A little over a year ago, I challenged a number of my friends who bemoaned their careers, to start a business that would eventually allow them to quit the life-draining jobs to fulfill their passion.
A year later, I did a follow up to find out how many of them had taken action. To my surprise, only 10% followed through. This led me to find out why. And in doing so, I discovered that the number one excuse that kept most people from taking action was—I will paraphrase "I don't have time or money to begin."
In response, I sought to question their disposition. I have often received various reactions when I probe further; there have been stares, long pauses and silence and most popularly no replies to messages after receipt. I guess my probes and analysis helped people to analyze things critically. Notwithstanding, there may be some exceptions to my assertions but realistically, majority of business owners and entrepreneurs started out with little or no money as well as little time.
So, based on this school of thought what would you say might be the cause of this if it can’t be narrowed down to only lack of time or money? To start a business, I would like to share two (2) basic things one may need though not an exhaustive list. These factors are:
1. Acquiring a skill
2. Self Discipline
Acquiring A Skill
According to the Collins Dictionary, ‘‘a skill is the knowledge and ability that
enables you to do something well.’’
Simply put, starting a business requires that you have a particular skill set (either through learning or talents) to create a product or service which you can sell. It will be sad for anyone to give excuses as a result of lack of skills to create or provide a service. In this digital age, there are so many resources and information we can utilize just at the click of a button. If you’re determined, you can always learn a new skill; from the beauty and fashion space to the tech industry; the list is endless. The emergence of this digital revolution, has helped me tremendously.
When I started my business as an entrepreneur, I knew very little about my industry. I spent countless hours on Google, YouTube, and Wikihow conducting research, learning and implementing. That’s how I started my mobile marketing business, hardware support business and now a digital agency. Though you might not necessarily need some certification to start implementing what you learn, it is important to get some guidance when its required.
Once you start generating revenue from your business, you can invest in professional training, hire contractors as well as employees. People have learnt various skills which may have seemed cumbersome before the digital revolution: painting, printing, soap making, hairstyling, catering, e-commerce, online marketing among others.
Learning new skills have helped many entrepreneurs and start-ups build their business and generate thousands, sometimes millions of dollars. My recommendation for quick skill learning is to select something you’re already interested in. Over the years, I’ve discovered that the people who learn new skills quickly are the ones that choose industries they are intrigued and most importantly, passionate about. Nevertheless, skill development is an ongoing process. It is important to adopt continuous learning to improve upon your skills and position yourself as an expert in your industry.
‘‘Work hard on your craft, keep your focus on the prize and never let circumstances define your life.’’ – King Buari
The second reason I believe some people never start a business is that they lack self-discipline. With reference to the Collins Dictionary, ‘‘discipline is the quality of being able to behave and work in a controlled way which involves or standards.’’
Honestly, self-discipline is a principle we struggle with in various aspects of our lives. Each day lasts 24 hours. To build a business, you need to allocate time to nurture it.
Based on the operations and nature of business, one can decide to allot a couple of minutes or hours to help it grow. The goal is not how much time you spend, but the outcome and results.
It is said that...
“You will never always be motivated. So you have to learn to be disciplined.” - Unknown
If you have an 9 -5 job, make it a point to schedule some time in the evening to work on your business. In my work as a speaker and entrepreneur, I have employed some three (3) fundamental tools which have helped me to be more organized, focused and disciplined. Apart from these three tools, there are several other resources available to everyone depending on the kind of business you run and how suitable it will be for your work.
⦁ Google Calendar: This is a free calendar for reminders, events, scheduling meetings and other tasks and activities. You can download the Google Calendar app for free in the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.
⦁ An Accountability Partner: There’s always a need to have someone in your life to hold you accountable for the things you plan to do. This will help to keep you on track and measure progress. It can be a mentor, coach, peer, a professional or even your better half. In choosing an accountability partner, it is important to choose someone you share the same interests and future aspirations with and also a mentor or coach who you can understudy in your career path. Personally, I hold accountability sessions with my CPA every week.
Don't just count the cost, Count the value it adds to your life. - King Buari
One of the biggest challenges was optimizing my time management skills. This is not to say that I spend time on unproductive things but rather indulging in minute things which were not instrumental to the growth of my business. For example, I spent a lot of time trying to involve myself in little details such as logo design even though I had delegated it to a designer. Spending a relative number of hours on tasks such as sampling different types of papers for our new business cards and constantly making website changes affected the business greatly.
Being involved in the minute details are good but nothing is more in important in building a business than making a sale. Over the years, I have learned my lesson the hard way. Now I delegate such tasks and focus on the things that will directly drive sales and revenue thereby ensuring business growth. I spend majority the time on client meetings, business networking, speaking engagements and building strategic business alliances.
Whether its decision making, time management, conducting follow-ups, or making a sale, becoming more disciplined will play a significant role in getting your business off the ground. Self-discipline will help you to build focus and improve productivity.
Building a business can be very challenging irrespective of your skill set or discipline. There will be days when you feel tired, frustrated, depressed and even on the verge of giving up. In such instances, you need to remind yourself of the reason for your business, how long you’ve come and why you need to keep going.
I believe 2019 is going to be a fantastic year for those that are willing to take bold, strategic steps to make their dreams a reality. If you have been nurturing a business idea, this is the excellent time to start. Don’t wait till later. Endless opportunities abound, don’t waste them by making excuses.
“Don’t expect to succeed if you only put in the work on the days you feel like.” - King Buari
Did you learn anything valuable that can help you build your business? Are there any contributions or opinions you will like to add? Please share your thoughts below.
About the Author
King Buari is a speaker, entrepreneur, and CEO of Buarich; a full-service digital marketing agency offering cutting-edge website design, social media marketing and everything in between. He is passionate about helping entrepreneurs and small businesses to thrive in today's digital world. Connect with him on Instagram.