Over the past few years I have watched so many people in my entrepreneurial network walk away from their business and return to full time employment. Why? No doubt the economy is tough and in tough times competition intensifies, banks stop lending and customers become more discerning. Clearly this all has a negative impact on cashflow but, survival is about more than money in and money out. If you genuinely love what you are doing, have an unwavering passion for it and have burnt all the bridges behind you, you can learn to live on less in the short term to stay in the game in the long term.
As a serial entrepreneur who has ridden the wealth to near bankruptcy roller coaster several times over the past 18 years I know more than most how important mindset is to success and sustainability in business, in fact, I would go as far to say it is the key differential between endurance and quitting.
If pushed here are my top 5 musts for business longevity…
1. SELF BELIEF – You must have this in bucket loads, not only to assuage the odd personal wobble but to fight off all the naysayers, dream thieves and disloyal customers! You must also have resilience and steadfast belief in your business concept/idea and your ability to deliver it on time, every time! If you do not believe you are the best and/or your solution is unique why should anyone else get excited about it?
2. SOUND PEER GROUP – we all need to be surrounded by people who get us, inspire us, support us and cheer for us even on the days when it all seems to be going pear shaped! In fact, particularly on those days! However, do not confuse peers with friends. A peer is someone who’s opinion you value, who is in the same/similar game, who is where you want to be or on the same journey etc. This does not always describe your friends and whilst they are important, sometimes their opinion is not particularly insightful or helpful.
3. TENACITY/CAN DO ATTITUDE – The belief that potential is infinite is a given for an entrepreneur, tell me it can’t be done and I will rise to the challenge! You need to have faith in your idea, if it is about changing the current market you may need to try several times to gain momentum, leverage takes time and obstacles will keep appearing. This is business as usual and without dogged determination walking away is easy.
4. PASSION/PURPOSE – To stay in the business for the long haul you must be driven by something more than money. The need to make a difference is strong in most entrepreneurs, in fact this may be the reason they stepped up in the first place. Passion is contagious and when it oozes from your business brand and philosophy you are on your way to something sustainable.
5. BE IN FLOW –Attempting to be all things to all people is a recipe for disaster and demotivation. Know what flow means to you. Flow is what you do naturally, brilliantly – this could be selling and creating attraction to your business; leading the team; creating the back office automation or managing projects. If you are not in flow and enjoying the journey chances are no one else around you is in flow neither and pretty soon it all starts to feel like hard work. Wealth Dynamics, the personality test created for entrepreneurs is brilliant at defining your flow and showing you how to get leverage in your business based on your personal profile. Have a look http://www.wdprofiletest.com . (I am one of the UK’ leading wealth dynamics coaches so if I can help you understand this let me know). The bottomline is know your flow and stay in it as much as possible, whilst delegating the rest!
So to conclude if you are not particularly juiced by what you are doing and why you are doing it; if you have no raving fans around you cheering you on and you don’t really belief you are capable of succeeding anyway the obvious option is to walk away. There is no point beating yourself up about this – the timing might not be right, the idea may need more work or you may need to work on your mindset – all doable!
The ultimate business philosophy is to build a business aligned to your passion and be in flow doing it!