BLOG, In The Media, JG / June 21, 2012

Planning, courage and persistence: Eight tips I wish I'd known starting out

This article originally appeared in www.womensagenda.com.au.

Dear business me,

You are doing so well. And I am really proud of you. You are successful, and a leader, and really forging a path in terms of showing what a change maker in the business arena should do. Well done you (or me?).

I apologise that I didn't have the experience back when you were starting out that we have now. However, in case time travel becomes a possibility, below are eight tips for making success happen with, if not ease, then at least some grace and perhaps a little less stress.

  1. Success is a mindset. Never forget this. Throughout the years you will experience the good, the bad and the downright ugly in terms of business and what you can expect from those involved in it. But self belief, a positive attitude, and realising the opportunity to learn -- and having a mindset for success at the same time – will get you through.
  2. Be courageous in everything you do. Have the courage to stand in your own spotlight; to use your voice, to ask for help and to be vulnerable. Don't be afraid to be different and to challenge the status quo. It is through theses challenges that change happens.
  3. Understand what makes up your value system and own it. Live it and WORK it. Your value system is unique to you and it is your responsibility to take ownership. There are times when it will be challenged and you will give in to others' values – and you will look back and kick yourself and wish you had trusted your intuition. Don't ever ignore that gut feeling. It is a key part of you, and you should learn that it is one of your best assets.
  4. Be persistent through the good and the bad. Persistence will be the extra oomph you need. Wasn't it Thomas Edison who said 'genius is 90% perspiration, one percent inspiration'? He was right. It is hard work which gets you where you want to go. Inspiration and dreams are absolutely essential to making your story happen. But unless you are prepared to dedicate yourself to that story, it will never jump off the page and into real life.
  5. Find your tribe. Don't try to fit in with others simply because you think you should. You are the average of the five people you surround yourself most closely with. So make the most of those people. Find like-minded thinkers, believers and dreamers. Work together. Collaborate. Support each other. Make the journey fun as well as hard work. It will be so much more enjoyable and far more possible.
  6. Look after yourself! You will forget this at times, I know, especially in the early stages, when you are trying to get things up and running. True success is a reflection of total vitality. Allow yourself the time to celebrate every little stage and each small achievement, to dream, to create, to rest and above all, to think.
  7. View learning and study as an investment. Learn continuously. Keep your eyes and ears open to everything around you. Recognise the gifts that are presented to you every day. See the value in the people you meet. Question them. Question their wealth of knowledge. Take in every available resource. Never ever lose sight of your goals – and learn as much as you can about your business, your industry, your world.
  8. Above all else, PLAN. When you have made a plan, make another plan. And then have a contingency plan. Above all – be prepared to make those plans fluid. Five year plans – they are fantastic. But they cannot be rigid. You will find your life, in business and generally, will keep changing. You need to be prepared for this. You need to flow and change according to your circumstances.

Enjoy the business ride, dear Me.

I know I did. And do.

Janine

This article originally appeared in www.womensagenda.com.au.

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