I found myself a single mum with a 7 year old. The only qualification I had was a teacher and there were no jobs at the time (which was a blessing in disguise.) Then I had an entrepreneurial seizure – I decided to start my own small business.
I began with a vision for the business, I had a very powerful WHY and this is what kept me motivated during those first two years. And yes, there was one other thing, I didn’t know I could fail. I had faith I would succeed. Until I read my first book on small business, I didn’t know 80% of small businesses fail in the first 12 months and of those who survive, another 80% fail within another 3 years.
Why did I avoid complete failure – because I knew how to sell (except I didn’t call it selling) I called helping people buy from me. This is what got me through the first two years.
Then I read a book on small business. I was supposed to have a business plan (gulp), a financial plan (another gulp) and a marketing plan (even bigger gulp).
It struck me I needed to learn more about setting up running a small business. I then made a lifetime commitment to learning and teaching others how to succeed in life and business.
If you don’t set your goals high enough - the danger is you set
them too low and acheive them. – Caro Landesman
If I had read that book BEFORE I started my first business, I would have been overwrought with fear and gone to work for someone else.
I knew I had to change the business model and the first thing I did was consult an accountant. I didn’t need someone to do my books for me – I already found someone to do that, I needed a business mentor, coach, advisor… And this is what I found. The accountant that was right for me understood my communication style (visual) and helped me map out the future of the business.
As a result, I employed a programmer to develop a costing system that ensured everything I sold was profitable. I changed the business model to focus on the most profitable aspect of the business and developed other products and services. And yes, I ended up with a business plan (albeit a simple one, a financial plan and marketing plan.)
After the restructure, business took off and I sold it for a profit after six years.
Why would I sell a profitable business?
Because I achieved all my goals a year after I changed the business model.
After I sold the business, I started to write a book on small business. I had a passion to help others in business not make the same mistakes I did. I also knew that the book I read on small business talked all about the start-up phase. To this day, I still can’t find books that give you real life, practical advice on what to do and what not to do to be successful in business.
I also learnt, that being successful in business has more to do with personal development than pure business theory.
Hence Strategez for Success.