New Directions Network: Winter 2009

Posted

Recipe for Successful Entrepreneurs

by Elizabeth Walker, CHT, RH
Clinical Herbal Therapist

One of my greatest achievements is being an entrepreneur and I’ve learned what I’m capable of from both a business and personal perspective.

I’ve been stretched, mobilized and tested, experienced excitement,

fear then back to excitement while navigating the never-ending tasks related to my goals for production, service, bookkeeping, promotions and sales, web presence, and networking.

What am I made of?  Sugar and spice and then some!  While many employees are busy with holiday baking, the following is my entrepreneur’s recipe for success.  Check if you have these ingredients on hand and in the right amount for your business.

“Stick-With-It”

My “stick-with-it-ness” was tested from day one when the desired income wasn’t showing up and I found it helpful to learn examples of successful entrepreneurs in similar situations.

The launch of the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” series is an example of this ingredient and the title “Chicken Soup for the Entrepreneur” includes many stories where entrepreneurs who “stick-with-it” ultimately enjoy the success of which they dream.  Did you know Walt Disney went to hundreds of banks before anyone would consider his ideas?  This book might make a nice addition to your Christmas wish list.

Facing the Fear

I learned the value of facing my fears head-on in order to reach specific business goals.  Whether you share my fear of public speaking or making cold calls, a good measure of facing the fear can move you beyond self-imposed limitations.

Be fearless in exploring what is holding you back from enjoying greater success then find the resources to support you while you challenge those fears.  Participating in Toastmasters International provided me with immeasurable support.  Be willing to do whatever it takes, remember to be gentle with yourself, acknowledge the fear, and move beyond it.

A Support System

Entrepreneurs may on occasion, feel isolated or frustrated with working in and on their business.  I found it helpful to meet with entrepreneurs who understand because they too have experienced similar frustrations at one time or another.

Sometimes all I need is a chance to “talk it out” or to hear someone else’s perspective on a specific issue.  Consider joining an established networking group or arranging with fellow Anderson graduates for a monthly breakfast or coffee meeting.

Daily Inspiration

When my morning routine includes an inspirational component I enjoy a more positive outlook on the day and my creative juices flow.  This ingredient has helped me create marketing ideas, easily handle a difficult situation, and receive more of what I really desire, including new clients, paid invoices, requests for product and positive news about a client’s progress.

Reading, writing, meditation, physical activity, or connecting with a mentor are some ways to inject inspiration into your life.  Find what works for you and incorporate these into your day.

Ability to Delegate

Learning how to appropriately delegate work has saved me from falling into the “solo-preneur” trap of trying to everything for my business, all by myself.

I designed my business logo, and hired people to design and print the business cards.  I create my free company e-Newsletter, and use an auto-responder service to manage subscriptions and send the e-newsletter on the appointed date.

Delegating these types of tasks frees my time so I am able to work on the business tasks no one else can do for me, including product development and client support.

Internet presence

Where do you look for information on a business or subject of interest?  If you are like most people, you start by searching online.  Most of my clients report having checked my credentials online before calling me for an initial consult.

How can your business establish a web presence?  Some ideas include; create a website, start a blog, use networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook and Linkedln, or place free advertisements on Kijiji and Craigslist.

In today’s market a web presence is essential.  If your business isn’t on the Internet you may be passed over for a business that has a web presence.

Mix, Simmer and Enjoy

As your business grows and changes, the required amount of each of these ingredients may need to be adjusted.   My experience has shown that a good measure of each of these helps me continue to meet my business and personal goals.

For information about Amber Leaf Wellness, please visit www.amberleafwellness.ca


ACTI’s New Directions Network

ACTI New Directions newsletter is looking for contributors.  Graduates of the Anderson Self-Employment program are invited to send submissions for consideration to reception@acti.org.  Articles must be related to business practices or issues of interest for entrepreneurs and at most, 500 words in length.


Entrepreneur, Launch Thyself

by Eva Blaskovic of Sirius Word

When you are an entrepreneur, you know you have to work to get clients, and the search is ongoing.

You also know that statistically, you will only attract a certain percentage of prospects you interview or to which you market.  Thus, being ignored or turned down by a prospective client is, to a degree, expected and accepted.

Getting turned down by a prospective employer or turned out by a current one, however, is a different thing entirely. It hits on a deeper and more personal level.

After enduring this form of rejection, when my self-image and confidence were already in shreds over other matters, and especially since I needed the job not only to pay the bills but to show my worth in other arenas of life, I had had enough and vowed that I would not leave myself open to this level of dependency again.

There is another thing too. While we are employed, we question our boss’ assessments and opinions of us. We feel undervalued in our talents and contributions, and in the end we are left wondering why we feel the way we do.

It all translates into helplessness. We seem to have no control over our life path. It is not even worth the Benefits package.

Entrepreneurial types often sense there is something untapped within them in their present (read: employed) circumstance. Only when they unfurl their talents and set an uncharted course can they harness the benefits of their true potential. But having no maps, no guarantees—not knowing whether the world is flat or round, armed only with the belief that it is round—such a voyage takes courage.

For those who have been afraid to take the risk, or question their recent decision, I would offer this: when the scales tip such that fear becomes lighter than disillusionment, the impetus to take action predominates.

A strange thing happens when the entrepreneurial ship sets sail. The qualities for which a person was criticized in the workplace—too analytical, too independent, thinks too much, has too many ideas, works too many hours, creates systems—are the exact qualities needed to launch and sustain his or her own endeavour. What’s more, clients respond positively to these characteristics and what they generate. The entrepreneur is still the same person, but suddenly he or she is viewed quite differently.

Entrepreneurs are not “assistants” in the workplace sense of the word. They are leaders with visions. They are perceptive, sensitive, and adaptive to the needs of clients. They often see the multifaceted and long-term requirements of an organization. They may not have enough formal education to reflect their wisdom, knowledge, insight, and capabilities hence they do not hold positions of management, leadership, or some form of decision-making power. It is easy to see how their qualities would be at odds with their job description.

As well, their salary is limited by their position, which is often limited by their education level. There is a ceiling on achievement and financial compensation.

If this is you, what have you got to lose that you haven’t lost already? It is said that people stop being afraid when they have nothing left to lose, or when they have hit rock bottom with nowhere to go but up. I would say this is true. What was once perceived as risk, or a tug of war between risk and opportunity, becomes pure opportunity.

For information about Sirius Word, please visit www.siriusword.com.


Anderson Grad Contacts Sought

We know many grads are still working their original business idea, and others have moved onto new ventures. You are invited to provide your business e-mail to reception@acti.org and stay connected with our powerful network of entrepreneurs!

If you prefer to not receive newsletters, updates and invitations from Anderson Career Training, email reception@acti.org and request to be removed from the database.


Canadian Federation of Independent Business

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is a long-time resource and advocacy group established for small business owners in Canada. They continually survey their membership and monitor and report on the economic climate of Canada and the world and offer several membership benefits.

Recently CFIB reported on the resilience of Canada’s entrepreneurs. Over the past year, the level of employment in small- and medium-sized businesses remained virtually stable, with almost all job losses taking place in the large corporate sector.

One high profile issue CFIB is advocating for is fairness and transparent practices for small businesses and consumers from credit and debit card companies. The CFIB has worked hard to fight increases in credit card charges imposed by card companies and banks.  Significant progress was made, including an initiative for a Credit Card Code of Conduct for small business. Check out: http://www.cfib-fcei.ca/english/index.html


Anderson Career Training Institute Holiday Season Business Mixer

Graduates and instructors enjoyed a wonderful evening at the Anderson Holiday Season Business Mixer on Tuesday, 8 December.  This proved to be another awesome opportunity to network and renew friendships with classmates and instructors.  Included below are a few photos of the event.

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