Many times when people think about getting into business for themselves, they cherish the idea of the freedom and control it would bring, but are often stifled by fear. ‘How will I find customers?’, ‘How do I find the money I need?’, ‘Will anyone really buy what I’m selling?’ are typical of the questions we run through our minds just before a wave of fear spills over us and we suddenly feel grateful for the job we loathe.
We tell ourselves that having a business is for people that come from money, yet many of the greatest success stories are people that had little or no money at the beginning of their journey. We are convinced that we need ever increasing amounts of education, but Bill Gates, one of the world’s richest people, didn’t complete college, Sir Richard Branson never went.
So what is it? What makes some people successful and others not? It boils down to three primary traits:
They have a clear idea what they wanted to make or do,
They believe they can figure out anything,
They understand, actually or intuitively, how the mind works
To have a clear idea about what your business should be, focus on what you love. Learn all about it: how it’s made, bought and sold. Study businesses that do what you love. Talk to them about how they got started. If possible, work with some of these companies to get paid to learn the craft.
Whether you believe it or not, you can figure out anything related to your business, if you’re willing to seek and accept help. Not good at hiring? Get a good human resources consultant to get you on track. Hate dealing with numbers and billing? A good bookkeeper and accounting software can minimize the amount of time you need to spend. The point is, take stock of your strengths and interests and find others with the expertise you don’t have but need to operate your business.
Finally, know how your mind works. Your mind is divided into the conscious and the subconscious. The conscious part directs your activities, makes decisions, builds plans and analyses problems. It is rooted in time and is constantly interrupted.
Your subconscious is where you hold your true opinions about the world and yourself. It is the place where dreams begin and problems are really solved. It is timeless and has access to everything you know and have experienced.
Your conscious mind is driving your bus. Your unconscious rides along, watching the scenery go by, hearing the conversations you have, seeing the problems that you face. How do you tap that hidden resource that is working even when you are asleep? It may be easier than you think. The key is to learning how to feed your problems to your subconscious mind.
Make your dreams and plans evident in the real world so your subconscious can see and act upon them. If you’re starting a business, building even a skeletal business plan gives your subconscious mind things to focus on. Writing down and prioritizing problems as they occur, without unduly focusing the solutions to them, loads your subconscious mind so it can begin working on them.
Your subconscious mind sees everything, even things you are not aware of. It sees the plans you’re making, so it knows what your conscious mind thinks should be done. It also sees the obstacles that are blocking you. But it has something else, the timeless ability to make connections to everything you know, have experienced and believe. And it does it in real time so the links between ideas and knowledge are clear. The subconscious mind is literally a supercomputer at our personal disposal if we simply learn how to use it.
Try this experiment. Keep a small notebook and pen with you at all times. When an idea or a solution surfaces, don’t say, “Good idea, I need to do something with it.”; write it down in your book. Continuously compare what is in your book with your problems and over time you will find that you are solving your own problems without even working at it.
Doing what you love, having faith you’ll figure out how to deal with challenges and knowing how to solve problems without working hard are three qualities that can make you successful. When practiced properly, they become self reinforcing and bring an even bigger benefit: peace, prosperity and clarity.
Peter Mehit is COO of Custom Business Planning and Solutions, which helps small and mid size companies through strategy, tactics, planning and systems. He can be reached at (909) 597-0840.