I have been running small businesses for three decades now – some very successful others no so – this has taught me some lessons I would like to share with you:
- What the Hell, Let’s Do It: No matter what anyone will let you believe, when planning is at an end, you will have to make a decision – believe it can be done.
- Mistakes Will Happen: You will make mistakes, but what you do and learn from them is the important part. So mistakes may be fatal to your business, but it is your decision to get up and do it again – if you don’t you wasted a lot of time – never give up.
- Do Not Borrow Money Too Early: Stay away from banks, VCs and other institutions for as long as you can, get your business up and running by bootstrapping and live your business idea and stay true to yourself. If you owe money, people will push and they may push you in the wrong direction.
- Hire Smart People: For management positions I try to hire people who are smarter than me, otherwise what is the point. I always try to get the best talent I can find.
- Outsource, outsource,….: Keep your overheads (fixed cost) as low as possible and your cash-flow up, that is the way to survive with your business.
- Plan your cash-flow: Anyone who does not know what his/her bank-balance is at the end of next month has a BIG problem – they don’t know what they are doing and where they are – that can easily be fatal.
- Take risks, don’t gamble: There is a big difference between taking a risk and gambling, if you don’t know it find out, NOW – prepare well, then let’s do it.
- There are NO rules: Learn from others, but don’t let them tell you how to run your business – there is NO “insider” plan for becoming successful – you will have to find your way yourself, believe in yourself. Every time someone says “That’s the way it is!” ask yourself “Says who?” – and think there is an opportunity here somewhere.
- Put family, friends and your team first: Be loyal – they give you strength and will support you, just ask. To be successful also means to have a life and fun – live life to the full.
- Stay true to yourself: Be bold, try to say yes, learn to say no, chase your dreams, have fun, work hard and you will find success – sometimes in the most unlikely places.
Apart from that I always try to do no harm and help if I can, but most of all I try to challenge myself every day to be better than the day before.
Maybe you have some lessons to share with us on your blog or just leave a comment?