“In the business world, everyone is paid in two coins: cash and experience. Take the experience first; the cash will come later” – Harold Geneen
Do not be in a hurry to jump the walls, take the stairs. I have heard many startups and rising entrepreneurs desiring to hit success at the moment they begin making some money. Some experts will argue, experience isn’t important and what matters is ideas. It’s great to have ideas: but what do you do with ideas without strategic planning? How do you build your ideas into an appropriate business structure? Ideas alone do not out of the blues develop into successful businesses.
Nothing grows out of its proper processes. It is not hard to make decisions when you know what you are about. When you have great ideas coupled with some amount of experience, bingo, you are ready to hit the jackpot. Ideas without knowhow is definitely a loss, so get some experience.
Every step makes you grow and gradually, you learn to play like the Pros. Take the baby steps and enjoy the falls. It’s the only guaranteed way to building a successful business like the Pros: don’t rush the process else you’ll crush.
Experiences will come in two forms: direct and indirect – direct in the form of personal experiences and indirect from other people’s experiences. Both are a necessity in shaping your entrepreneurial success. Hence, you either learn on the job or from the job – being an employee or an entrepreneur. Let’s focus on the later.
How do you grow the experience?
- Develop The Ideas
Put into shape what you have in mind or on paper. Give it some ‘flesh’ to enable it set into motion. Ideas are not ideas until they are well organized, developed and strategically structured.
- Set into Motion – begin to walk the talk
Not all entrepreneurs survive this stage. This is where ideas are worth nothing when you do not know how to walk big as they (the ideas) may be. Many have had millions of ideas that have not seen the light of the day and many will continue to conceive them. Implementing the ideas takes some guts and sustaining it, is a journey for another day.
- Grow The Ideas
Now feed what you have set into motion: invest into sustaining it. It is work and you have to be ready to make some great sacrifices. The better aspect of this process is you begin to grow your experiences from here:
- from making the wrong decisions and learning,
- failing hard and picking up,
- making huge losses and yet surviving etc.
The growing process is what develops you into a Pro. So while you at it, be firm, be focus, build a bank of wisdom and enjoy the moment; very important.
- Repeat The Process
This is dynamic: you can’t get tired of the routine. Now, before you get to repeating the process, there are a lot that come to play. You will figure it out while at the growth stage. You can never entertain boredom. Repeating the process will either make you successful or make you fall out. You must be creative, consistent, evolve with change, and keep up progress.
As an entrepreneur, running a business is like waking up and taking a jog down the neighborhood: everyday, you see the same things, do the same things, jog the same pace, but the difference would be doing something different each day you take a jog down the same neighborhood.
Here’s how the Pros keep playing big:
The Pros keep winning without a doubt and consistently remained at their peak of the game. I had a few chats with some industry Pros and they willingly shared some tips on how they do it.
Below are some highlights I gathered…
This was much explained in the first part of this article. Experience, they say, play a big role to keep you at the top of the game. Failures, difficult decisions made, habits etc are what they said form your experiences. Take a second read for reference or refresh your memory with the previous article.
‘Be conveniently locked down’; convenience is used here to keep your focus defined: achieving target productivity for your inputs. There are many times we think we’re focused on the rights things but actually, we are just keeping up with the pace. To be focused is to have set goals and expected results. You can also be focused and not achieve any results. Stay focused!
- Be Targets Oriented
Do nothing without setting targets. Be sure to measure your expected results by your inputs. Every business activity you undertake must be set to produce something. Your target must also have objectives: they must be SMART – specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely. Playing by the Pros, you cannot compromise with your target. It’s also important to differentiate between business targets and personal targets. Some of your business targets should be built around your business production, customers, cash flow, strategies. Etc.
- Play by The Rules
In every game there are rules and to win, you must play by them. You will be amazed by these basic business rules:
- The rule of honesty,
- The rule of competition,
- The rule of ethics,
- Failures and successes and
- The rule of profit and loss just to mention a few.
Which of these rules are you familiar with and playing by? In playing big like the Pros, there are some exceptions to the rules too but you must be smart with your choices: i.e. Your plans and strategies.
I’m certain you know what this means to your business: growth, stability, profitability, customer retention, and the list goes on. You need to keep up the work – consistency breeds impact.
- Be dynamic – evolve!
The challenge of most startup businesses is being dynamic. The ability to constantly be innovative with their business services or products to meet the unsatisfying nature of consumer has been their fall. The market is dynamic and competitive, new businesses sprout daily, hence, consumer’s wants more and better offerings; businesses must keep up and this requires you to be disruptive.
- Be opened to other ventures
A successful entrepreneur never does good by just one business; he explores other markets – the serial-entrepreneurs. In their adventures of other businesses, they become Pros of industries learning all the tricks about survival, about playing it big and establishing side businesses that eventually becomes group of companies or just businesses they own.
Business isn’t a game of chances like soccer, hoping to score by playing well; it’s a game of well deliberated choices and decisions, whether to kick or not to kick, to pass or not, you simply just take the shot. You will not become a millionaire by owning a single stream of business
- Take risks and anticipate falls
Take the risks and own up to the falls. Many narratives of startups blaming failures on lack of support and capital isn’t good enough excuse to toughen you up for success. Risks are what makes entrepreneurs adventurous: don’t be put off to take some risks. Nonetheless, take smart risks and appreciate whatever outcomes.
Have an association of benefits. Don’t just make it to every single networking events and have collection of impressive business cards for keeps. Develop networks, follow up on other entrepreneurs cards you take, inquire about their business, offer assistance even if not needed, send good wishes, be aggressive but strategic: in the long run, you build strong, reliable networks that can cushion you in times of heavy falls and need for business support. Don’t just join to take, you must also give in order to receive. It’s the simplest rule of networking.
- Keep Learning
Be progressive! You will not know it all but, be well informed about anything and everything business. There are many informational avenues these days to be idly clueless. A continuous improvement in your field and a bit of other ventures keeps you abreast with the business world.