Guest Blog Post by Erika Lapean:
There is so much opportunity out there. In today’s world, the possibility of becoming an entrepreneur is everywhere. Becoming a brand is so in-your-face that it’s almost become a trend. We see it all over Instagram and social media; it seems that ever D-list celebrity now has a brand and a business of their own.
Yet in the real world, the world I live in, it still is a real possibility. I have been an entrepreneur for four years. That means I have my own business and pay real taxes each year. My mom has been an entrepreneur for almost 40 years and has started and sold various businesses. From early on I knew that creating my own path in life was my destiny. Now I’m 36 and have had two business which are drastically different from each other. One business I created from the ground up and one business I joined as an independent consultant.
I’ve been fortunate to have the innate ability to keep things pretty well balanced in my life, but that hasn’t come without a learning curve. On a daily basis I juggle so many roles: mother, alarm clock, chef, school bus driver, teacher, business owner, bookkeeper, accountant, blogger, runner, friend, daughter, wife, parent, and the list goes on, right?! Some of you even have more roles than that. It’s insane what we expect ourselves to accomplish in a day.
With all those roles at hand it can be overwhelming to think about starting your own business. I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be. Part of my role in one of my business is to help others get their business up and running and off the ground. Over time you learn the short cuts, the things that work, and the things that don’t work.
Here are my tips on how to get your own business off the ground:
- Find something you are passionate about. If you don’t absolutely love what you are doing then you’ll really be miserable when it’s late at night and you are trying to put a few more hours into the business. Successful businesses are run by people who love what they are doing. One of the reasons they are successful is because they love it. It seems like a no-brainer but you’d be surprised by how many people don’t love what they do each day. I love working on both of my businesses! They are totally different from one another and fill something different in me. One gives me the creative outlet I need and one gives me the business and marketing structure that I look for.
- Research the hell out of it. Are you jumping off the cliff without looking at what’s in the water? You better not! What’s your competition like? Is there a market for your business? Is the market saturated? What makes you unique? You need to know your industry before you jump in. Just because you have an idea doesn’t mean it will work. This goes for MLM business too. What’s the track record of the company you are joining? Are they on the uphill or are they stagnant? How do they treat their employees? All of this is necessary if you really are serious about making your business a success.
- Make a game plan for how much time you plan to put into this business. There are 24 hours in a day and 168 hours in a week. How many of those hours do you really want to spend working on your business? What are your attainable goals? Are you committing to eight hours a day? Maybe only three hours a day? What are your other simultaneous commitments? You really need to have a concrete answer to this before you get going. If you plan to work from home (instead of an outside office), it’s easy to waste time with “time sucks.” Scrolling IG or Facebook can suck time from you. Then suddenly, that’s time you don’t get back. Figure out how much time you can put into your new business on a realistic level. You still need to sleep!
- It takes money to make money. I’m going to really stress this! The easiest way to start a business is to join an MLM, buy the “business starter kit” and start selling product. I’ve seen threads of women asking for a “legit business opportunity that has no start up costs.” Like really!? Ladies, that doesn’t exist! Having a business is an investment and that means making a short-term sacrifice to create a long-term, exponential result. You are going to have to spend money to make money. Just make sure that you are spending money in the right spot. Even if you choose an MLM as your way of becoming an entrepreneur, you need to spend money. Get the biggest starter kit you can, invest in creating a brand for yourself, business cards, thank you cards, a website… it’s really a must!
- Find a mentor. It doesn’t matter what type of business you plan to create. Having a mentor is priceless. I’ve had various mentors for both of my business and each person wore a different hat. I had a mentor that advised on social media-marketing, somebody who answered questions about corporate policy and compliance, somebody to help with accounting and bookkeeping, somebody to advise on sales, and somebody who was great at creating relationships with people. There are many different places to look for a mentor and some are paid and some unpaid, but realize that you aren’t building a business alone (at least you shouldn’t). It’s ok to pay for advice and outsource a task that you just can’t handle. Having a mentor can be the difference between giving up or growing up. Visit Erika’s website to learn more.
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