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Business Tips – From Employee to Entrepreneur – Part 5

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Please note that this pertains to South African Legislation and Best Practice requirements.

So far we have looked at:-
1. The difference between being an employee and an employer;
2. Your Purpose:
3. The People around you and
4. Your Personal Footprint.
5. Knowledge & what you do with it
6. The Generosity of your Spirit
7. The Role of Technology in your Business
8. Self Confidence
9. Creativity and
10. Focus

Believe it or not there are a whole lot more – and today we will explore a few more.

1. Vision.
One of the greatest strengths that many Entrepreneurs have when they start out is their ability to ‘think big’! One of the biggest weaknesses that many Entrepreneurs have is to ‘start big’! The first thing that they seem to do, once they have borrowed the finance to start the business is to rush out and buy the designer car, the designer clothes and live the designer life – the problem with that is, that it is never sustainable.

I was told the tale the other day of a chap who applied for and received financial assistance from the bank to purchase some much needed machinery that would assist him in automating much of his factory, which of course would increase his capacity because he could now produce his products a lot faster and a lot cheaper and this in turn would mean that his sales would increase too. Now please understand the loan was for quite a considerable amount – it was in excess of R2m. As soon as this chap had the money in his account he rushed out and bought . . . . no, not machinery – well I suppose technically a brand new sports car would be considered a machine! The result . . . as soon as the bank found out what he had done, they forced him to return the car and he immediately lost R100 000 on the deal. Quite frankly, I have no sympathy at all.

Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing whatsoever wrong with dreaming the big dream and thinking big, but when you start out, you need to ‘start small’ and grow big.

2. Result
Being able to achieve your dream and make a success of the business that you are trying to build, is not just about your efforts. It’s not just about ‘doing’! Sure your actions are important and without them you will never get going or get to where you want to be. The key here is ‘achieving’, it’s about getting the desired results. It’s about being able to measure what you are doing, so that you can manage your efforts to ensure that you achieve the results that you are looking for.

Let me explain . . I often find myself running around like a headless chicken. This usually happens when I receive a panic call from a prospective client, who needs XYZ now and not a moment later. Because I am always on the look out for new business and despite the fact that I have scheduled time for my current clients, I will drop everything to try and meet the requirements of the prospective client, who at the end of my running around, gathering information, putting a proposal together – then decides that they will ‘shelve’ the idea to another time when they have sufficient time/money/resources (insert what you want here) to implement what they were thinking about. I on the other hand have run around like a mad possessed person, getting everything together so that I could meet their rushed deadlines and achieved . . exactly nothing!

Now remember, I still have clients who have expectations and I have yet to meet my deliverables, so that usually means that I have to work through the night or over the weekend to ensure that I give them the results that they expect and that they pay for. My result here is that at the end of all of this, yes I have met my deliverables, but I am exhausted, frazzled and often angry with myself, the prospective client and the world in general – not a good place to be.

As you can see, my personal challenge (and I suspect that it is true of many Entrepreneurs), is that I have to learn to say ‘no’ to prospective clients who have unrealistic, last minute requirements. In other words, My efforts need to harvest achievements.

Next time we will continue to look at some of the other issues that you will need or be aware of to become a successful Entrepreneur.