THE 21 Steps to Entrepreneurship: START TODAY!

1. Know your “WHY” – Your “Why” is your reason for starting your business and the stronger your “WHY,” the more determined you will be to succeed.

2. Develop the right mindset – This requires one to have a tough mental attitude. Not only do successful entrepreneurs have mental toughness, but they also believe enough in their dream to nurture it to great success. Your ability to turn obstacles into stepping stone and having a sound bounce back ability will distinguish you as a winner. A good book to read is The Lean Startup by Eric Ries.

3. Believe in yourself – Know that not everyone will believe in your dream so keep a positive mental attitude. Find ways to incorporate things that motivate you in your daily life – music, exercise, reading inspirational piece/articles, affirmations, listening to Audio CDs that inspire and motivate you.

4. Clearly define your “WHAT” (Offering) – A business is “find a need; fill a need,” and in transitioning into entrepreneurship, it is important to clearly identify your most marketable skill or product that will provide unique value to people. Clearly doing so would help you stay out of the clutter and keep you focused.

5. Do an extensive research on your idea – It is imperative to do an extensive entrepreneurial research. Talk to people, read some books, editorials, anything you can lay your hands on about your product or service. Then deicide what value your offer provides to the market based on your research. This will help you solidify your offer to the world.

6. Share your plans with your loved ones – Have a conversation about your plan to transition into entrepreneurship with your immediate loved ones. As much as it will be easier to gain their support, but know that you might also not get support. But either way, as long as you believe in your vision, be tenacious and let that fuel your success even more.

7. Get your finances in order – It is very crucial for a transitioning entrepreneur to start early to assess his or her cash flow and investments to determine a plan of action. This is because it may take some time before your business starts making profit. In the interim, create a plan of action that will sustain your household expenses amongst other liabilities. You will have a complete lifestyle change. No more random shopping, or eating out. Every dollar counts. Calculate how much you owe, what your monthly expenses are and begin to live accordingly. It is advised to build six to twelve months emergency fund to help with expenses.

8. Have a plan of action – In developing your plan of action; strategically enumerate the action steps needed to realize your targeted objectives. Create S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timed) goals. In addition, making a daily to-do list will help break your goals into bite-size task, which further helps to prevent procrastination.

9. Create and guard your circle of influence – You become like the people you hang around the most! To solidify your circle, consciously surround yourself with dream helpers not dream killers. Find relevant mastermind groups and power partners who come together with the objective of helping each other become better while succeeding in business. Yes, it will be different and new at first, but it is essential for your transition

10. Break bad habits – Discipline- Waking up and starting your day at a certain time can change the trajectory of your day. How much time do you spend watching TV, talking endlessly on the phone with family and friends? There is the need to break such bad habits as they will affect how you run your business which will consequently affect the growth of your business. Every minute counts! Time is officially your most valuable asset. MAXIMIZE IT!

11. Invest in YOU! – Consider spending some time and money on books, courses, seminars and of course, in working with a coach. Investing in oneself is never a waste; while learning should be a continuous exercise for all entrepreneurs, it also helps a startup entrepreneur become better-grounded and positioned to increase success.

12. Get the right tools – Being armed with the right tools will position every entrepreneur, especially a Startup, to run their business more efficiently. Tools from computers, to a vehicle to any specific equipment for whatever service your industry is known for having, remembering to keep your start up cost lean. It’s important to note that in most cases, having an office is not a tool. If you can run your business from your home, it’s absolutely all right to do so.

13. Develop healthy habits – A lot of entrepreneurs are great with multi-tasking and things can get pretty busy. Entrepreneurs wear so many hats, which keep them occupied, and tend to deter them from practicing daily self-care. This will include eating right, doing daily exercise and connecting with people that you care about. Take a break once a day to rejuvenate.

14. Take total responsibility – To take total responsibility of your business requires absolute commitment to your vision. If it’s got to be; it’s up to you! Commit to that responsibility.

15. Have the right mentors – Finding the right mentor involves searching for those people who are succeeding in their area of business. It requires accountability that is a major key to every entrepreneur, startups most especially. Your mentors keep you engaged and accountable for your vision because they have also been there.

16. NO is also an answer – Learn to say NO to additional work tasks, requests at your job and to anything and anyone that interferes with your business growth. Stay laser focused on your goal to grow your business and be quick to identify unnecessary extracurricular activities that are not of immediate value to you. It’s only a temporary sacrifice that will pay off in the long run!

17. Brand yourself /business right – Your Image is probably the most important outside factor and extension of you. It is important that you are your best self as often as possible. Everything from your logo to your pictures, your social media image, and marketing collateral etc. all have to tell a consistent story.

18. Develop a marketing strategy – How are you going to get the word out there about your value to the market place? How can people find you so that you can help them with your offering? Will you use magazines, new papers, live demonstrations, TV, radio, the Internet, a combination of some? Plan it out week-by-week, what your plan is, what results you want, and how you intend to reach your goal. Do not be afraid, take time to really think about this segment of your business and in addition to being flexible, never be afraid of change.

19. Create your tribe – Your tribe-mates are your fans, followers, and customers. As you build trust with them, you can secure them into your tribe. Figure out what you would call them, so there is a sense of identity for people that appreciate the value you offer the world.

20. Stay current (embrace change) – It is a constant learning process. You want to make sure you stay ahead of the curve and trends. Read up on your industry news, technology that affects your business. Your competitors, your customers. Make it a daily ritual. Stay on top of your skills.

21. Hire knowledgeable professionals – Paying for good work is important for any business to thrive, especially a startup. There are 3 key people we recommend you get on your team. An Accountant for your finances, an attorney for your legal needs and a publicist for your public Image engagement.

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