You may have spotted me at the Balenciaga fashion show in Paris last week. The front benches, which contain the A list celebs, collapsed. This meant we all had to stand for ‘health and safety reasons’. This was good for me, as I was on the second row as an A minus celeb. It gave me a perfect view, of the stick insects, over the diminutive doll in front of me.
As I saw the startled VIPs, from the front row, on their miniature bottoms on the floor or scrambling uncertainly to their feet, I thought about the snakes and ladders of both celebrity and running your own business.
Just as you think you’ve made it, to the best seats in the house, something can bring you down again in an instant. When we start our businesses it’s all about avoiding the snakes who will offer us things we don’t need, like premises, cars, insurances and consultancy. Then when we’re finally established with a positive cash flow, it’s all about avoiding the snakes that want a piece of our action, like buyers, suppliers, staff and the financial services sector. These snakes not only sting they suck. They suck money and our most precious asset, and in short supply, time, out of our business
I’m just a successful, supercool, celebrity, fashionista that does a bit of investigative journalism about entrepreneurs on the side. But I do know the answer to how you can avoid these snakes?
From well before you start your business build your own support network of a few friends and family, whose advice you can trust. It’s best if most of them have started and run their own business. Then when the irreplaceable staff member blackmails you for a bonus, when the SEO consultant wants your arm and leg, when the big company buyer wants a contract that would leave you with only one customer and when the bank rings you to offer you a great deal; you say ‘I’ll get back to you’. Then you phone your friend.
Finally, in this blog I’ve offered to answer questions from my fans. Robbie from Scarborough asked me to explain the importance of ‘self-handshakes’ from my ‘Awake the Volcano Within’ workshops for entrepreneurs.
Learn to shake hands with yourself. This releases vital entrepreneurial energy from the right side of the brain. This in turn empowers the left side of the brain where dexterity, speed of thought and movement emanate from. You’ll solve problems quicker and just fly between meetings. Shake hands with yourself regularly, say 3 times an hour, and you’ll see fast results. You’ll be down to 5 minute client meetings and you’ll even leave the room with more business.
You’ll see David Cameron, your PM, shaking hands a lot, with himself, at the Tory party conference this week.