If there were a simple formula to create a planet of entrepreneurs we would have nailed it years ago and with it, probably solved the worlds problems. There are no rules for baking the perfect entrepreneur cake but luckily we know lots of the ingredients.
Like any good baker, if you don’t have all the ingredients to hand, simply improvise and create your own signature dish.
So how do we go about baking the perfect entrepreneur cake ?
You really need to ensure you devote all your energies to success. Clear down and remove as much of the distraction as possible (this is especially important during the early stages). There is never a perfect time to start so be strict at prioritising all your activities.
There is no such thing as a part time entrepreneur, neither is there a set 35 hour week
Have a Single Mission
Like any recipe, you really need to have an idea what you want to bake before you start (don’t worry, things will change as new ingredients get added to the pot).
To choose your mission, work out what really drives you. For many of us, it’s simply wanting to make a difference in the world but there are no hard and fast rules. The only rule you need to follow is to make sure you truly understand what you want to achieve. Take your time to work it out because you are going to waste a lot of time if you don’t know what you’re trying to cook.
Your Mission is the ultimate goal. Something you can measure and will know when it’s achieved.
Know Your Weaknesses
There is no such thing as a multi-dimensional expert. We’re all good at some things and poor at others. Be critical, seek advice. However you do it, make sure you know your strengths and weaknesses. Believe me, it’s not a bad thing to be weak in certain areas, it’s only bad if you don’t recognise it.
Your favourite entrepreneur has weaknesses too. You don’t see them, you don’t need to. Their strengths are the things you see.
Have A Plan
Yes, we’re back to the recipe analogy. But this one really is important, I’m not talking about creating a list (though that’s great for some people). I’m talking about having a roadmap, what you want to achieve and just as important, how you’re going to do it.
Do not have a long term plan, that’s plane crazy these days. Look ahead a maximum of 12 months, any longer and you are into pure guess work.
Keep it short, keep it current and keep it updated (things change, your plan will change too).
Build A Strong Network
You know what you want, you know your strengths and weaknesses and you know how you are planning to achieve your mission. Now start to build a strong network, do whatever you can to get noticed by the people you need. It’s like preparing your team, choose the types of people you want on your side and go out and find them.
Your challenge isn’t to build a network of all your favourite celebrities, you need to build a network based on skill and knowledge. Go get them on your side.
Prepare to Improvise
Your plan will go wrong, something you didn’t expect will happen and when it does you need to come up with an alternative plan, or change the ingredients. Just prepare to react to adversity.
Some would tell you that you need to have an alternative plan for everything, I am telling you that you’re wasting a lot of effort by doing that. Do however make sure you have alternatives when and if things go wrong.
Don’t plan to fail, plan to succeed. You will handle the failures if and when they happen.
If You Burn The Cake, Bake Another
Lets face it, even the famous cooks occasionally burn the cake. You will be no different, in fact when you start off you will probably burn most of them, but don’t give up. Keep burning the cakes but each time work out why and try not burning new ones for the same reason. It’s all about learning what went wrong and very important to be persistent and don’t give up.
Don’t give up when things go wrong. If you fall down, make sure you fall forward, never fall back.
Remember your roots. Once you are on the entrepreneurial path, don’t forget all those who supported you on the journey.
Let me know what you think is missing, and we’ll add to the list.