Recently, I was reminded of something very important to consultants and small business owners.
At a recent event where Dragon Den’s Michelle Romanow was speaking, Michelle impressed upon the audience that as an entrepreneur she didn’t experience “defining moments” or “epiphanies” that spurred her to make decisions and take action… but rather her life and her successes as an entrepreneur were all around taking action every day – that she just took the best ideas she had and turned them into action.
In other words, stop talking about what you want to do and actually do it.
Seven years ago, when I decided to leave a very lucrative job as a sales performance executive, I absolutely knew deep down that is was the right move for me.
I was ready to go out on my own… again, after having had to shut down my own first business 10 year earlier… and to build my next business.
I admit the first year was incredibly scary since I had left behind a secure income, but I persevered because I was crystal clear what my calling – my “why” was. And I was determined to make it, no matter what obstacles came along.
So I’m of the strong belief and experience – that there ARE defining moments and epiphanies… AND you have to take action – even if you’re not sure of the outcome.
There was a great quote that I read when I first became an entrepreneur over 20 years ago that has stuck with me through the years – that “entrepreneurs can only see the next 3 steps ahead” at any point in their business. This makes it very exciting and also very scary. But if you keep moving and keep taking action, you will be successful!
In short, keep taking action. Kept moving toward your goal. Sometimes you have to tweak the path. I’ve never stop moving forward. Know that sometimes you just have to take leaps of faith.
When you’re in business for yourself, you’ve got to take chances. Have courage. And trust that you have what it takes and that opportunities are out there.
Here are 4 tips I’ve used successfully in navigating my entrepreneurial journey and I know they can help you too:
1. Cultivate a strong support circle. I have 3 colleagues I meet with once a month and another colleague who I meet with twice monthly. We support each other in our businesses by sharing challenges, wins, asking questions and asking for help. I can’t tell you how much this makes a difference in keeping me clearly on track with my goals. Not to mention solid moral support.
2. Make Networking a top priority. LinkedIn is, by far, the largest professional network you can be on that can help open opportunities for you. Don’t forget to also network in person at events or other gatherings with potential clients and partners. These connections are incredibly valuable because the more you extend your network, the more possibilities that people will come looking for what you have to offer. Have patience – when you’re taking action and being intentional around networking AND make it a priority to add value to others. Then you’ll see opportunities will come to you from ‘out of the blue’!
3. Understand there will always be growing pains AND personal growth. You simply can’t be in business without encountering some kind of issue at one time or another. These can run the gamut from tech problems with your website or payment system to clients who aren’t the right fit. You have to develop a thick skin so you can roll with the punches. Learn from your mistakes and keep moving forward. One of my favourite sayings is… if you want personal growth, then run your own business.
4. Know your “why”. I love listening to the inspiring words of Simon Sinek “What’s your purpose? What’s your cause? What’s your belief? Why do you get out of bed in every morning?” Let your purpose truly inspire you and carry that with you and “what you do” every day.
Running your own business can be exciting and daunting all at once. The key is to never let up on going for it. As my business coach says, JDI or “Just do it.”
Kim Chernecki helps high-performing freelance executives, consultants, coaches and other experts, land lucrative corporate contracts. She is the creator of the Land Corporate Contracts Fast-Track System, and is a top-rated sales performance executive, facilitator, coach, advisor, speaker and strategist. A 25-year entrepreneur, Kim has consulted with executives from 100+ leading North American and Fortune 1000 companies and has, herself, started up and helped grow 10 businesses and business divisions. She’s closed millions of dollars in corporate contracts, and provides powerful strategies and proven formulas to help her clients do the same.