Most people wait until someone else tells them what to do. That's the way our society is organized. You go to school and the teacher tells you what to do. You study at university and the professors tell you what to do. Your parents tell you what is right and wrong. You get a job and there you will have a boss and colleagues who tell you what to do.
Now, we all have to learn from others clearly but we do have a choice about where we get advice. If you want to know how to establish your own business, would you ask your colleague who has been working in a regular 9 —5 job for 15 years or so? Think about your teachers at school or your University professors. Do you think they know how to set up a business and become an entrepreneur? If you examine truly successful people you will find that they have a high level of self-motivation. This applies to any calling in life. A person who speaks several languages learned those languages using their initiative. Someone who masters a sport and excels in it, does so through their motivation and determination. We can only achieve success if we like what we do and if we do it using self-motivation and commitment.
Consistency, the ability to follow through
Many people who do have self-motivation, quickly get enthused and inspired by a new idea. Getting excited or even thrilled by an idea might be great for the moment. A business, however, requires constant activity. If you want to establish and develop a company you need a high level of consistency also known as «stickability». Once you have made the decision to set up your business, you must follow through this decision with consistency. Think about your life —
can you come up with an example where you have proved your consistency, your «stickability»? Did you ever want to learn to play an instrument or a sport or a learn a foreign language? How long did you stick to your plan? How much time did you spend on your project and what have you accomplished? Chances are that you started a lot of projects and half way through the course you quit because things got tough and you lacked stickability. If this is the case — fear not. You are not alone. The truth is that most people quit as soon as things get more difficult. Making a long-term commitment is not easy for most people. This applies to personal relationships too. Take a look at the divorce rate in your country and you'll understand what I mean. So, before you take on the task of establishing your business, check whether you are able to make a long-term commitment, whether you possess consistency and stickability.
Are you the sort of person who tends to raise your voice when something doesn't go your way? Or do you even have a tendency to shout at your spouse, children or colleagues when you are under pressure? How often do you say: «I'm sorry I shouted at you — I was just stressed»? Are you a person who tends to use swear words every now and then? If so you should spend some time developing your self-discipline before you read on, because whatever you read, the information won't get you anywhere if you cannot control your emotions especially when under pressure. Whenever you start shouting, swearing or using negative language you are wasting your energy — energy better put to use on your business venture. Swearing and grumbling kills your creativity and blocks your mind. You must be strong enough to withstand any tendency to get angry or upset or else you will never succeed in your business.
It takes great courage to make decisions and set goals because this means you have to prove to yourself that you can follow your own words through to a conclusion. Look at your friends, family and colleagues. How often do you hear somebody make a promise like «I'll call you next week.» or «I'll look this information up for you.» or «Sure I'll help you when you move house, just let me know when you need me.» Those are statements, offers, promises all based on words. Yet, how often are they followed by deeds? Do you make New Year's Resolutions such as «Next year I'll quit smoking.», «Next year I'll start this business course at night school.», and «Next year I'll go on a trip to Paris or Egypt with you»? How many of those resolutions and promises have you kept? How many of them did you simply forget two weeks into the New Year? It takes courage to make a real decision, as you will have to make a sacrifice to follow it through. Also, when you start up a business you will be alone, at least to begin with. There will be no-one to tell you what to do, nobody at first to motivate and support you. You will have to take responsibility for yourself and to a certain degree, for any possible partners and you can only lead others if you have your own fears under control and are willing to take risks. Many people do not set themselves goals because they are afraid of failing — of admitting defeat and they think the best way to avoid defeat is to simply not set goals.
Willingness to learn and the ability to change habits
When you decide to start your own Internet business you are also deciding to go back to school again. Not in a real physical sense but mentally. You will have to trawl for every single bit of information that will get you closer to your goal. To learn means you'll need to change your habits and habits are established patterns of behaviour and thinking that everyone acquires throughout their lives. However, most people are not aware of the fact that they have to learn something new every day and that in order to learn, in order to obtain new knowledge and new skills they have to change some of these habits. If you want to learn a foreign language you have to change your daily routine. For example the habit of listening to your favourite music on the radio. Instead you could be listening to audio recordings in the language you want to learn. We all have a tendency to get used to things that are not only comfortable but also do not require much activity on our part. We get used to watching TV in the evening and eating convenience food at the same time because this is comfortable and doesn't require any mental activity. IF you want to establish your business, you won't have much time to watch TV for entertainment. You have to change your habit of absorbing information passively into one of actively searching for information in order to analyse, filter, absorb and reorganize it.
Establishing a business means creating a product, service or system that solves a specific problem or enhances a person's life in one way or another. You can achieve this purpose when you create something new. This doesn't mean that you have to re-invent the wheel though. Examine any new product development that enters the market and you will see that this «new» creation is not entirely new but has been made up by combining existing elements in a novel way. This action of rethinking existing elements is the formula of creativity. So, in order to create something new you have first to analyze an existing product to find out how it can be improved, developed or enhanced in any way so it will do a better job. Take Google — its founders examined and analysed existing search portals, in particular Yahoo and MSN. Based on their exhaustive studies they came up with an indexing and searching system that provides a higher search term relevancy. Study people's behaviour — identify their latent needs and desires and you will tap into a never-ending supply of product ideas.
Just remember this: One satisfied need can produce new needs. For example: When the automobile was invented it catered for people's desire for freedom and mobility. But the invention and production of cars generated a myriad of new needs and desires: such as an endless network of roads and motorways, petrol and service stations, safety and accident insurances, road maps, travel agencies, motels, driving schools, traffic light and road sign systems, car dealerships
the list is endless. And now the Internet adds a new dimension to the creativity of the savvy businessperson.
Vision is the ability to see things not as they are right now, but what they will be like in the future. Most people are so stuck in the moment, so preoccupied with their personal daily problems that they don't have the time or energy to think about how a particular market can develop in the future. Look at any successful business venture and you will find that its founder was able to project into the future, to estimate how people's behaviour will change. Your success in business is directly related to your «vision capacity» and your vision capacity is determined by two factors: How far ahead are you able to see into the future and how precise are your predictions? When Larry Page and Sergey Brin founded Google in 1998, they could see well beyond the year 2003, in which they yielded A revenue of almost $ 1 billion. By 1998 Yahoo and MSN were operating worldwide known search services and no one would have thought that two students could take the lead in the industry within 5 years. Yet, Brin and Page had become excellent analysts of the web search market and they collected and recorded the necessary data to recognize a pattern in human behaviour. Based on their observations they then drew conclusions and made a prognosis. If you want to build your own business, you must be able to see into the future. You can develop «vision capability» just like you can develop any other skill. Your first step is to study and analyse human behaviour. Ask yourself this question:
What are people looking for when they use the Internet? How has the way people are using the Internet changed over the past 5 years? How are people going to be using the Internet within the near future? You don't have to project 10 or 15 years ahead — it'll be sufficient just to get an edge over others. Be the first to detect a future development and act upon your observation promptly.
Looking into the future you must though keep a sense of balance . Don't make the mistake of spending too much time thinking about the future. Get a major purpose in life, work out a plan for its achievement and follow through. If you stick to this principle, the timing for your business will be ideal.
The Human Factor
People, that's what should be the focus of your study when you want to create a business regardless of your favourite industry, marketing strategy or distribution methods. All your activities have one aim: to influence people in such a way that they want to give you their time, trust, and eventually their money in return for a product that they need. Before you can offer such a product, you have to listen to your prospective customers to find out what they think and how they feel. Sometimes your potential customers will give you clues, hints as to what is missing in the market place and what they would really like. You cannot expect them to tell you precisely what the new product or service should be, as they don't yet know this themselves. It is your job to find out what exactly your customers think is missing and that if you fill the niche in the market and satisfy these hidden needs, you will be rewarded appropriately. The most common mistake in business, as well as in any other form of human relationship, is to think only about your self. If the sole purpose of your company is to make a lot of money for yourself you will never really succeed. People appreciate attention and they will give you their custom only when you listen to them and make them feel important.
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Author: Torsten Daerr & Alan Townend