How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
It is undoubtedly true that entrepreneurship gets a bad rap.
Sure, being your own boss sounds like the dream life, but the seemingly endless and incredibly grueling uphill climb it takes to become successful can be discouraging to even the most driven and business-savvy person.
In reality, an entrepreneur is a confident person, with a resourceful sense of creativity and the social networking skills to build relationships and manage a cohesive team of capable and trustworthy individuals.
When building from the ground up, the idea is to expand at a level that, one day, you can sit back and watch the daily deposit to the company account from a million-dollar yacht somewhere off the islands of Fiji.
Although it may take some work to bring all these elements together, there are some proven strategies for cultivating these skills and becoming a true entrepreneur with minimal effort.
Confidence Is Key
Being an entrepreneur is all about confidence, whether that means having it in yourself, your team, or your product. As humans, we are attracted to confident people who radiate assurance and the sense that everything is going to be just fine.
It isn’t something that is taught in school or even at home as a child, although it can be learned through diligent practice and direct application in real-world situations. Confidence comes from deep within, and the most capable are able to conjure up a convincing act even in trying scenarios.
Powerful and convincing confidence performances can sell even the most frivolous As Seen On TV product and make people come back wanting more. Consumers don’t want to feel like they are being swindled or sold something. Rather, they want to feel that they’re being offered an opportunity to be a part of something.
The concept of “fake it ‘til you make it” carries a lot of value for an entrepreneur.
Of course, you don’t have every detail of your business figured out, but it’s best not to show all your cards to anyone until you have reached ultimate success and can reflect on your own 20/20 TV special about your Fortune 500 company that you started with nothing but a glimmer of hope, a solid idea, and a great deal of doubt.
Playing up your confidence is like putting on a live play for an audience. Even if you don’t actually have all that confidence and swagger, everyone in the room needs to believe that you do.
In addition to displaying confidence, you must recognize that the consumers paying for your product are the most important part of your business.
Giving them the credit they deserve will help cement solid relationships and bring in more business. This is where networking comes in.
Networking Is Crucial
Your business will become so deeply integrated into your life that after awhile, it will feel nothing but natural talking shop in your daily interactions.
You’ll always be selling yourself and your business without even thinking about it. Going with the current and embracing the journey of owning your own business is much easier than dragging your feet, fighting every step, and dreading every new level of challenge and success.
Allowing enthusiasm for your business and self-confidence to take over will eventually lead you into a community of capable and like-minded people.
Sometimes, networking doesn’t strictly involve direct connections between people you meet and your business. Someone you have met via networking could know another potential investor who is interested in you and your product. Even the smallest interaction with someone could potentially yield the greatest results.
Since running your own business can feel alienating and a lone quest at times, it is a good idea to seek out organizations connecting entrepreneurs. For example, a great resource is the Aspiring Entrepreneurs’ Guild.
This website is a great resource for reaching out to others, building invaluable skills, and sharing information and ideas with other like-minded business owners. Though you’ll want to do more than rely on word of mouth to scale your business, opportunities will undoubtedly emerge once you’ve introduced yourself and your business to the right people.
The internet is a great resource for networking; however, making a physical appearance at meetings and conferences, with business card in hand, will create a strong personal connection. We are social beings who thrive on human interaction and are much more likely to value and remember a personal exchange versus interacting online in a chat forum or email.
Putting yourself out there and communicating with other entrepreneurs can do wonders, not only for your business, but also as an individual as well.
Networking with a group of people that shares similar interests or even own comparable businesses can be essential to learning the ins and outs of the trade.
Although some may be your competition, other business owners are dealing with the similar conflicts and can be a very useful resource for troubleshooting down the road.
When you attend conferences for entrepreneurs in your niche, seek out mentors who have been in the field for years. Such people have years of experience to offer and give you a model to emulate who has achieved what you are striving for. Remember, no one achieves greatness alone.
Investors in Your Corner
A concrete scalable marketing strategy will attract the right investors.
If you create a solid business model that demonstrates your concept can work, that it can attract paying customers, and is scalable, investors will come.
Investors are a great way to create a buzz around your business while having the right people in your corner. Bringing investors in the picture can help to take any small business into the big leagues.
Experienced investors can be very helpful because they are trained in the realm of entrepreneurship and can tell early in the game if your concept will take off or fall flat. They have the invaluable experiences and resources that can make being a business owner seem less like you are doing it alone and more like you have an experienced team behind you.
It’s also a great confidence boost to know there are people with money who support your business.
Teamwork Makes the Dream Work
Building a strong team to lean on can help the climb to success feel much less arduous.
The key here is to maintain a leadership role and understand where that role places you in the process. You want to be on the outside working on the bigger picture, as a whole, and not inside the daily grind, working on monotonous tasks that are critical but can also feel redundant and time consuming.
It is important to maintain the role of boss and manager. Spend time in the interviewing process carefully selecting your team, and take time training and building a relationship with them.
You don’t want to be the unapproachable talking head in the sky, or you may lose touch with the daily workings of your own business.
The best entrepreneurs are focused on mastering the skills of management and instilling trust in their staff to create an excellent product.
It has been argued that HR and the management side of business are the toughest to master. However, careful distribution of labor amongst a trusted team allows for freedom and time to make the large-scale decisions that will make or break the company.
The ability to let go of essential but low-level duties is where the struggle comes for many business founders. When you are used to doing everything yourself, it is quite a challenge giving up control and trusting someone else with your business. If you are looking for a seemingly effortless way of running a business, a strong team and proper management can go a long way.
Growing companies open up space for conversation about the effectiveness of staff in terms of their sense of self-fulfillment and personal satisfaction. There is a reason why major companies like Google are reevaluating the work space, allowing its staff luxuries like a nap room or on-site massage therapy.
These perks play a huge role in hiring and motivating talented staff to produce high-quality outcomes. A happy work force will work harder and more efficiently with a sense of pride knowing they are contributing to the bigger picture with the same passion you have.
Google has proven that these employee benefits have a direct positive connection with the success of a company because, clearly, they aren’t doing too bad for themselves.
Scalable Marketing Strategy: Ground Zero
When developing your new business model, it is important to build a scalable marketing strategy from the ground up.
You want a proven business model that has the potential to compound revenue with minimal initial investment. Revenue should increase without investing in more moving parts. This criteria is basic in the world of entrepreneurship. It is the foundation for the future mega company you envision molding your business into one day.
Without effective scalability, your business may be doomed before even getting out of the gate.
Unlike scalable growth, linear growth means that the business is not scalable in a way that gains greater efficiency and profitability over time, for example, the need to hire more staff to handle the volume when sales and profits increase.
If you are just starting out, plan to invest most of your time and resources in building a scalable model. Your business plan should be a solid concept with future projections that are self-sustaining, while continuing to boost revenue with minimal effort down the road.
Consider investing in a consultant or contacting a seasoned entrepreneur, such as your mentor, to discuss your model and how to improve scalability.
You Will Have to Try, But Just a Little
The keys to building and maintaining a successful and seemingly effortless growing business cannot be broken down into simple, black and white categories but as strategies to help alleviate some of the pressure.
Having a strong team is the most important element in moving towards a self-run, scalable business model. The process of networking can also be invaluable to learning the ropes, and seeking out a mentor who has experience in your field that can shed a little light on a stressful situation can be a huge help as well.
Investors are business-savvy people with the goal of generating revenue at the top of their agenda, and who doesn’t want those kinds of people around their business? With some innovative techniques and a lot of confidence, owning and operating your own business could feel as though you aren’t really even trying at all.
Photo credit: maxsaf
Good tips here. While I think scalable marketing is important, I would emphasize developing the most fruitful strategies and having the budget to make it scalable as important parts of the equation.
Agreed there, Jason. In order to scale, you need the cash flow to go about it. When people wonder why they others sell their side websites, the answer is almost always so those entrepreneurs can scale their main projects that are starting to mature and come into their own. Resource allocation is incredibly important for scaling
Excellent post! I would agree to pretty much all of that, especially making sure you’re ready before you guest blog. Nobody likes somebody talking about a subject with mediocre knowledge. Know your stuff beforehand!