fail in their first year, then some of my competition wouldn’t be around very long. I also knew that if I planned well, and I didn’t allow myself to quit, I would actually have a high chance to succeed.
Many of my clients ask “Susie, how do you stay motivated? How are you so successful? “
Here’s the advice I give them and you – MAKE SUCCESS YOUR CHOICE.
Success is a choice, did you know that? It’s a guarantee that you will absolutely experience challenges and setbacks along the way AND if you live by these five principles you will always make the success your choice:
PRINCIPLE #1 – Never Quit
When you decide that quitting is just not an option, it will be easier for you to pick yourself up when you are slapped in the face with a challenge or setback. I constantly remind myself that 50% of small businesses fail in their first year, so by not quitting I’m already in the 50% that has succeeded.
PRINCIPLE #2 – Failures = Feedback
What separates that 50% of business owners that succeed from the 50% that do not? The successful ones know and accept that they will “fail” more times than they “succeed” as they are climbing their way to business success. So believe in yourself and ALWAYS learn from your mistakes. I always tell my clients, there is no such thing as failure, there’s only feedback. We discuss what they have learned from the feedback and we are always, always able to create a new opportunity out of their experience.
PRINCIPLE #3 – You Are Not Alone
You are not alone and you don’t have to do everything yourself. You are great at a lot of things, but probably not everything, right? So the areas of your business you’re not strong in or you don’t have a passion in are the areas you should not be in. So find people who can fill those expertise and skill “gaps.” I’m one of those people who has been pretty good at everything I have ever tried doing. And this has actually been one of my biggest challenges when running my own business. I’ve learned real fast I cannot and should not be doing everything. So I have recruited a number of people to my company that are great in the areas I’m not and the best part is they love doing those things!
PRINCIPLE #4 – Support Team
Much of your success is determined by whom you associate with and who you collaborate with. So create a support team of people who will encourage you through the challenges and setbacks. Your support team can be a mastermind group, a career coach, a colleague you meet with monthly to discuss business goals with, even your spouse. My support team consists of a number of “mastermind –partnerships” with professionals from different industries and we discuss our business challenges and brainstorm new ideas.
PRINCIPLE #5 – Take Action
When you make a mistake or get hit with a setback, don’t waste time whining about it. Take action, do whatever it takes to recover quickly so that you don’t lose your momentum. When something happens that I have not planned for and I feel myself getting pulled into a negativity mind-set I review my list of accomplishments. From day one I have kept a list of all the accomplishments I am making building my business. This list is a constant reminder of how much I have already achieved and keeps me motivated to continue moving forward.
So whether you’re just considering starting a business or you’re in the thick of running your own business use these five principles to keep you focused on what’s important. Success is a choice, make it your choice!
-Susie S. Japs, Success Consultant & OD Strategist with Wejungo