Over the past few weeks, a friend of mine has approached me to give them some tips and guidance on being an entrepreneur. They have been a seasoned professional, in the same field for 20 years, and now they feel they are finally ready to take the leap.

The problem is, they don't know where to start. Well, they do, but they haven't quite grasp how much they have to do to get the ball rolling.

My first piece advice was simple: have a plan with an end goal. Take the time to write a business plan and marketing plan, before you take the leap. If you don't, you might find your first few months in procrastination mode wondering whether your strategy is right or second guessing everything you are doing while at the same time working through conflicting pieces of advice from a bunch of 'experts'.

The second piece of advice and what I feel is very valuable is putting the strategy into a project management software. We use Asana, but there are so many out there to choose from, that there is no 'right' software to use. Within the software, work out how long it would take to do things, and make sure you have a due date on every task.

Now you can start DOING. 

This is the most exciting part. In 'doing' you will accomplish important tactical elements of starting a business and also find out what challenges may lay ahead. Remember to not expect perfection or that everything will be 100 percent, because this is one of the biggest issues companies face with getting their idea or business off the ground. Accepting 80 percent is generally the rule of thumb that works wonders.

Traits that are evident in many entrepreneurs:

  • Risk takers, deal makers
  • Tenacity to get you through the toughest times
  • Unparalleled drive
  • Unrelenting pursuit of success
  • Knowledge that entrepreneurship is brutal and just when you think everything is smooth sailing, something else pulls at you for all of your attention
  • They know that there is risk; money, reputation, honour, standing - but the upside is that if you can achieve your goal, you will never have to work a day in your life
  • Be ready to at times 'bet everything on a roll of the dice'
  • Passion, determination and an ability to roll with it

Entrepreneurship is one of the most exciting journeys anyone can go on - but it isn't for the faint hearted. You have to believe in yourself and be prepared to have some people around you that think that you may not make it. Prove them wrong, and stay on the path. This in itself will be one of your biggest rewards.
Mellissah Smith is a serial entrepreneur and business leader with more than 20 years' experience in marketing.
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Mellissah Smith

Mellissah Smith is a marketing expert, author, writer, public speaker and technology innovator. Having worked with more than 300 companies across technology, medical device, professional services, manufacturing, logistics, finance and health industries, Mellissah has a well-established reputation as an experienced marketing professional with more than 20 years experience. As the founder and managing director of Marketing Eye, she has taken the company from startup to a multi-million dollar enterprise with offices in Australia and the US. Mellissah is also the Editor in Chief of Marketing Eye Magazine, a quarterly magazine that cover marketing, entrepreneurship, travel, health and wellbeing. #mellissah #marketingeye

1 comment

  • Williamson

    Becoming an entrepreneur is not the right fit for everyone. Unfortunately, there are many people who find this out when they start a business, and then end up with a ringside seat as it falters and fails. Entrepreneurship looks sexy on the surface, but it's important to have an idea of what lies ahead when you've chosen this path: it touches all parts of your life, your relationships, your bank accounts, and self-confidence.

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