Find Your Passion

Many people looking for a business idea or opportunity look outside of themselves and their own interests. Yet the things we are most enthusiastic about are ourselves and our own interests! So why not make them work for you?

Running a business based on something you enjoy will ensure you work harder, enjoy your work and (this is the important bit..) communicate your enthusiasm to your customers!

Going Solo

Did you ever hear the saying, “Nobody ever got rich working for someone else!”?

On the other hand, around 80% of new businesses fail within the first 5 years!

So what makes being your own boss so attractive if the end result is most likely failure? The answer given by most would-be entrepreneurs is …


So how can you break free and go solo without crashing?

Well, not by jumping into every business opportunity that comes your way and giving it a whole month’s try before admitting defeat and going on to the next one! Believe it or not, a lot of people do just that.

The success secret is simple to describe but not necessarily simple to apply.

So here goes…

The Rules

Rule 1 Recognise that you will be exchanging one boss for many, they are called customers and they can be more demanding than any employer.

Rule 2 Know yourself. What are your strengths and weaknesses? What are you prepared to do and what are you not prepared to do? What skills do you have? How do you relate to people? A knowledge of yourself will help to avoid entering a business unsuited to you.

Rule 3 Pick the right idea. This sounds obvious, but it isn’t always so. Will the product or service sell? Will it deliver a large enough profit to cover expenses, pay you and the taxman and leave some over to expand the
business? Can you afford to give it time to grow? Does it fit the YOU that resulted from rule 2?

Rule 4 What support is there to help you build your business? Going solo does not mean doing it alone. Some opportunities provide built in support e.g. Franchising or Network Marketing. Support is also available locally from Business Link and other sources.

Rule 5 There’s no such thing as something for nothing. “You only get what you want by helping enough other people get what they want!” – Zig Ziglar. In business the other people referred to are usually customers.

Rule 6 Pick your business carefully then focus on making it a success, without becoming too distracted by other things. When it is successful, you can then apply the same techniques to another opportunity if you want to.

There are other factors of course, but following these five rules will help you get started.

How To Do It

There are a number of ways to go solo without loads of capital and without too much risk. Once you have “cut your teeth” on one or more of these, you will be ready to tackle the complexities of a full blown business. Being self-employed is simpler then running a business (many people think they are the same thing – believe me, they are not!)

Being self-employed means precisely what it says ….. employing yourself – often in the same job you had as an employee. More often than not you will be home based with few costs. Running a business, on the other hand, often means premises, staff and a host of other costs have to be carried. Which means you have to make a lot of money before you get to keep any for yourself.

Over the next few months I shall be adding a few suggestions to get you thinking……..

Be Prepared

O.K so you’ve set your initial goals, so now what?

What Business

If you already have a business idea… great! All you have to do is get to  work, right?

Wrong! Most people who just take an idea and start out cold don’t last very long. You need to think carefully about your business – what you are going to sell, how you are going to sell it, who are you going to sell it to and how much for? Where will you get your supplies, how much will they cost, what other costs will you have? What records do you need to keep, will you need staff, what laws and regulations must you comply with? How much do you need to take out of the business to live on, how much do you need to put in to get it off the ground, how much do you need to retain in the business for future investment, how much do you need to keep back to pay taxes?

In other words, you need a plan ….. a Business Plan.

From this point on, I shall assume you have your business idea. If not, then go to the Ideas post or the Opportunities section of this website.

The Business Plan

There are four key sections of the business plan, they are:

The Overview

In this first section you lay out a summary of your idea for the business, background information on how the idea came about and a resume of the key people involved in the business – showing skills and abilities matched to their roles within the business.

The Marketing Plan

Here you include all your market research information – in other words, what makes you think you have a market for what you will be selling, what competition is already out there, what makes you so different? You also need to set out details of your product (whether goods or services) including the features of the product, the benefits it gives to the buyer and the price. You should clearly state how you will identify possible customers and how you will promote the product to them, including your sales message (i.e.why should they buy?), the method you will use to transmit the message (i.e advertising method), how you propose to close the sale and keep the customer happy (customer service methods).

The Financial Plan

This is where you detail the specifics of how you will fund the business including; start-up costs, operating costs, marketing costs, production costs etc. It should inlude profit projections and cash flow projections for at least the first twelve months and preferably for three years.

The Operational Plan

How are you actually going to run the business? How many staff do you need?

How will you control quality?

What systems and processes will you use to ensure you keep everything on track?

If all of this looks very daunting, it can be! But getting it right will contribute greatly to the future success of your venture. To help you to put your plan together, I have included a skeleton business plan for you to simply fill in the relevant sections by answering key questions. You will find it in the downloads area of the resources section of the website.

Starting Out

Most people, whether in business or not, are too busy earning a living to make any real money!” So said a guy who became a major influence on my business life at an early stage. His name was Roy and he was what I often refer to affectionately as a `hustler’ – by which I mean someone who makes things happen by sheer force of will and personality. Roy introduced me to a number of `success’ concepts but the most important of all was the concept of setting goals.

I have since come across the same philosophy from a large number of people, all of whom are successful at what they do. They all say the same thing – “You can have anything you want if you know exactly what it is, set it as a specific objective and, most importantly, allow yourself to have it!”. So, it seams that you need to start out knowing what you want and set goals to achieve it.

Setting Goals

Over the years I have examined the ways in which these people set their goals and found a remarkably common approach. I have also refined this approach to ensure that goal conflicts don’t occur.

Hang on! What’s a goal conflict?” I hear you ask. Well, goal conflicts occur when individual goals are pursued in isolation without reference to or co-ordination with other goals. For example, a particular business goal may involve working long hours for a while or travelling away from home. At the same time you have a personal goal to spend more time playing golf, whilst a family goal may be to spend more time with the kids! Something has to give …. hence goal conflict, one goal gets in the way of others. Simple really, but so often overlooked.

So how do you get it right? First of all it is important to recognise exactly what a goal or objective is. Most people are too vague and specify aims rather than objectives. For instance an aim might be to get rich – but how do you define rich? In this case a specific objective might be – “By the end of 2008 I shall be earning $100,000 per year and have $250,000 invested.” I hope you see the difference.

A goal must be tangible, measurable, achievable and have a time scale for completion and it must be described in detail. Another example – “I want a new car” is not a goal, it is a wish and, as far as I have been able to ascertain, to get your wish you need either a genie or a fairy godmother – neither seem to be in particularly good supply!

On the other hand – “On 1 August this year I shall take full ownership of a brand new Lexus 2000 automatic in metallic red with grey trim.” – is pretty specific.


Try this exercise. Take a sheet of paper and draw a vertical line down the centre. On the left side write the heading Personal Goals and on the right side put the heading Business Goals. At the very top in the centre write the heading Immediate Objectives.

List as many immediate personal goals as you can think of on the left and do the same for business goals on the right. Personal goals are to do with achieving the life-style you want. Business goals are directed at the way you want the business to develop e.g. To increase market share to 40% or double turnover or increase profits by 25% or maybe to employ an effective manager to give you more time for other things.

Later you can do the same for medium and long term goals, say for one year and five years ahead.

Next make sure that there is no conflict between personal and business goals, or between goals on the same list, in fact business goals should ideally support the personal goals, after all, what are you in business for?

Now take three personal goals and two business ones, five in all, and think about them in more detail as in the car example above. Then write them out in a similar way to the car example, in the first person future tense. Make sure that each goal is described in full detail, that you state a date by which or on which the goal will be achieved and that you state that you will achieve it. Write them clearly in large print in priority order on a separate, clean sheet of paper. Do not show this list to anyone other than someone who is working with you towards your goals and don’t talk about it. The act of writing down your goals in this way sets in place the plan for their achievement.

Work Your Goals

Every morning read your list out aloud to yourself then close your eyes and picture in your mind the achievement of the goal. Imagine the feeling of driving the car, banking the business takings, relaxing on the sun-drenched beach or whatever your goal entails. Then put the list away and go about your daily business with confidence. What you have just done is to program your subconscious mind to act as an auto pilot to help you achieve your goals.
Operating on auto pilot is what the subconscious does best, after all it does a pretty good job of keeping us alive in an increasingly hostile environment.

It is important that having so programmed your subconscious that you now let it get on with the job without hindrance from the conscious mind. That means not actively struggling to make things happen. All things take time, but with this method they usually take less time than by applying conscious force. You will find that ideas for fulfilling your objectives will simply come to you. When they do, act on them at once and you will find yourself moving inexorably towards the kind of life you want.

As each goal is achieved place a tick next to it on the list and say “thank you” . Replace that goal with a new one and write out a fresh list, then continue the process.

How does it work? The truth is I don’t actually know. Many people have tried to give an explanation, either scientific or metaphysical, but we know too little about how the mind (or the universe) works! All I know is that whenever I use this system it gets results and it also works the same way for many other people. Frankly, as long as it does that’s all that matters to me. I don’t need to know how a computer works to use one and I don’t need to know how a car engine works to be able to drive! I’ll leave the PhDs to work
out how while I just enjoy he result.

Don’t be sceptical, give it a try for yourself. If it works for you just think how it could change your life! If it doesn’t, what have you lost?