Corine headshotCorine La Font is a Speaker, Author, Coach and Self Publishing Consultant. She is also an Award Winning Publishing Resource in the 2013 Small Business Book Awards. Get a copy of her book at http://amzn.to/TFHQka, Subscribe to her Magazine at http://bit.ly/1IDj7pQ tune in to her radio program at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/helpdeskja and check out her coaching program on her website at http://www.helpdeskja.com  She can be reached at corinelaf@gmail.com.

**********

From Scratch! (Part 2)

Starting from scratch or going back to the beginning of any process can be quite a daunting and exhaustive experience. After all the work, time, effort, blood, sweat and tears, something happened to take you to your lowest and here you are again, starting from scratch!

Was it something you could have prepared for, avoided or reduced the impact? Maybe. Maybe not. Some variables and influences you have no control over in your business. These are called external factors. It may be environmental, political, social or economical. Sometimes with all the best risk analysis and contingency plans, it seems that life just says to you, “You have to start from scratch.”

I tend to look at circumstances like these in a positive way. There must be a reason that in my limited understanding I cannot see and so I just dust myself off and start again with the faith and conviction that I will be even more successful. Why? Because now, I have a do-over. I have a second chance to correct the things I needed to correct that I didn’t the first time around. That now, I will put in systems and structure that may be better able to withstand those external factors to cushion the impact should this happen again.

Not many people get second chances in life and so when you get the opportunity, you have to take it. Sometimes you even have to create it.

Starting from scratch means you have to dig deep to begin again. You need to recall your ‘why’ for this is what had you going in the first place. Add to that your drive and passion for your business and the product or service you provide, you have no choice but to get back out there and deliver. So chin up, chest out and look ahead using the tips I have set out below:

  1. Keep that head up even in times of embarrassment and jeers from your friends and family.
  2. Stay focused and increase your level of determination.
  3. Pray, meditate and listen for direction and believe that the answers you’re given will lead you on the right path.
  4. Strengthen your mind and willpower with positive words from books and audio recordings.
  5. Be open to collaboration and joint ventures if that will assist in sharing some of the responsibility, take you to your destination faster and help to build a strong network and support system.

If what I have said resonated with you or makes any sense, I would love to hear your comments. Let’s start the conversation!

**********

From Scratch! (Part 1)

There is a show I like to watch at night before I go to bed as a way of de-stressing from the business day. That show is Martin, a comedy with Martin Lawrence and Tisha Campbell-Martin. You may have heard or know of it. It aired for a long time and now you can watch the reruns and marathons which make me laugh, smile and reminisce. There is one episode where Martin had a sporting event to attend with his best friend Tommy. They were already late and he soon realised that he had to make a stop at the DMV to renew his license. He assured Tommy that it shouldn’t take that long. It would be a quick stop, in and out.

Of all the people Martin could have met that day behind the counter, however, it was none other than George Jefferson played by Sherman Hemsley (deceased) of The Jeffersons. The interaction between them led Martin to filling out forms, doing tests, getting in scuffles with fellow customers and finally being told after several hours that he had to start from scratch! To which George Jefferson and the peering customers in the adjacent line pointed to the other side of the room where another long line waited for Martin to join. I laughed till my stomach hurt!

Watching it on TV as a form of entertainment will make anyone laugh but as entrepreneurs – especially sole proprietors like yourself where you are the chief cook and bottle washer in your business – you really don’t have time to waste. You are juggling so many things that when you are on the road running errands and conducting personal business, you really don’t want to meet up with someone like George Jefferson. Likewise, if you intend to just spend an hour or two on an errand, you don’t want to return to office only to realise that whatever you needed to get done will consume your entire day! All the great intentions of your To Do list is through the window and you are more frustrated and annoyed than when you left the house! Not good.

As a sole proprietor you need to recognise a few things:

  1. That you are the head and soul of your business and that only means you need to recognize and have respect for yourself. You can only do so much and while cloning is still science fiction for humans (as far as I know), you have to admit this fact and do what can reasonably be done within a certain timeframe and with certain available resources.
  2. Don’t write a To Do list that crawls off the page. Set aside one or two things based on priority that you can get done within your working hours
  3. As a sole proprietor, you have control. You can set working hours that are flexible and suit the lifestyle you wish to enjoy. You don’t have to work a 40 hour week or even 7 days a week! If you are doing that, it means you are substituting the job that you may have just left. Decide on the days and hours you wish to have as opening hours or working hours in your business and carve out a day or two or maybe a half day here and there to conduct personal business and take time for you, family and friends.
  4. Ask for help. This is a major one especially for you, the solopreneur. As business people, we think that others may consider us weak if we were to ask for help. It is actually the opposite. Asking for help shows the strength of character to recognise that you do not know it all and are willing to recognise and respect others skills and potential in areas that do not exist within you. Ask for help and be willing to learn or let go to get the help you need. Don’t ask for help and, at the same time, tell the help what to do.

If what I have said resonated with you or makes any sense, I would love to hear your comments. Let’s start the conversation!

**********

Success From The Ground Up

When you decide that you want to go into business, be your own boss and chart your destiny, do you start off by thinking of giving up and quitting? I don’t think so.

On the other hand, it seems some people do this based on their behaviour, wrong attitude, lack of tenacity and approach towards their business.

Starting a business is like farming. You have to prepare the ground and get the right seeds for the right type of soil. The ground here being the foundation you set and how prepared you are for business mentally, spiritually, emotionally and physically. The soil refers to the target audience. Who are you targeting, who makes up your audience? The seed speaks to your products and services. Are they what your customers or clients will be attracted to in order to generate sales (trees) and create a sustainable future? (bear fruit)

Remember, to be a farmer, you need to not only be knowledgeable about the crops and soil and environmental factors. You also need to be caring and patient. No farmer can rush certain plants or crops to grow or bear fruit before its time. The farmer in his knowledge and wisdom knows which crops will be cash crops; which means, it can grow quickly and start generating sales fast versus those that need more tendering and care and long time investment. The same applies in business. As an entrepreneur, you need to know what products or services will bring in money faster than others and you work on those in the short term while preparing the rest for long term cash in and sustainability.

How many entrepreneurs take the time to know this? How many of you are prepared to be patient, tenacious and caring to those areas of your business that require more attention and time? How many of you think that a business is a one-time quick fix for all your problems and needs and that when you say you are in business that your problems are solved and you’re rich? No!

If you are serious about being an entrepreneur, here’s what you start doing:

  1. You tell yourself everyday that you will be successful. Success is relative and every little bit of progress is getting you closer to your goals. Celebrate it!
  2. You keep building yourself personally and professionally. Today’s customer wants to engage with a business owner that is on top of his/her game. Remember YOU are the solution to their problems!
  3. You must be laser focused. A farmer cannot leave his farm up to chance. If he does, he is prone to thievery and vandalism. You must keep an eye on your business and don’t be distracted. Put on those blinkers!
  4. You must NEVER give up! For just when you think your farm will not produce, there will be that glimmer of hope of that one seedling that may just be the one thing that can turn dismay into belief and be your saving grace. Always have faith and belief in yourself and what you do!

If what I have said resonated with you or makes any sense, I would love to hear your comments. Let’s start the conversation!

 

 

One thought on “NO EXCUSE, NO SURRENDER

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s