Here is a guest post from my colleague Michael Van Osch. He is right on about what running a business can do for you. Even none men without a business will receive benefit from his suggestions.
As men who continually want to become better, most of us search out knowledge and experiences that enable us to do that. I’m personally working on being a better listener for my wife, not falling into the ‘road rage’ trap, and keeping my ego out of the way (among other things). And as I sat patiently in traffic the other day I found myself thinking about the lessons I’ve learned as an entrepreneur over the last few years.
One thing is for sure – if you want to learn about yourself, about what makes you tick, then start a business. Put your livelihood in your own hands and see what issues and challenges come up for you. For you men who are entrepreneurs you know exactly what I’m talking about. There’s been no better playing field on which to grow and learn to become the man I want to be.
Running your own business is akin to playing golf or writing a book. You have to take the initiative – the little white ball is just sitting there, motionless, like that great idea of yours – and you have to swing at it or nothing happens. That blank computer screen stares back at you, daring you to start your bestseller, and, again, you have to take the initiative. You have to start…continue…and finish. It’s up to you.
To be sure, being an entrepreneur can be both exhilarating and intimidating. And as I sat there in Atlanta traffic, I realized these business lessons that were going through my head also applied to the other parts of my life as well. Again, proof to me that being an entrepreneur is exactly what I need to be doing.
So here are the six lessons I consider to be most important at this point. As you read them, see how they also apply to the personal side your life:
- Great Ideas Are Useless – a great idea is just as useless as a bad idea. Without excellent execution no one cares. You must make your move.
- “Why” Is More Important Than “How” – without a big-fat-reason-why, without a very personal and passionate reason for doing something, you’ll run out of gas before you get where you’re trying to go. Most like to say you need a map to get somewhere, but even before that – you need a real reason for the trip.
- Saying “No” Is Just As Important As Saying “Yes” – focus is the number one asset for accomplishing a project. Naysayers, shiny objects and negative self-talk will always be present to knock you off course. To stay the course, saying No to distractions is critical.
- It’s About Them, Not You – as an entrepreneur, it’s easy to forget that your reason for being is to solve the problems of your target market. Don’t take on projects simply based on what you want, make sure you make the needs of your audience paramount. Take the emphasis off yourself.
- Finish, Finish, Finish – it takes initiative to start a project but the successful men we hear about are the ones who continue and finish it. Fifteen projects that never get finished are all useless to you. Only in finishing a project can you receive the benefits of reaching that milestone, the most important of which is getting paid.
- Bring On The Failure – if you’re not failing it means you’re not moving forward on anything; you’re staying in your comfort zone. Failure is part and parcel to success. By not shying away from failing, you’re actually guaranteeing your success.
I’m sure you have your own lessons to share, and I’d love to hear them. Leave your comments, lessons and questions below.
Guest Post by Michael Van Osch. Michael helps men build better businesses and lives at thinktankmen.com. Check out his new audio program, “Solving the Work-Life Balance Problem, 9 Key to Taking Back Your Time” – a two cd and workbook program that shows you how to get more done & have more time for the people and things you love.