"Surround yourself with like-minded people who will inspire and encourage you when the going gets tough, especially in the beginning"
-Kristina Gasperas, Professional Make-Up Artist
I strongly believe that if you go into a business that you are passionate about you have little chance to fail as you’ll be channeling all of your energies into learning, improving and pushing the boundaries of whatever it is you set out to do. Here are my top tips for those who are looking to start out in their own business:
Chase the dream, Not The Money
At the start be prepared to make financial sacrifices – most likely you’ll have to give up on some holidays, expensive handbags or shoes, amongst other things. But trust me, these become secondary to the satisfaction you gain from building your business on the foundations of your passion, determination and devotion. Try not to focus too much on chasing money but do something that excites you; that’ll keep you awake at night dreaming of what’s possible; that makes you feel that you are making a difference – success and money will follow.
Be prepared to sacrifice your time
At the start you’ll be everything in one: business owner, decision maker, administrator, book-keeper, marketing wizard, public relations specialist, social media guru; and on top of that a great spouse and parent to your children. It helps a huge amount if you have an understanding and helpful other half. Their support is invaluable and their understanding that you will stay up late at night to do your admin is paramount.
Be organised and prioritise
Turn off your mobile, put aside social media and e-mails for a set time, close the door, warn others that you should not be distracted and focus on your priority tasks. You will be surprised how much easier it is to work through your to-do list if you are focused on one thing at a time. Every time we get distracted it takes us a few minutes to get back into the zone of what we were doing, minutes add up and become wasted hours.
Interact with as many successful business people as you can.
Even leaders from completely different industries and different types of businesses will inspire you – your mind will subconsciously be picking up and looking out for successful formulae created by others that you could apply to your own business. Surround yourself with like-minded people who will inspire and encourage you when the going gets tough, especially in the beginning.
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
From day one focus on exceptional and very personal customer service and you won’t have to spend a lot on marketing – this will be done for you by your satisfied customers and raving fans who will be spreading the good word on your behalf. We may well talk about poor customer service more often than good, however when we receive excellent customer service then we love to mention it to our friends as it just doesn’t happen that often.
Don’t be afraid to take calculated risks and leave your comfort zone.
No one was born knowing everything. If you fail at anything, learn from it and move on as a more enlightened person. In order to grow your business you will need to venture into new areas, offer new services or products, don’t be afraid to do something new – new ideas will keep you excited and motivated.
Most successful entrepreneurs have one thing in common: they didn’t give up when they hit a barrier. Because more often than not, just round the next corner, there is a slice of success waiting. Don’t give up at the first, second, third and even tenth hurdle. Research until you can research no more why that hurdle came up. If something hasn’t worked – try a new way of thinking about it and try to approach it from a different angle.
Have clear goals
Have a clear goal where you are going: without goals we’ll be drifting like a boat with a broken sail, hoping that the sea will take us in the right direction. With precise goals we’ll know exactly which way we need to go, the distance we need to cover and the tools/methods we need to use in order to reach our destination.
Whilst searching for inspirational mottos I came across this one from the late Formula 1 legend Ayrton Senna: “Dedication, Determination, Perfection”. This is the motto I now live by professionally.
Have these three words as guidance when starting and growing your business and you will succeed.
Kristina Gasperas is a professionally trained make-up artist and The Wedding Industry Awards 2013 Bridal Make Up Artist National Winner. To find out more about her services, hop on over to her website here
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