Getting Down To Business: Two Things You Must Know Before Starting Your Own Business

“Keep going until something stops you, then keep going. Tenacity is not giving up when everybody else says you should. It is keeping on your path even though you feel in your heart that you might get pushed back or your journey goes slower than you thought. Accomplishing things worthwhile takes time. Every group you deal with craves the unyielding person; everyone wants determined leaders. Hold firmly to your aspirations. Tenacity breeds tenacity as success breeds success.” ~ Leading Business Consultant Debra A. Benton from “How to Think Like a CEO”

Entrepreneurship is becoming big business. The last several years have witnessed an explosion in the number of colleges teaching entrepreneurship and the number of local governments spending money on development programs.

Selling business self-help materials like books and seminars has become a booming industry in its own right. Statistics indicate that a new business is launched every ten minutes. So, with all these resources, assistance and activity, why does success elude so many enterprising people? Many people aren’t experiencing success in business because they haven't first taken proper inventory of the most important part of the equation before they commence: themselves.

Before you start any business, there are two questions you should ask yourself. Not only should you answer the questions, but also I strongly recommend that you write down your answers.

Writing can be a powerful tool in helping you form clear, concrete thoughts. It may seem an unnecessary step, however, I have witnessed countless numbers of people fail on this very point. They may have had all the motivation, personal contacts, financial resources, and brilliant ideas. What they did not have was the clarity of purpose that a written set of objectives can produce. As the great General Dwight D. Eisenhower, President of the United States said, “Plans are nothing. Planning is everything.” The process of planning and strategizing gives you the edge that most people never develop.

The two crucial questions are as follows:
(1) What are your true motivations for starting a business?
(2) What are the goals that you hope to accomplish?

Discovering for yourself the answer to each of these will place you more firmly on the path to independence and success no matter what you decide to do in your career.

What are your true motivations for starting a business?

Why do you want to go into business for yourself?

Do you feel that you were meant to be an entrepreneur?

Have you always desired to be your own boss?

Is working within a corporate structure driving you crazy?

Do you need to find ways to earn more money than you make in your current job?

Knowing why you’re doing something helps to keep you focused. Without this focus, most people will not be able to stand up to the rigors of private enterprise. Needless to say, everyone does things for different reasons. You might want to work at home to be closer to your kids. Whatever you want to accomplish, put it on paper. There are no right or wrong answers. I am not going to tell you that there are more honorable motivations than others. What is important is that you are honest with yourself about what is driving you to explore owning and operating your own business. Only then can you stay true to yourself, a key to building a business that will last. Investing a few moments to do this might help you last a lot longer on the battlefield. Ask yourself why you want to be an entrepreneur, and then write your reasons down on paper.

What are the goals that hope to accomplish?

Your answers to this question need to be as specific as possible. Use numbers and specific dollar amounts. Use times and dates. One goal could read something like this, for example: Within six months I hope to be earning an extra income of $500 per week by selling 30 widgets. Within a year, I want to receive $1,000 per week. After one year, I want to diversify my business and offer two new types of widgets. In other words, take some time out to dream and visualize what would make you feel as if your work was fruitful and worthwhile.

A goal is much more than a desire. A goal is a destination that you would like to reach. A good one has several qualities:
* It is motivating
* It is written
* It is time-specific
* It is measurable, and
* It is always in front of you.

If it is not all of these things, it’s not a goal. It’s just a wish and it may not have the power to help propel you forward.

Some could have the goal of paying for their next car with cash or making a million dollars by the time they’re forty years old. Don’t be afraid to enjoy dreaming. How would your life be different if you were earning $4,000 per month over what you’re bringing home now? Would you be driving the same automobile? Would you be wearing the same clothes? Do you think you would be any happier? The process of visualization (and writing down your goals) is important because it allows you to mentally associate pleasure with your accomplishments providing additional motivation to succeed.

Here’s a first step towards goal setting that you can take right now. Follow the guidelines above and jot down ten things that you want to accomplish in the next year. Make sure that pursuing them will stretch your mind and that you’ll need to work hard to reach each.

Then get going after every target that you’ve set. As soon as you accomplish one, mark through it and add another to the list. You’ll be surprised at how well the whole process works. Keeping your focus on your milestones will help keep you moving closer to where you ultimately want to be in life.

If you can commit yourself to exploring your motivations and pinpointing your goals, you will greatly increase your chances of succeeding in any new venture. A lot of people are profiting off the latest wave of entrepreneurship. By knowing the most important part of your business (you) before you launch out, you’ll be in a much better position to profit as well.

Mark Anthony McCray is the Founder of "Live Big, Die Empty" a movement designed to help people live life more abundantly and walk in the purposes for which they were created. Write or call 832-566-2001 for more information and follow Mark on Twitter at and and


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