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Opening a Small Business
Terry Kyle1. Recognize why you want to set up your own small business. It’s like going to the hardware store thinking that you
want a drill, when in fact you actually just need a hole. What’s the difference? The difference is that having a
laser-focused, crystal-clear outline of what you want at the end can massively accelerate progress towards that
goal. Imagine if an overweight person went on a diet with no pound-loss goal or time frame goals e.g. “I want to
lose 10 pounds in the next 30 days”.
Their diet would probably not succeed.
Similarly, joining a martial arts class without the goal of reaching a certain belt or tournament in a certain time
frame would also probably not succeed. In relation to opening a small business, you need to decide what income,
lifestyle and personal goals you are shooting for. Bear in mind that progress is never as fast as any of us want in
our impatient world so think in terms of year-to-year and month-to-month progress. For example, “by August next
year, I want to have my Level 3 Personal Training qualification, have built up commercial relationships with 7 gyms,
have 25 private personal training clients and be making a $1100 a week profit. Even this should be further lasered
down to even more micro-specific goals.
Without this ‘satellite navigation’ method for your small business, how can
it get to any destination?
2. The first lap of the track is the hardest. By this, I mean the first week, month and year of your new business
will be the trickiest. Why? Because when we learn anything new, we make mistakes. And then more mistakes. And
probably even more after that. But that’s OK because failing our way forward is not just one way we learn, in fact,
it’s the only way we learn. Fail your way forward and let go of any silly ideas that failing is bad. You just cannot
learn without failing. Failing is great because it adds to a knowledge base and success is impossible or at least
extremely unlikely without a knowledge base. So don’t waste time procrastinating about whether to open a small
business. You are going to be failing and screwing up in the first six months to year anyway so why not get started
That is, provided you follow point three below.
3. I call this the Jumping Between Moving Cars method. When making the leap from a normal 9-5 job to a new small
business, it is vitally important that the other source of income is moving (like a car driving in parallel in the
movies), i.e. making money. It is crazy to jump from a stable income source to one that is not yet rolling. However,
aspiring entrepreneurs do this all the time. Ever seen what happens in the movies to the guy trying to jump from the
burning vehicle into the safe one beside him and misses? Ouch! Yes, having two jobs going at once is hard work and
yes it will be stressful for a while.
But isn’t living life on your own terms with freedom of time and money, possibly for the rest of your life worth it?
4. Which small business is the safest, best and most lucrative for you to go for? I get asked this question a lot
and my best advice is to go for a business that suits your own individual personality very well e.g. there is good
money in vending machines but you may, for instance, prefer hosting haunted historical tours in your area because
you love history, are interested in the supernatural and love meeting and talking to people.
The business has to fit your own personality well. And, it should have a very low financial downside – preferably almost nil. The internet makes ultra low-cost marketing and selling more possible than ever before so don’t jump into expensive long-term
shop leases, staff contracts, equipment purchases and so on. Work from home, use the internet, put flyers in letterboxes yourself, get out and talk to your target market (for free) and do everything for as little money as possible.
Then if the business fails – which it might, at least for a while – you have only sacrificed your time.
5. Final point. Over the course of my professional career in marketing and business, I’ve met many very rich and
successful entrepreneurs and I’ve also met many failed entrepreneurs. What’s the main difference between the two
groups? Intelligence? Nope. Charm? Nope. Luck? Nope. Coming from a rich family? Nope. In fact, the main difference
was that the ones who had Made It had a totally pigheaded stubbornness to do whatever it took to learn the specific
skill set to make money.
Do not underestimate the power of it if you are serious about success. The entrepreneurial failures were distracted by TV, too much socializing, jumping from one get rich scheme to another and another and any other shiny thing that came into their orbit. In short, the winners were not distracted. The losers were.
Now go and open a small business that gives you freedom and control over your life.
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