I was recently contacted through social media by Hayut Yogev, Host of the REACH OR MISS podcast, who invited me to be her guest at her popular podcast show that focuses on the differences in approaching customers leading entrepreneurs either to glorious failures or grand successes.
The REACH OR MISS podcast vision is to help entrepreneurs and startup founders increase their chances for business success by learning from the most successful entrepreneurs and opinion leaders about their customer focus experiences.
Taking into consideration the expertise of Hayut Yogev, and with reference to her previous guests on the show, I was honored to be invited to The REACH OR MISS podcast. In the show, we discuss customer-focused entrepreneurship, including my best advice on how to approach customers, what my biggest failures and successes with customers have been thanks to my personal way of approaching customers.
We also discuss the importance of various digital and social media channels for reaching customers, and why attracting customers rather than chasing them is the best strategy for the customer focused entrepreneur.
The True Entrepreneur is a Doer. Not a Dreamer. (Nolan Bushnell)
There is no lesson greater in life than learning from entrepreneurs, and entrepreneurship. Being an entrepreneur signifies so many different things to so many different people, and there is no entrepreneur like another, because despite of the many characteristics and personality traits shared by (successful) entrepreneurs, every entrepreneur is still unique, a courageous but most definitely not fearless individual who has chosen the exciting, and often rewarding road of entrepreneurship due to one reason or another.
Entrepreneurs are often dreamers, but more than dreamers they are doers, and people with vision and strong will-power, dedication and a willingness to change things for the better, to improve the world, and to influence people around them and society with their activities. Nevertheless, before making the leap and before jumping into the unknown, every wanna-be-entrepreneur should take into consideration a number of very important things. Many of these lessons, unfortunately, are often learned only through experience, especially if the enthusiastic entrepreneur does not take time to listen to sound advice given to them by people who have already had the same experiences. Many failures could be avoided by listening, and by engaging with valuable mentors. Yet, every entrepreneur also ought to listen to their inner voice, i.e. their intuition before and when making decisions.
60-80 % of all new jobs come from small business. (US Small Business Association)
This is true not only in the United States, where already 30 % of total workforce are freelancers, according to successful entrepreneur Tony Robbins and his team: 7 Finance Tips for Freelancers, but also everywhere else in the world. Self-employment and small businesses, in fact, are the lifeblood of any society. An additional fact that every professional ought to understand is that every economy does rely very heavily upon entrepreneurship, micro-, and small businesses. And, every large-scale business has begun small – it is only a matter of studying the history of any large organization, and see where it once has started, how it has evolved and developed throughout the decades, and where it stands today.
The Best Way to Predict the Future is to Create it (Peter Drucker)
Listen to the naysayers. Also listen to the optimists.
Definitely – do listen to the naysayers – but do not let them discourage you from realizing your plans. The naysayers often have important lessons to share that we can ultimately benefit, and learn from. However, make sure not to let the pessimists sway you away from believing in what you do. Every naysayer has a reason for their behavior, and their attitude is 100 % about either negative personal experiences, or fear. Every entrepreneur has to listen to, and learn from, naysayers and pessimists, but most importantly, focus more upon, and learn from those who have gone from failure to failure, yet never given up – those, who ultimately are the real optimists, and who have achieved success despite of the many ups and downs that their entrepreneurship may have involved. Know What You Love. Know What You Want. And, go for it!
Entrepreneurship, at its best, is all about doing what you really love, and fulfilling your passions. Entrepreneurship, like life, is not about finding yourself, it is about creating yourself, and the world you want to see around you. Being a successful entrepreneur is not a part-time, or even a full-time job. It is a lifestyle. Be brave enough to take the leap, especially if and when you want to fulfill your personal life mission instead of living someone else´s dream, in a 9 to 5 job. To become, and to be a successful entrepreneur is about believing in yourself and in your dreams regardless of what anyone else may have to say.
Plan Your Business (Activities), but also be prepared for changing your plans and goals along the journey.
Planning one´s activities is one of the most important aspects of successful entrepreneurship. If this is one of your weaknesses, make sure to learn how to plan, both short-term, and long-term. And, find someone who can help you with the planning if you personally are a lousy planner. Entrepreneurship is not a hobby – it is in fact hard work, and no matter if it is a lifestyle, planning your dream lifestyle with all necessary activities included, does require careful planning. Value your personal time much enough in order to take the necessary time, and make the effort to plan your activities. Otherwise, you will be unfocused and risk burning yourself out.
Get a(n) experienced mentor/mentors. Value fruitful relationships. Network.
Every entrepreneur needs at least one mentor, perhaps several. Make sure to find mentors with whom you have a respectful, honest, and objective (business) relationship. Seek mentors who are entrepreneurs themselves. And, make sure to focus upon building long-term, mutually beneficial (business) relationships. Network. No entrepreneur survives alone, and every successful entrepreneur seeks advice from a number of professionals – choose wisely.
Choose Your Partners Carefully
Many entrepreneurs go solo, while others prefer partnering up with other people. If you partner up with someone, make sure the professional in question is sharing your enthusiasm, vision, but most of all, that you can rely upon him/her. Business is always business. Make sure to have everything on paper, and make proper agreements/contracts (not only in spoken form). Many entrepreneurs have stated the fact that they wish they had signed that contract. Do not take anything for granted, or trust anyone but yourself.
A friendship founded on business is better than a business founded on friendship. (John D. Rockefeller)
The 10 Myths of Entrepreneurship (published on YouTube by HSGUniStGallen):
Great companies start because the founders want to change the world, not make a fast buck. (Guy Kawasaki)
Are you a passionate individual with good ideas, creativity, and a can and will do attitude, ready to work towards realizing your dreams? Good, because these are some of the most important prerequisites for starting your own business. If you also have risk-tolerance and see the opportunity in everything and are willing to run against your fears, entrepreneurship may be the thing for you.
Small is beautiful.
Have you ever thought about the reasons for being employed, rather than being self-employed? Or why, in the first place, you are working for an enterprise rather than starting something of your own?
There is no such thing as security in the corporate world.
Nice, if you are working for a large corporation, but in fact, how much security can your large employer give you? If you really are looking for security, make sure to start your own business instead, because large corporations do offer you anything but security.
More than 50 % of all business worldwide is SMALL business. Thus, the importance of small business is extremely important in and to any economy. Without small business/es, the world would not be the same.
And, by starting (and, perhaps growing) your own business, you not only take charge of your own finances, but also make sure to remain independent and untouched by the strategic decisions (including mass-layoffs) made by large employers, who often could not care less about their most important asset – their human capital.
Reasons for starting your own business vs. staying employed:
Further reasons for starting your own business:
– You want to be your own boss rather than having everything dictated to you
– You are enthusiastic, hard-working, result-oriented, forward-thinking, and progressive
– You are tired of sending your CV or resume to employers, companies and organizations that do not see your potential, or, if they do, rather hire someone cheaper, less qualified or less progressive => You are tired of wasting your precious time, energy, knowledge and skills on sending applications to firms where robots rather than real people read your CV, with your CV ending up in the trash before a real human being has even seen it. Instead of wasting your time upon useless activities, you might as well use your time for more important activities, such as starting your own business and creating your own rules.
And, if your society does not support entrepreneurship, make sure to start your business in a country which does support it, including essential and relevant things enabling successful entrepreneurship, such as an enough big market, a rewarding rather than punishing taxation policy for (small) businesses. In other words, an innovative, accepting and progressive market economy allowing for entrepreneurs to thrive.
Entrepreneurs and their small enterprises are responsible for almost all the economic growth in the United States. (Ronald Reagan).
The same quote applies to all other economies in the world as well! Your business is needed.
Do something today that your future self will thank you for.
Life, and entrepreneurship, is not about finding yourself. It is about creating yourself.
Innovation and entrepreneurship are the best ways and opportunities to grow the economy.
The true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer.
You can never cross the ocean until you have courage to lose sight of the shore. (Christopher Columbus).