‘What’s fire?’ was just one of the many questions asked by my 5 year-old niece over the weekend. Obviously I didn’t have a clue. But what this did make me think about is how, as kids, we always used to ask questions. Now most of us would rather just sit confused in front of our laptop screen, wondering why we didn’t ask that simple question in the first place.
Sometimes the best things are the most simple, so here are 5 straightforward tips that can make a big difference.
Set-backs help you move forward.
Failure is something everyone’s encountered, whether it was coming last in the egg and spoon race at primary school or finding out that you’d been talking to someone you fancy with lunch still stuck in your teeth. Failure is not something that everyone is able to draw a line under, but as our main-man Richard Branson would say, ‘do not be embarrassed by your failures, learn from them and start again.’
As well as the blue-skies thinking that’s needed to get your business off the ground, you need to envision the worst-case scenarios too. It’s a cliché to say that looking at the ugly-face of failure ensures you don’t make that same mistake again, but clichés are fine so long as they’re true. More importantly though, is that failure can open new doors to learning and to greater avenues of success.
It’s a journey.
It might seem obvious, but persistence in what you’re doing is essential. It’s about overcoming that crisis and moving forward. Indian media entrepreneur, Ronnie Screwvala says that ‘entrepreneurship is a journey, not an outing’. Remember that anyone can be an entrepreneur, but those who are successful aren’t the people who’ve dipped in and out of their business for the first 2 years.
You don’t have to be an industry expert…
Many successful startups have been set up by someone with no prior knowledge of the industry they’ve entered. Sure, entering into an industry you know is fantastic, but an outside perspective has its advantages too. If you’re an industry ‘newbie’ you can raise questions that those already established in this sector may never have even considered.
Listen to the naysayers.
I used to think I was awesome at drawing. If you needed someone to draw astronauts fighting aliens, then I was your man. Turns out, that I wasn’t really very good at all, I was just the victim of endless compliments from family members not wanting to hurt my tender feelings.
Compliments can often obscure you from the real pit-falls in your idea. So instead of asking what someone likes, ask them what they don’t think is good. Sometimes a naysayer can be better than a friend or family member. You don’t have to always do what they tell you, but trying to prove the ‘I told you so’ person wrong is a whole lot more satisfying.
Be your own boss
You’re the boss. Ensure that everything is organised so that you can enjoy the benefits of this control. It’s you who has the final say, so while others are there to give you advice realise that it’s you who runs the show. It’s your dream, so you live it!