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- Family First
There’s no pot of gold, you won’t win the lottery and there’s an overwhelming likelihood you’re not going to become a millionaire. But there’s a strong chance, if you’re smart and work hard (in that order) that you could carve out a good living and an enjoyable life. That’s got to be the goal. An enjoyable life. With love, laughter, health and balance. The graveyard is packed with the corpses of fools who worked like demons for a few years. Don’t become another.
- Collaborators Not Competitors
You’ll have a better life and a stronger business if you understand the value of working with others. Yes, there might be a few people doing exactly what you do. But there will be many others, in a similar sector doing things slightly differently. You can work with these people. They might refer you work when they get busy, you might even team up for larger projects. Whatever field you’re in, it’s going to be a very lonely road if you’re determined to do it all entirely by yourself. Keep your independence of course, but find some other business people you can work with when it’s mutually beneficial.
- Be Tight On The Finances
And I mean really right. Business costs a lot more than you think. There’s your retirement plan, a contingency for when things get quiet or you’re off sick, you’ll have to cope with the odd bit of work that falls through or a client that’s slow to pay. Be extra careful with any expansion you’re considering; many a business has got carried away when things were going well only to pay a severe price later when the winds change.
- Have A Vision
There has to be something that drives you. What is it gets you up on a cold winter’s morning when you were up late the night before and you know you’re going to get another door slammed in your face? What do you fix your eyes on when you give up free time, or a night out because you know it’s the right thing to do? Ideally, this vision should not be entirely materialistic. What sort of mark do you wish to leave on the world? Is there something you seek to change through the success of your business? A vision is not the same as a goal. A vision is something greater. You may never achieve it, you may not live to see it, but you know you are moving towards something, you’re part of something bigger and you’re making a positive difference.
- Adapt And Adapt Again
I’ve no sympathy whatsoever for businesses that fail because they didn’t change. Our whole world is in a constant state of flux and I can’t stand complacency. You’ve always got to be looking ahead, ready to change, determined to make things better. As I right this, half the world is connected to the internet. Within the next 20 years, the remaining 50% will become connected. Think about the upheaval, the transformation we’ve already seen through the web and social media. Even more disruption is coming and it will affect every business. Always be ready to adapt. Never stand still. There is no ‘making it’. You’re in this for life because you enjoy the journey.