Starting your own business is like having a child. There’s never a good time. You can talk and plan all you want, but sometimes, you just need to jump right in.
After 23 years working in London, I did the unthinkable. I gave up my salary, commission, office buzz, world-class coffee, delicious client lunches and overpriced trendy bars to become an author and expert sales coach.
When you reach your mid-40s, the people you care about start to endure health problems or lose a parent, so you take a closer look at your life.
Lesson One: Save Money
I jump into things, it’s a blessing and a curse. With only book royalties to live off and 1 months savings, I burned through cash fast – setting up a limited company, business cards, brochures, an accountant, attending networking events. Have 6, preferably 12 months savings in the bank.
Lesson Two: Invest Massively In Yourself
I attend numerous business courses, personal development conferences and invest in a sales coach at least once a month. So far in 2018 I’ve invested almost £9,000 to stay ahead. All successful entrepreneurs invest massively in themselves and a sales coach will help scale your business.
Lesson Three: Give Enormous Value To Others
When people don’t know you, why would they spend money with you? That was the challenge I was facing. So I started giving free 10-15 minute talks at business events about why sales is important for your business. Two minutes of humorous insight to get their attention and eight minutes of valuable takeaways they can start implementing. At the end, I offer a free 121 sales coaching session worth £195 for everyone who spends bought my Amazon bestselling book, Everybody Works in Sales. That got me in the door and 20% of businesses signed me up for paid-for coaching after the free session.
Lesson Four: Tell Great Stories
Everyone is so busy in 2018, so you need to get their attention immediately. People connect with stories, more than facts or statistics. I have lived a unique life -- Indian man growing up in an Irish society -- had an arranged marriage to a woman I met for 20 minutes -- father awarded an MBE from Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace -- I have stories that people listen to.
Lesson Five: Learn To Switch Off
Working for yourself involves long hours. You have to balance too many things in a day. Material to read. Events to attend. Clients to pitch. More articles to read. Emails to reply to. Then you have to fit in paperwork, sending invoices and chasing invoices… it’s never-ending and I was going to burn out from working seven days a week. So I meditate every day for 20 minutes. I walk every morning for 30 minutes with my Smartphone switched off. It’s vital to take a breaks throughout the day.
Lesson Six: Surround Yourself With Good People
Find friends that support you. Mentors that have been where you’ve been. Fellow entrepreneurs you can share wat stories and successes with. It helps you through the bad days and there will be a lot of bad days as well as good ones.
Niraj Kapur is author of Amazon bestseller "Everybody Works in Sales".