1. Work Hard. Don’t under estimate how much dedication, blood, sweat and tears it takes to make it work. Even if you work hard and give it all you have, it’s no recipe for success. However, without working hard you can guarantee that it won’t work.
2. Think Long Term. You need to build relationships from day one with other entrepreneurs, potential customers, suppliers, potential partners, the media… in fact just about everything that will connect to your business you want to be making connections with – find people, talk to people, help people, ask questions etc. You will be amazed at how many people are willing to help you.
3. Go for it. Ditch your fears. Just take a deep breath and start. Without starting you’ll never make it. The longest journeys sometimes start with the smallest of steps. It can be one of the most rewarding journeys you are ever likely to take but it takes enormous courage to take the first step. Having courage is one of the most important qualities you can have as an entrepreneur.
4. Small Business Network. Find 8 other business owners in your geographical area and arrange to meet once a month. Each month one of the eight brings a problem or opportunity to the group for brainstorming and action planning. One of the disadvantages of being an entrepreneur is that you don’t have a huge team around you. So go and make one.
5. Find a mentor. Go and find one or many mentors that can help you on your journey. Again you will be surprised how many people would love to help. Just find a mentor that asks questions not gives instructions. You want someone who is a guide (think Obi-Wan or Yoda from Star Wars). What you need is someone who will challenge your thinking and help you find your own style of dealing with problems and opportunities.
6. Power to the People. If / when you have a team give them autonomy. Give them the strategy, the tools, the support and then let them get on with making things happen. See yourself as a Football Team Manager. Your job is to get the right people in the right place, make sure everyone knows the game plan (strategy) and has the right training. Once the whistle blows its time for you to get off the pitch and let the players move the ball!