Many have taken the leap and have tried venturing into creating their own business. Some have failed, but others are still trying to keep their enterprises afloat. But what does a business owner truly need to grow his business or keep the business alive for that matter?
Napoleon Hill’s critically-acclaimed book Think and Grow Rich has long been helping cohorts and individuals to take steps to achieve success. Like all good books that have stood the test of time, Think and Grow Rich simply makes us realize our full potential.
The secret is in the mindset. Where do you focus your mind?
1. The Goal
First, ask yourself what your aim is. What do you want to happen? What product do you want to produce? Think about the details. It can be as specific as wanting a quaint Mediterranean café serving organic food that you grow in the café’s backyard. Or it can be to get high dividend payouts from a $100 investment in five years. Make it a concrete goal.
If your goal is as abstract as “getting rich,” then it simply becomes a superfluous idea that will eventually relegate into the back of your mind. It will just be part of your day dream and not your reality.
Positive thinking is a good thing as long as you make your thoughts specific enough and concrete. In fact, it may also help to imagine overcoming the obstacles your goal poses. Imagination is a good faculty to have to exercise creativity. Still, it always ground imagination to reality.
2. The Plan
Once you know what you want, plan.
Not everyone is a born planner, but it can help concretize a goal. The only thing you need for planning is to get organized. The most important aspect of planning is scheduling. Give yourself a deadline. When do you, as an individual, want to start taking risks and when do you, as an entrepreneur, want to begin operations? Set goals in terms of time.
3. The Means
Unfortunately, not all plans consider the means. You may be planning to start business in three months’ time but you still don’t have a location for your café. When the plans and the means are not aligned, something will be compromised. And when any business foundation is compromised, it’s highly likely for it to fail. As such, it’s necessary to know your current assets and create an inventory if you can.
Assets don’t necessarily mean the money you own. Instead, asset can include the things that you won’t immediately associate with business. It could be the garage in your house, your educational background, or even your circle of friends. Know what you have and maximize it. For instance, your education could have taught you about business management or have improved your culinary skills. If so, they can be of great help to the Mediterranean café you want to build. A good set of friends or family who constantly remind you – whether volitionally or not – of your goal can also be a great support system. Your connections are part of your assets. In fact, a network can bolster any business.
4. The Passion
The driving force behind your goal, your plan, and your means is your passion.
How much do you want that café? There are several facets of passion, but Think and Grow Rich highlighted two aspects all throughout namely persistence and repetition.
Persistence means not giving up. Startups and small businesses do not give high returns in the first month. They may not even generate a return on investment in a year. Nevertheless, closing down the business should not be the immediate response to loss, debt, or even bankruptcy. There are still ways to rise from debt. There are also risk management strategies to avoid huge losses if you’re persistent enough to look.
Be more confident in your product or service and have a little faith. Constantly remind yourself about your goal. Napoleon Hill talks about how an individual has the power to control his or her own thoughts. Consequently, it is also in the individual’s power to turn these thoughts into actions. Repeating your goal to yourself can help intensify your drive to succeed.
Persistence and repetition sometimes go hand in hand, making it easy to fuel the passion just with the two traits.
5. The Leader
Your business can already be set up or still be in its pre-operations phase for you to develop leadership skills.
Being a leader means taking initiative and taking responsibility. You become the hub of information and innovation. People will look up to you, so you have to be a role model. Be confident but be in control. Take charge but don’t instil fear. Know your plans and stand firm, but when unexpected things happen, know when to adjust.
It takes courage to stand in front of everyone who look up to you and take full charge, but every group requires a leader. And sometimes, you just have to take it.
Everyone already possesses the key components of success. One only has to know how to spark the fire. If there’s one phrase to capture the book’s essence, it’s to ignite the desire.