Tips for Aspiring Entrepreneurs

Being an entrepreneur myself, and having run a web development business for almost two decades, I have seen many ecommerce businesses come and go. And, with the statistics from the Small Business Administration that say up to 85% of all businesses have been failing within 18 months of starting, the odds are against entrepreneurs.

But there are steps entrepreneurs can take to better those odds.

Start by working on your business. There are five basic questions you can answer that could make a huge difference in the success of your endeavors. They are: Why are you doing what you are doing, what are your core values, what is your mission, what is your strategic vision, and what is your strategy? Working on your business, especially when starting out, is just as important as working in your business. That is why I have created a series of free webinar/workshops (I call them Webishops) to help entrepreneurs at www.webishops.com. These Success Planning Webishops help you to answer each of those five questions.

Introvert entrepreneurs, read my book Leadership for Introverts.

Tips To Grow Your Business

The best thing I ever did to help grow my business was to start working on my business in a consistent manner.

We work in our businesses every day. Without that, we wouldn’t be in business. But, a ship going fast in the wrong direction will not reach its target. Being busy just for the sake of filling up your day probably will not make you successful. Working on the business is just as important, if not more so, than working in the business.

I would say a minimum of 5% of your work week should be devoted to working in your business.

In fact, I feel this is so important that I have created five videos on how to successfully work in your business. You can find them, for free, by going to www.webishops.com and clicking on Success Planning. I started my coaching practice in 2015, but did not implement consistently working on my business until 2016, and it made a huge difference in the success of my practice.

But this isn’t just for businesses. Working “ON” is important for leadership, personal development, and pretty much every are of your life.

A Virtue That Can Change The World

There is one thing that parents, from generation to generation, are getting worse at teaching their kids. I am guilty of this, and my parents were guilty of this as well. I’m not sure when it started, but it is a trend that needs to stop before it ruins the world.

We are guilty of not teaching our children patience.

But patience is desperately needed. Meaningful relationships cannot be cultivated without patience. Long term job satisfaction cannot be had without patience.

This is something leaders can really run with, if they choose to do so. Teaching other patience is something that can be done at any level.

The people that survived the Great Depression remember when getting a biscuit was a good day. They remember a time when 3 meals a day was a memory. They remember having a set clothes without holes or patches (those were generally the work or looking for work clothes, all other clothes had holes or patches). Can you imagine that? I cannot. I have different dressers for work clothes and “working around the house” clothes, and I’m a guy.

Those people were the “Silent Generation.” They knew a time when the word “luxury” had no meaning. And they determined that their children, the “Baby Boomers” would want for nothing. That their children would never know hunger and strife.

And the Baby Boomers learned this lesson well. This was the first generation where it was common for both parents to work. More income meant more unnecessary items could be purchased. This was also the generation that coined terms such as “latch-key kids” (the parents were not home when the kids got out of school, so the kids had their own key). The children of the Baby Boomers, now called “Gen-X,” wanted for nothing, except time with their parents. The only things these children did not have were the things money could not buy.

I remember living in a house with a big underground pool in the back yard. My parents had motorcycles, my father had a riding lawn mower, we had a pool table in the garage; and I remember my father coming home every night, plopping down in his chair, and being too tired to spend much time with my sister and I.

But the Gen-Xers lik their toys, and learned that toys equaled fun. Life is grand as long as you have enough toys, which is why the average “Millennial,” the children of the Gen-Xers, had a cell phone by the age of 8, and why “Gen-Z,” the children of Millennials, grow up reading and playing games on a tablet.

What we are getting worse at teaching is patience. Children get trophies for showing up. They are told things like “no child left behind;” which does not mean that all children will have the skills to graduate but that they will get a degree whether they deserve it or not.

Patience is more than a virtue. Patience is needed to develop meaningful relationships. It is needed to learn and grow at a job, where showing up does not get you a trophy or a raise. We have children so used to being congratulated for showing up that they are demanding a higher minimum wage because they got to work on time most days. Minimum wage was never meant to be a livable wage; minimum wage was supposed to be a tease, something to show people that, if they worked hard, they could get even more of that fun paper.

This is a generational problem, and one that can be changed, but it will take one thing to change it: Patience. We need to learn more patience. It may take as many generations to change this as it took to start it, but if we don’t change, if we don’t learn to be much more patient, the world as we know it will cease to exist.