Ideas with passion and personality included as standard
If you want to start a really small business and would love some real-world tips from coming up with your idea to creating your first product or service then this will be for you.
Some interesting startup stories coming later on, useful strategies and brilliant bits of advice from me and everyday small business mentors (1:1 interviews coming later) who stopped making excuses, got off their sofa and got going.
And the only difference between them and you is what they did next.
Starting a business? 11 Things To Consider:
Welcome to this episode and today I am talking about 11 things I think you might want to consider before you go headlong into the first business idea you fall in love with
Why do you want to start a business anyway?
Do you really want to give up your day job?
What kind of business do you want to start anyway?
What can you do?
Do you want to use what you do?
What assets have you got to use?
What would you really like to do?
What values do you hold?
Are you prepared for the grind?
How much can you live on?
How will you feel if you don't start your business?
Do you want to create your perfect business idea around who you are and how you want to live your life?
Are you looking to design your own job because you have totally had enough of the one you have already?
Would you like to bring some choice into your work life?
I can offer you concrete advice and offer you a unique formula to create the work-life of your dreams...Create Your Perfect Business
Rapid Transformation Therapy
Welcome to this podcast episode, and this one is all about a topic I have recently been introduced to called rapid transformation coaching
And it is a medium that offers tools and techniques to help people lead their life with less stress and anxiety.
My guest today is Helen Hardware, a UK based rapid transformation coach and she helps people overcome struggles with issues related to stress & anxiety, weight problems, lack of confidence, insomnia, fears & phobias, the improvement of sports performance, performance anxiety or even exam nerves.
I thought her explanation about the tools and techniques involved, could be really useful for any of you, would be or newly started entrepreneurs listening, who are either stuck and can’t seem to move forward in your business OR who want to get going with a business idea but you find yourself with one foot stuck in treacle and you just can’t seem to take the first step and not sure why.
Helen can share some light on some possible answers to these problems.
We touch on the topic of why confidence is important for entrepreneurs and Helen goes on to thoroughly explain the 4 universally held fears that hold many people back from success, and they are probably familiar friends to you. They are…
· Fear of judgment and worrying about what other people think
· Fear of failure and why a lot of entrepreneurs fall into this trap before they even have begun
· Fear around visibility and how it links in with worrying about what people think
· And the fear of self-sabotage, fear of surprisingly, being successful.
We also touch on the topic of Imposter Syndrome.
A problem that can manifest itself right at moments when you should be celebrating your wins, but happens when people cannot internalise and own their success.
And as a final note, Helen very kindly shares a couple of books that have helped her both personally and professionally as she moves along her own journey of entrepreneurship and self-development.
Helens Website: EmpoweringTransformation.co.uk
Brene Brown – The Gift Of Imperfection
Quote from her book: "comparison is the thief of joy"
Marisa Peer – Ultimate Confidence
Welcome to Episode 10, a very short but profound one about Procrastination
If you feel overwhelmed today and decide you are going to postpone starting your business idea prep until things get better, easier, you have more money, you are less busy, the kids go back to school or there are 8 days in the week.
I would like to share a really apt paragraph from author Tim Ferris, who, in case you have no idea how famous he is, wrote the 4-hour workweek several years ago and it is still one of the world’s top 10 business books to this day
He really has a handle on how most of us think when we promise ourselves we are going to start that business on Monday or the weekend or when we get home from work.
And I recommend you copy these words down somewhere so you can see them every day at home and keep a copy on you somewhere for when you have weak moments and need a reminder of where you want to be.
These few words really rang true with me, so I wanted to share them with you
Here is the magic paragraph about procrastination
The stars will never align, and the traffic lights of life will never all be green at the same time.
The universe doesn't conspire against you, but it doesn't go out of its way to line up the pins either.
Conditions are never perfect
Someday is a disease that will take your dreams to the grave with you.
Pro and con lists are just as bad.
If it's important to you and you want to do it 'eventually,’ just do it and correct course along the way.
And that’s it in a nutshell, very simple really isn’t it…
What exactly is it you are procrastinating about?
To move forward, right now, promise yourself you will organise your thoughts then press the start button in your mind, even if only for 5 or 10 minutes or half an hour today and not wait for tomorrow or the weekend.
Give up that time watching TV or scrolling through your social media today just for those few minutes and work on your business idea instead.
Ridiculous as it sounds the minutes really start to add up.
If you do 10 minutes every day, that is over 1 hour you have found in a week where you have said, I just don't have any time spare, which can then become half a day a month.
If you don’t change you’re thinking you will regret you never started on the path towards your dream...
You can do anything you want to you know, you just have to want to!
And if you find yourself really struggling with procrastination, I will suggest you listen to my previous podcast or read up from my website, in the article section about the topic of Obstacle Analysis.
If you find you are dragging your feet but you can’t quite put a handle on why you will probably benefit from creating an obstacle analysis grid and giving yourself a name to your problem.
That way you will be able to do something about it instead of procrastinating!
I also answered a reader's question about this topic on my website
Mentioned in this episode:
Tim Ferris - The 4 Hour Work Week (updated)
The Obstacle Analysis Grid
Welcome to episode 9 and this is more of a practical session around a book recommendation for you today about Obstacle Analysis. A simple way to understand what is blocking your move forward with your business idea and I am going to jump right into it with an exercise
I suggest you buy yourself a copy of this book because I think it will change your life regarding problem-solving for everything, forever.
But for now, you can take a piece of paper and a pen or however you would take notes and document things and create a grid with 9 boxes, 3 across the top, 3 in the middle and 3 below.
Label the boxes in whatever order you want to start with
· Other People
This is your obstacle analysis grid.
I am going to take you through a very short 2 step exercise to determine what your problem might be and which box it fits in on the grid.
And don’t be surprised if you tick more than one or 2.
Tick as many as you need.
Now the reason I suggest you buy the book is that there is a third step which involves you read in detail about the problem or problems you ticked in your boxes.
It is the second half of the book, that is dedicated to The Obstacle Analysis GridTM and I highly recommend it to anyone who is struggling and suffering a bit with analysis paralysis, procrastination or you are just plain stuck and unable to move forward with your business idea? And perhaps you have no idea why?
Alternatively, though, it could be
You are finding your will is there but you just can’t seem to take things forward and feel blocked and frustrated? Or
You suspect you know what the problem is but can't articulate it?
I thought this tool was so useful I wanted to share the concept of the obstacle analysis grid so you could put a handle on your problem quickly and stop yourself going round in circles, and getting really frustrated with yourself.
There is always an answer; you just need to know to frame it to your particular situation.
Now, this brilliant grid tool is from the number one bestseller book called You Can Have What You Want by Michael Neill, a very famous success coach for some very famous successful people such as Paul McKenna so I am very inclined to listen to what he has to say about the subject of success.
Read more here: http://www.createyourperfectbusiness.co.uk/obstacle-analysis-grid.html
You Can Have What You Want by Michael Neil
And they call her Resistance.
And she is stopping you from getting going and moving forward with your business idea.
I think Freud expressed it perfectly when he talked about the big elephant in the room to what is stopping you.
He called it a death wish and if you sit back and think about it, he was right
“That destructive force inside human nature that rises whenever we consider a tough long term course of action that might do for us or others something that is actually good”
And I completely agree, it is a very destructive force and one that needs to be overcome.
I come across people on a regular basis, who, with great conviction, say how much they want to write a book, start a business or pursue a passion.
This is then closely followed by a laundry list of reasons why whatever they say they want to do hasn’t happened yet.
I find it very, very sad; so many people are trapped in this world of resistance.
They are trapped right in that space between the full-on and real desire to do something and then moving themselves to actually doing it.
Many people live here, on Resistance Street, sad and frustrated and like that other very famous quote dismally says “living lives of quiet desperation with their song still inside of them”
So, would I be talking about you when I ask?
Are you facing obstacles, real or imagined on the path you want to go with your business idea? Or
Do you tell yourself you really want to start but find you keep doing other things instead? You know when
You make a deal with yourself to really get going, after work, or at the weekend but end up watching TV instead?
If so you then you might be facing your own spell of resistance.
Read more here about resistance on my website
Steven Pressfield- Author of The War Of Art
Other books by this author:
Do The Work
The Artist's Journey
Nobody Wants to Read Your Sh*t Anyway
Niche Business Formula
It sounds like a bit of a trendy marketing term doesn't it but actually the theory is sound.
And I really want to emphasise how useful this little bit of knowledge could be to you, right at the beginning of your business idea journey because it will pay out enormous dividends in the long run.
You might want a bit of paper and pen for this one, to write down the 4 steps.
Niching your business is a whole lot more than just saying you work with only male or female, or mums or seniors or people who just eat fish.
It is more about the problem you solve and the end result achieved from what you do to solve it.
If you can understand this simple formula then you will completely understand what a niche business is all about and why it’s a good idea to consider it as a concept to help narrow down your focus.
You will then find sharing your particular message to the right people much easier instead of trying to compete for everyone and their dog, and then getting really annoyed and demoralised because the customers you are seeking are resisting taking up your product or service.
To illustrate this point, let me direct you to a quote from a book called Switch by Chip and Dan Heath because I think they express it perfectly.
Their quote is
Resistance is created through a lack of clarity
Resistance being, people don't want to buy your product or your service because you haven't narrowed down and specifically answered the questions to all 4 parts of the formula I am about to share with you.
Let explain a bit more and you will see why this makes absolute sense.
The problem most people have with creating a niche business is a fear-based one and in reality, it is unfounded and unnecessary.
You think you will miss out on business but the truth is the very opposite of this. The reality is you will create clarity in your bit of the market and your customers will be very clear if you can help them or not. There will be no ambiguity at all and no need for resistance from them.
If you narrow down your focus you will be talking to the right people, with the right message at the right time
You can then determine with precision, exactly
Who is your business for?
What their problems are?
What you will do for them?
What the outcome will be as a result of what you do for them?
Read more about the niche business idea formula on my website
Book mentioned in this episode:
Switch - how to change things when change is hard - Chip & Dan Heath
Business idea validation is a useful method to help you answer the question
Does this business idea have any hope of taking off?
A very sensible question to ask at the beginning of your business planning and it will probably save you a lot of time and money and frustration in the long run.
So here is a really simple formula d to use and you can apply it to any industry.
Take a piece of paper or however, you want to document your answers and divide it into 4 sections
You take your idea and apply the business idea validation formula to it.
So let me explain what I mean.
Say your idea is to start a baby clothes business?
Before you even have registered a domain name, or bought business cards and absolutely before you purchase any stock you go through the validation formula very quickly.
I would use them in the following order but, you could evaluate in any order you choose as long as you cover all 4 sections.
You are checking to see if your idea has a place in the world, with your stamp on it.
And if you have the right business for the right people it makes the marketing stage effortless later on.
So Step 1 is looking to your particular network
Ask your network of friends and people you think appropriate to share your idea with if they think you have a good idea about starting a baby clothes business.
If you are a parent, for example, you can ask other parents you know for their opinion to get a ballpark idea.
Aside from the ones, who secretly are jealous or don't want you to do well you could glean a mine of information about baby clothes such as what is missing in the market, what they love about clothes, what they don't love, what their gripes are about quality, price, accessibility to the market, any number of things really.
The feedback you get here could actually make your change your mind, develop your idea entirely differently or just tweak it a bit further.
Your networks have all had hands-on experience of babies which is why you are asking them so their feedback is totally invaluable.
Don't be shy about asking, you need this type of information and level of user input to move forward towards a successful venture.
And don't discount people who you think will be "negative" because they may just have the information you hadn't given any consideration to and it could be the difference between doing well, and not. You don’t want to be blindsided by something that is really obvious to others at this crucial early stage.
You then move on to Step 2 and to validate your idea offline
Business idea validation offline means you ask real people BUT outside of your network.
This group is made up of real people, who might use your product or service, so you could survey people as an example outside the school gate, hold a mini focus group of some kind, and find other non-competing baby businesses to chat with and maybe collaborate and so on…
Go to the places you will find your potential buyers and just simply ask them what you would like to know...
Read more on my website
Find your strengths
Welcome to Episode 5 and today I am talking about Finding Your Strengths and the importance of them in your business journey.
You might want to have a pen and paper handy for notes for this one
You need to find your strengths if you want to successfully design a business around who you are.
If you want the perfect fit that is?
If you don’t find those strengths and work with them instead of fighting against them, your work life will be a big struggle.
And who the heck wants that? Life is hard enough, right?
In modern life, positive psychology is all the rage and I don’t mind it at all in the right circumstances however, the quote that reads along the lines of...
You can be anything you want to be if you just try hard enough
Really isn’t helping people at all, because it makes people think hard work is all they need.
Unfortunately, no amount of effort makes you better at something you are not born to do or be despite any amount of passion for it.
Well, I learned something interesting from something on my bookshelf recently, and I found it a complete revelation.
What do you think about this as an alternative instead?
Weaknesses are strengths in the wrong environment
I thought it was genius!
Now, doesn’t that immediately make you feel better?
At last, not some advice to try harder at what you don’t like doing much and will always fail to master no matter how long or how hard you try.
I learned this from the lovely Marianne Cantwell, she has written a great book call Be A Free Range Human and she talks about how to get off the treadmill and become the person you really want to be with a career to match.
She believes we go through life masking our strengths and trying to improve our weaknesses, to no avail, so why not just change the environment.
I absolutely love that way of looking at the world.
If you struggle to find your strengths, perhaps if you look at your perceived weakness instead, and flip your world view, you might find this approach more helpful.
Marianne explains it better.
She uses herself as an example when she was originally in the world of corporate job land
“I changed career back in the job world.
I thought I had a huge weakness of constantly wanting to change how things were done.
I came up with new ideas all the time for how we could improve the status quo.
My boss wasn’t interested; he wanted me to focus on the job at hand, which had nothing to do with creating change.
My constant need to make things better and better – and never settling for average – was a weakness when I was supposed to keep things ticking over quietly.
Then, I changed my career into consultancy...
Read more on my website
Mentioned in this episode
Marianne Cantwell - Free Range Human
Sir Ken Robinson - Finding Your Element
Tom Rath - Strengthsfinder
Finding Life Purpose, starting with a quote from James Redfield.
He is the author of super famous The Celestine Prophecy and very widely respected as a writer, actor, and screenwriter and thought leader.
He writes a lot about purpose and vision in his very successful Celestine series of books.
"Once you have learned what your life is about there is no way to erase the knowledge.
No matter how afraid you become you have no choice.
If you try to do something different with your life, you will always sense there is something missing"
Finding life purpose is actually easier than you think.
Clues are everywhere in your life and the reality is you do already know the answers, you are just not hearing or seeing them.
So in order to access the answers, you need to listen more, observe more and pay much more attention to your world around you.
Your perfect business idea can link seamlessly into your purpose in life but you need to give yourself the time and mental space to hear it and feel it.
Once you get “what you should be doing with your life”, you can build your business around your world and not your world around your business.
One thing is for sure though…
You won’t find it watching TV or sitting over a glass of chilled white moaning to your friends for the hundredth time.
Move away from the noise and chaos, you need some quiet introspection.
Read more here and access the 11 questions to ask yourself in the exercise
Learn to create your own business and design it around who you are and how you want to live your life
Words of Gratitude
Welcome to Episode 3 and today I will be talking about the absolute importance of words of gratitude
You hear a lot from others, don’t you about how grateful you should be? What are you grateful for today? by an anonymous writer “Be grateful for small mercies” or “you should be grateful you are not poor” or “think yourself lucky you have got a job or your health or your family ” and so on Insert the appropriate phrase; I am sure you get the picture.
Those common, trip off the tongue, words of gratitude, how lucky I am to be alive, how lucky I am to have food to eat, how lucky I am to have a job or whatever it was I should be eternally grateful for.
I am ashamed to say, as a younger woman I never really took any of it as seriously as I should have.
To me, it was something your elders trotted out when they wanted to make a point about you being an ungrateful little so and so.
So, naturally, it went in one ear and out the other.
It is only later and I am not really sure why the acknowledgement of words of gratitude seems to have taken on a greater significance in my life.
Perhaps it is because I can now hear all the time, the much younger generation behind me, dismissing those words of wisdom in the same cavalier fashion I did. I hear them poo-pooing parents and grandparents and elders, just like I did at their age and into early adulthood
And I don’t like it, says she who is now acutely ashamed of herself for being like it herself.
Their arrogance and sense of invincibility matched with a “nothing can touch me” attitude pervading their snorts of mocking. The “old fogeys” are just rattling on.
Recently I have found myself wondering why it has become so important to me now. I think it is because it has just dawned on me I might have become the “old fogey”...
Read more here...
Search Amazon for Words of Gratitude Journals
Mindset change is
definitely in order if you constantly think you will fail with your business idea or you think you can't have, be or do something or, you are faced with other people, however well-meaning, who point this sort of thing out to you and you believe them.
Your mindset is the single most important thing in the world to get right and keep right if you want to move forward with your business idea...
And here is my own quote about it...
"You have to treasure your mindset and nurture it like a child"
The simple truth is if you think you can’t about something then you won’t.
Lack of confidence in your ability is an absolute killer and other people can be complicit in the murder of many a fledgling business idea without even realising it.
It is SO easy to be derailed by a single random or throwaway thought, word or action in the blink of an eye.
So, if you are serious about beginning your perfect business and then actually doing something about it, then you need to get a handle on this dream destroyer straight away.
If you feel you are long overdue for a mindset change then...
Let’s start with a definition of mindset
Just so you can start with an understanding of what you are dealing with.
And I quote from one of the great dictionaries of the world - mindset is
A fixed mental attitude or disposition that predetermines a person’s responses to and interpretation of situations
An inclination or habit
Once you understand you have this fixed mental attitude or disposition that predetermines how you approach life then you can work towards change.
But what do you need to change you might ask?
Well, you need to move away from what is known as a fixed mindset where you find yourself saying
“Well I can’t do this” or “I am too old/young/fat/thin/time poor/money poor”
or other negatives such as
“Well I blame my parents/partner/children/boss/friends” for whatever it is you think you can’t be, do or have.
You then need to move into two very important and alternative mindset change patterns.
They are a business one and a growth one.
If you can’t move away from your fixed mindset and develop these two then, in all honesty it is game over before you even take the first step.
It’s a bit like a battery in a torch;
You can’t make the light shine on the negative settings.
You have to have the positive side facing the right way to make the connection.
You can press the on button for as long and as often as you like but nothing will ever happen and you will never see the light come on...
Read more here...
Mentioned in this episode:
Dr Carol Dweck - Mindset Expert
Learn to create your own perfect business and design it around who you are and how you want to live your life
Starting a small business or hoping to? Welcome to episode 1, and here is my question to you if you are. Why? Why are you doing it?
From what I see, many people seem to want to start out on their venture the wrong way round and especially for the wrong reasons.
The fact you would rather stick a pencil in your eye than keep going to work for someone or something that means nothing to you, is, surprisingly for some not the best reason for striking out on your own.
So I would like to share a few things I have learned along the way on my travels about starting a small business.
The glaringly obvious points when seen retrospectively, as I did after a number of false starts with my own efforts, become blindingly obvious. And let me tell you until I learned my lesson I made this mistake several times over.
Not just once. If you have the time to read it, I mention in my about me page on my website, how I have started several online businesses and one offline in the real world. I talk about how I didn't get on very well with any of them, I tried and failed miserably which completely put me off business at the time, I thought, for life. I made the classic assumption I was rubbish at it, with no hope.
As time went by though, with that 10th wonder of the world hindsight, I can see quite clearly the reason they all went wrong, and how I set myself up for failure every single time.
Aside from not choosing the right business model for me or the right subject area, and I will cover this in more detail in a later recording. The other glaringly obvious mistake I made was not being absolutely crystal clear as to why I ever wanted to start a business in the first place nor did I pay any heed to who I wanted to serve, or actually how I wanted to serve them.
My website and course is the premise of this topic now, after such a bad experience. I didn’t want others to have to take such a hard road.
The complete understanding of the question of why it is absolutely crucial to get right in the beginning. I can't emphasise that enough.
Ask yourself and answer honestly, why is your business in existence?
Learn to create your own perfect business designed around who you are and how you want to live your life
Business Ideas For Beginners
I decided to start this podcast as an addition to my website createyourperfectbusiness.co.uk
It is a site about helping people come up with their perfect business idea based on who they are and how they want to live their life.
A tailor-made business to add value to the world and with passion and personality included as standard.
I wanted to branch out on the website to include a podcast and talk to people who are just like you and I, starting their business from scratch and finding their way
So why did I pick business ideas then? You might be asking.
Over the years I realised I had a gift for putting ideas together for people, in ways they hadn’t thought of themselves.
And people often came to me for my advice about quite a few things, I think, because of the lateral way I process information.
I seemed to come up with an answer they hadn’t thought of, perhaps about their career or relationships or life in general.
And as career and work have been one my greatest challenges over the years I thought I would apply my talent to this area and not choose broken relationships or money problems, both of which I have excelled in with honours.
And when I found a career coaching course run by the brilliant Dr. Valerie Young (If you want to look her up, she wrote a bestselling book about The Imposter Syndrome, and you can find it on Amazon), I did actually do a little happy dance because I felt at last I had found something that felt right for me. People often talk about feeling like they are coming home to something, and here I was right at the front door with a key.
I realised I could put a frame around my talent, turn it into something useful to help others and it was possible to monetise it too.
So, the business of business ideas became my path to follow.
Mentioned in this episode:
Dr. Valerie Young - Changing Course
My course: Create Your Perfect Business Idea - From Idea To First Product or Service