If you want to succeed as a self employed entrepreneur, these seven steps will help you achieve your goals by minimizing the risk while maximizing your income potential.
One of the surest ways to achieve success is to position yourself for success.
By that I mean arrange your life and daily activities so that you have the time to be there when the window for success opens.
See, the truth is, opportunity rarely seeks you out and knocks at your door.
In the real world, you have to learn to position yourself to be where (and when) opportunity develops. And beyond that, you have to the time, tools, and skills to pursue that opportunity.
Here are seven steps I follow to position myself for success:
- Allocate time – Success demands that you have time to devote to working toward success, each day. For most people, finding the time to actually work toward being successful is the hardest step toward actually achieving success as an independent entrepreneur. If you can’t find the time in your schedule to devote a few hours each day toward your goal, you either need to rearrange your schedule (and life), or forget about being an independent entrepreneur.
- Live a low overhead lifestyle – Living a low overhead lifestyle gives you the ‘freedom to fail’. Having a low overhead means not every project you undertake has to be a big winner. A low overhead means that even small winners can cover all your expenses. For me, the quickest way to reduce overhead has been to move to an area with low housing costs, low taxes, and few spending opportunities (distractions). If you can arrange your life so that you only need to generate $800 a month to live, you will have the freedom to fail, which takes the pressure off when it comes to developing the next project. Living with a low overhead also means that when you do produce a successful project, the resulting income can go a long, long way.
- Have a safety net – If you have a spouse or children, you absolutely must have a safety net of income to cover life’s necessities. This includes rent, utilities, food, transportation, school, and health care expenses. Your safety net might be a part time job, a working spouse, or a government or military pension. It doesn’t matter what your safety net is – as long as it provides enough to keep you and your family above water during the lean times.
- Have the right tools for the job – Success usually requires you have tools, and today these tools are most often computer related. At a minimum, you need a computer, a connection to the internet, a cell phone, a printer, a digital camera, a fax machine, and miscellaneous computer accessories. You’ll also need product creation and product management software – ie – video editing software, word processing software, web site management software, etc.
- Develop the skills to use the tools – In addition to having the right tools for the job, you need to acquire the skills to use those tools to get the job done. Acquiring these skills usually requires time – see item 1 above. Failure to have time, can mean you fail to have the time to acquire the skills. And that’s why time is listed at the top of this list.
- Be able to accept payments – If you are to be successful, you must be able to accept payment for your products and services. Accepting payments means having a checking account, a business id, and a way to process credit card payments.
- Be able to communicate effectively – In order to succeed, you must develop the ability to communicate effectively with potential customers, existing clients, business associates, sub-contractors, bankers, accountants, and your employees. You must be able to write easily understood messages, sales materials, and customer correspondence (inquiries, complaints, etc). And you must also be able to carry on a verbal conversation with clients, customers, and others. If you can’t communicate what you have for sale, you may not ever be able to sell it.
Positioning yourself for success
As you look at the above list of steps, grade yourself on how well you have positioned yourself for success.
Discover the areas where you might be lacking, and make a commitment to improve that area.
Doing so might help you achieve the success you want.
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