Business Start Up Basics

In the HBS Digest, we discussed getting a business up and running. We took a couple of steps a month and by the end of the year we had our grand opening for our business. In this article we will discuss nine succinct steps to put you on the path to success with your own business start up.
First, you need to make up a plan and then pick out a couple of things to accomplish each month. Second, you need to  define your short term goals. Yes long term goals are important too, however, remember you want to do this in a years’ time so for now let’s break your goals down into things to do each week and by the end of each month. Also, when you accomplish your goals for the month, be sure to reward yourself with something you like to do. Shopping, movies, hiking, you name it, be sure to reward yourself.  Remember, however, as we discussed when setting up our mock business, you must be sure that your goals are realistic. If you take on too many things to do each month, you will overwhelm yourself, which will eventually lead tofailure. A great analogy here is losing weight. So many people set themselves up for failure bysetting unrealistic weight goals, e.g. I want to lose 80 lbs in 4 months. Not going to happen. So be sure you don’t do the same with your business.
Third, and most important is to write your goals down on 3 x 5 cards and place them prominently where you will see them every day. It is very important that you reinforce to yourself on a daily basis what you are trying to do. Make it a part of your life. Remember, our motto, “YOU MAKE IT HAPPEN”. But YOU have to WORK at it!
Next is to be sure that you surround yourself with support, and I don’t mean family. Family is only good as a support system if they are in favor of what you are trying to do. We have found over the years that most family members will try to talk you out of it. Why? Because you make them look bad, and they have negative karma, which is certainly not something you need. Dieters are very familiar with this type of sabotage! Instead, go to on-line forums/boards which concentrate on new business start ups, and get help and support from people who are working towards the same goals as you are.
One of the best ways to keep yourself motivated and going strong is to visualize what your life will be like once your business is up and running. Picture yourself in your dream office, with yourself at the helm, making a difference, making money, whatever makes you happy. Again, this is a very powerful tool for people who quit smoking and those who are trying to lose weight. For many weight watchers they pick out a piece of clothing they want to fit into. Or smokers will reward themselves with a trip, vacation, or a special present for themselves with all themoney they saved. So be sure you use this visualization technique to picture yourself at the end of the year. It is also very powerful for long term goals also. To picture yourself in the future with a new home, car, etc. Whatever is important to you. For many of us who run our own business it is FREEDOM to come and go as we please, take days off, make decisions without goingthrough channels. To do business with whom we want and don’t do business with those we don’t want to. Not having someone to answer to!
Yes, doing this is sometimes hard and you will need someone to push you. Which is why we suggest getting on boards and forums. When you feel you can’t do it,  and need some encouragement, get on the boards and ask for help. Also, and this is something Chuck and I have emphasized on too many occasions to count, read, read, and read some more. Educate yourself, keep up to date with what is going on in your business. If there is something you don’t know how to do, ask for help! Go buy some educational materials on the subject, take a class, but do something.
Also, be sure that just because you are trying to get a business up and running you don’t forego doing the other things you love. If you do, getting the business up and running is no longer fun and exciting, but just another thing on your “To Do” list.  It just becomes another job to you, and that is not going to keep you motivated towards success. So be sure you keep doing the fun things you like.
Step number eight is “NO EXCUSES”.  None of the following excuses and any others you come up with are allowed: I am tired. This is too much work. This is not going to work, so why am I even bothering to try. I don’t have enough time. I don’t have the money. It won’t work for me. The list goes on and on.
There should be no excuses made. There is no reason why you can’t find time, energy and motivation to do a couple of things each month. This is to make a better life for yourself. Or for yourself and your family. So for every excuse you come up with do your visualization and keep that dream strong.
Last but not least is finally realizing your dream. Give yourself a big hug, pat on the back, and whatever else you have decided on when you got to the end of the road. You certainly deserve KUDOS from all!
Copyright 2004 DeFiore Enterprises


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