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You get what you focus on

Managing start up business

You get what you focus on

Managing start up business is more than just buying at one price and selling at another.  The mind conceives all thought, all concepts, and initiates all action.  At Gary Weigh & Associates, we pay a lot of attention to your mindset.  These principles of business mind are drawn from the powerful art of Aikido.

Do you ever wonder why goal achievement, good fortune or indeed money never seems to come your way?  It may be that you have to change your mindset and your point of focus. 

When you think about what you want in life and in business, is your focus on positive aspects of your wants, or on the problems that their lack is causing? 

This law of the universe always holds true.  The more you focus on the lack and the problems the lack is causing, the more you will succeed in being without.

In the art of Aikido, we never narrow our focus to the point of attack (i.e. the apparent problem).  There is an old martial arts saying, “Don’t look, just see!”  In other words, relax your tunnel vision and take in the wider perspective.    

Your focus must always be on the solution.  To focus on the solution possibilities will always bring you closer to finding an acceptable solution.  Whereas focusing on the problem will only ever exacerbate the problem.  It only serves to draw the negative energy closer to you.

 Managing a start up business is only one aspect of life in business.  If you would like to read more about Aikido in everyday life, check out my blog at http://aikido-secrets-to-calm-success.com

Starting up a business – BOOK REVIEW

‘Small business for Dummies’ by Eric Tyson and Jim Schell

If you are thinking about starting up a business, you should read this book.  I have chosen this book to be in my personal library on this site because these guys have education, experience and most importantly, they start at the start.

In their usual ‘Dummies; style, Tyson & Schell assume nothing.  They do not credit the reader with any significant prior knowledge and they do not assume that the reader knows any of the common opportunities and pitfalls.

This book is a great guide for any novice to business.  It provides an introductory treatment across a wide range of business subject matter and would make a great reference book for the office..  Experienced business operators would probably prefer something a little more in depth.

The only drawback for Australians is that this is an American publication.  Therefore U.S. tax laws and other legal framework do not apply in Australia.  It is not an in-depth treatment and I would advise everyone to seek advice from an accountant and lawyer before starting up a business.

However, that does not detract much at all from the book.  Business basics and business principles remain constant the world over.  And what makes this book a ‘must have’ in your personal library is the easy writing style and easy to understand concepts.

For the budding entrepreneur with a great idea and no knowledge in starting up a business, this is a book to buy as one of your start up guides.  Find it in my personal library on the right hand side panel of this page → →

Until next time!

Gary

Also read the free download Aikido Secrets to Calm Success at http://www.aikido-secrets–to-calm-success.com

Starting up a business – the benefit of experience

When starting a business, there are two distinctive traits that work strongly in the favour of the everyday entrepreneur.  These are:

  • Previous experience; and
  • Non-conformity

Previous experience builds useful context for making decisions, many of which have to be made under some pressure.  The great thing about previous experience is that it doesn’t have to be your own.  You just have to have access to it.  Hence, there arises the need for a coach, mentor or key employees.

Even though non-conformity is a key element of entrepreneurship, it is important to know what has gone before so that you can either ignore it or build on it.

I have been a practitioner of Aikido for many years.  (If you want to find out more visit my dojo’s website http://www.griffithaikido.com.au).  There is a huge syllabus to learn and there are many mistakes to make along the way.  Time on the mat with a good instructor and fellow practitioners builds experience and proficiency.

The same applies when it comes time to make business decisions.  Time in the decision maker’s chair, time in the industry, and regular practice with other people (i.e. customers, staff, suppliers, collaborators, professional advisers) helps build a mental inventory of solutions that have worked well in similar circumstances.

In the end, most people succeed because they are determined to, but access to knowledge and experience will certainly help you reach your goals sooner.  It also conserves money by not wasting so much of it by stumbling in the dark.

I will discuss the need for non-conformity in my next business planning blog.  Check out my other blog at http://www.aikido-secrets–to-calm-success.com

Until next time!

Gary

Starting up a business – The pitfall of over-optimism and poor research

A big mistake in starting up a business is to get so carried away on a wave of beginner’s optimism that you are lulled into not doing sufficient homework.

You start to believe your own advertising to the point where you become convinced that people will come to you and buy your product or service, merely because you open the front door for business.

That is one of the great business myths and the downfall of many hopeful business starters.  Don’t let this happen to you!

It is really easy to rely on optimistic levels of sales and unrealistically low levels of expenses when you are formulating your first business plan and operating budget.  This is particularly dangerous when you have no sales and no history in your business to guide you.

Why? Because you are forced to rely on your own expectations!  Because you have everything riding on a successful outcome, you make unrealistic estimates.

In my experience, people who are desperate for their business to work tend to use over-optimism as the basis for those estimates.  The planning becomes a self fulfilling prophesy.

You subconsciously fudge the process to get the results you want.  Of course you can make anything look good on paper by simply fiddling with the underlying assumptions.

It doesn’t help though.  The reality check quickly comes when you open for business and you see how wrong you assumptions were.

Then the journey gets really difficult.  Early losses start to mount up and sales remain nothing more than a trickle.

I can’t emphasise strongly enough how important it is to do your homework thoroughly and work with realistic assumptions.  It is important to be conservative when you don’t have runs on the board.  If it turns out that you have been too conservative, then you will get a pleasant surprise when the reality check comes.

If you are thinking of starting up a business and you want to retain a happy Life Balance, go visit http://www.aikido-secrets-to-calm-success.com

Until next time!

The Coach

Starting up a business – Don’t let small thinking derail your great idea

Another common flaw that I see among those starting up a business is to think in terms of survival only.  They measure their success in terms of still being in business in six month’s time.

This is a real mistake!  Doing things on a shoe-string budget invites shoe-string thinking.   Cutting corners and thinking small can cause you to adopt a defensive ‘small thinking’ attitude in the start up phase.  That is not good for business!

If you truly believe in your products and services, then you should look past the first few months and plan for a long and prosperous future.  What is required is an optimistic and assertive strategy.  Even though your resources may be scarce, it is a time for positive, expansive and innovative thinking.

Your business planning and your financial management should address the needs of a business destined to succeed.  That includes its ‘start up capital’ requirements.

“But I only have a very limited budget!” I hear you cry.

Everyone has limitations on their budget.  No one wants to spend more than they have to.  You must decide whether your limited budget is enough to achieve your goals or is it only enough to finance a slow and agonizing slide into oblivion.

If it is the latter, then figure out how to get more money, or don’t start.  That is the whole point of business planning and financial management.  You must do your homework thoroughly and face the future with realistic assumptions.

For more reading on financial management and your path to financial wellbeing, visit http://www.aikido-secrets-to-calm-success.com

Until next time!

The Coach

Starting up a business – The pitfall of giving away equity

When starting up a business, it is common to see inexperienced business starters with no financial management skills, prepared to barter away equity (ownership) in the early days in return for a much needed service.   For example:

They seek to establish a website as cheaply as possible, even to the extent of offering a e.g. website designer part ownership of the business in lieu of payment

Now I am not against website designers.  It’s just that new business owners think that a website is the first thing they need.  They often see a website as the answer to all their sales and marketing prayers.  Nothing could be further from the truth but that’s another story.

If this is you, consider this!  While giving away a slice of your business may seem to be a good idea at the time, you won’t think so in a couple of years time when you have a million dollar business and a business partner who bought a good slice of it for the price of a website (e.g. $1,000 – $2,000 or so), and now can do nothing else but e.g. design websites.

The first mistake you made was seriously undervaluing your business in the first place when you were starting up the business.  You took the pessimistic view and figured that you were giving away nothing in return for a website with a real dollar value.  What a great deal hey?

Silly ole you!  Deep down, you didn’t really think you would succeed did you?  You didn’t seek advice and you didn’t stop to think that a shareholder in your business is a permanent fixture; as permanent as a married spouse and potentially just as expensive to separate from.

Nothing deteriorates a business relationship faster than a person who doesn’t pull their weight.  After a year or two of having the website designer as a passenger in your business, you will be seriously regretting having this person as your partner.  Oh, a ‘silent partner’ you say?  Trust me, they are rarely silent.

Let’s say you gave the web designer 20% of your business in return for a $2,000 website when you mistakenly valued your business at zero.  When your business grows and is valued at $1M, that 20% share is going to be worth $200,000.   I hope it was a good website.

But wait, there’s more!  The shareholder may not want to sell.  By this time, you might be the best of enemies.  It may cost you a lot more than $200,000 to buy back your business.   And do you have that kind of money sitting in the bank for a moment like this?  The answer is usually ‘no’.

This is why it is so important to seek advice.  Any competent business coach or adviser will tell you that having a partner, with skills you may use only once, and who makes no other contribution except for a couple of thousand dollars of labour and expertise, is a bad investment and an even worse permanent relationship to get into.

For more reading on starting up a business and smart financial management, read my Life Balance series at http://www.aikido-secrets-to-calm-success.com

Until next time!

The Coach

Starting up a business – The importance of financial management

How much start up capital will I need? In my experience, the most common way for people starting up a business to estimate their start up capital needs, is to have an educated guess.  The problem is that the guess is not at all an educated one.   Hence the need for thorough business planning and competent financial management!

Those who do try to work it out generally underestimate what it takes to start a business.  Inexperience causes them to not consider many of the issues and costs involved.  Hence ‘initial set-up’ budgeting is done considering only the matters (and costs) that appear obvious to them.  This is often well short of commercial reality.

Many people thinking about starting up a business have no idea about the extent of what is actually involved.  Therefore, they are oblivious to all of the costs involved.

They wonder whether they should trade as a sole trader, a partnership or a company.  They are generally oblivious to the issues surrounding an ABN (Australian Business Number), business name registration, intellectual property and taxation.

It would be so easy to go see an accountant who would outline all the relevant issues and their costs but to many, that means having to spend money on stuff that seems irrelevant to the core task of starting up a business.

Hello!! You can’t hope to be in business without spending some money now and again.  Let me assure you that buying good advice is what the smart people starting up a business do.

For more reading on financial management and your path to financial wellbeing, visit http://www.aikido-secrets-to-calm-success.com

Until next time!

The Coach

Business start up – mind first, business second

Yep, that's me! At a 70's party two weeks ago

I have been a business coaching, consulting, training and mentoring for 25 years now.  For 24 of those years I would never have believed that I would be conducting mind calming and centering exercises with clients in the local Botanical Gardens.

One of the greatest gifts I have ever received is the gift of Aikido.  Yes it’s a Japanese martial art and its great self defence but that’s not important.  The important part is the accompanying mind development.

I have practiced Aikido for quite a few years now and the penny has finally dropped.  My mind switch from ‘fearful, over-competitive and stressed’ to ‘non-fearful, calm and non-aggressive’ has been an amazing transformation for me.

Losing my fear has been nothing short of a revelation.  I don’t mean that now I have a brash disrespect for obvious danger.  What I mean is that it is great to lose that brain-chatter level of worry and self doubt.  Those two critters and the raft of negative thoughts they create really do sink a lot of otherwise successful ventures.

What makes an entrepreneur successful is his or her mindset – nothing else.  The opportunism, motivation, persistence, optimism, creativity, leadership, hard work and the other defining attributes all come from the mind.

The reason people fail in business is because they don’t have the right mindset.  It is as simple as that.

Now I’m not a psychologist but I have come to realise that it is mindset first, business second.  The symptoms I commonly see are fear and self doubt which can manifest them selves as lack of focus, procrastination and inertia.

In many cases, it results in over-compensation with aggressive and over-competitive behaviour.  Most of those rude, blustering, aggressive, always-right business types are train wrecks on the inside.

So anyway, back to the Botanical Gardens story.  One day I decided to conduct an experiment on a client.  I arranged to meet her at the gates of the local botanical gardens and I was prepared with a set of exercises based on the relaxation exercises and centering techniques used in Aikido.

My goal was to calm her mind and guide her to a state of feeling grounded and centered.  The Botanical Gardens was the only place of peace and beauty I could think of.

It worked and I wrote down the exercises for her so that she could do them at home.  I have never heard of a business coach doing such a thing.  I reckon I might be the only one but if it helps people to break the mind-shackles and achieve their dreams then I am happy to share.

Until next time!

Gary

If you would like to know more about how to start your own business contact me at gary@garyweigh.com and visit http://www.garyweigh.com/blog/business-startup

If you would like to read more about Aikido mind development visit my Aikido Secrets site at http://www.aikido-secrets-to-calm-success.com

Business start up – all in a day’s work for an Aussie female entrepreneur!

One of my very good friends is an amazing female entrepreneur.  Over coffee this morning she told me this amazing story.

Last Saturday, she met a new client for lunch in a local coffee shop bistro.  It was supposed to be a straight forward business start up meeting with this lady for an online internet marketing business.  It was a hot day and they sat inside the restaurant in the cool air conditioning.

My friend had her handbag sitting on her lap with her arm resting on top of it but did not have her arm through the strap.  They hadn’t been seated for very long when my friend’s handbag was taken from this position – and she didn’t feel a thing!

It took her client to point out several times that a young well dressed guy had just snatched her bag and was now out the door and running away down the street.   By the time my friend came to full realization of what had just happened the guy had a considerable head start.

She described him as being in his twenties, tall, of slim build and well dressed in casual clothes.  My friend is about 5’7” (170cm), almost twice his age, not so fit, with a heart condition and was wearing high heels.

She mowed this guy down inside two blocks (in high heels).  She recalled that after sprinting down one block she was running out of gas fast.  With a ‘now or never’ attitude she found overdrive and scorched down the second block running on pure adrenalin.

His mistake was to turn a corner and stop to see if she was still chasing.  She was, and as she rounded the corner, the guy took off again up a short hill.

She planted her hand into the middle of his back and grabbed a handful of shirt.  Some how without losing her own balance, she kicked him in the back of the knee and felled him to the pavement like a steer that had just been roped.  The momentum caused him to skid for a metre or so to a skin grazing halt.

Without allowing him to take his face out of the pavement she reclaimed her handbag and let him have it with a few well chosen expletives.  Unfortunately for the thief, that section of pavement was finished with exposed aggregate.

He wasn’t a pretty sight when he staggered to his feet bleeding profusely from gravel rashes on his face, hands and forearms.  He ran off and once again stopped (slow learner) at the next corner to look back to make sure he was free and clear.

He wasn’t!  Moments later a police car entered the street and followed in hot pursuit.  Fortunately, someone in the footpath crowd, which moments before had magically parted like the Red Sea, had called the cops.

My friend hasn’t had as much as a minute of tuition in any martial art, but due to her profession she does have a deep understanding of the Universal energy.  She said she connected with the thief and stayed connected.  The rest was pure heart and adrenalin (and her body’s distant memory of high school running).

Knowing I am an Aikido practitioner, my friend said she realises that it wasn’t the aikido thing to do to run after a thief or a mugger but, without conscious thought, as her primal fight or flight reaction kicked in, she decided that she wasn’t going to be a victim.

Who was I to argue?

Until next time!

Gary

Post Script: When she finally recovered from the shock, spoke to police and returned to her client at the restaurant, they decided the business start up could wait a couple of days and went to the pub!

Visit http://garyweigh.com/business-startup

Business start up – 7 entrepreneurial traits to start & 3 to succeed

The Empress, Victoria B.C.

Entrepreneurs are often described as impulsive, energetic, genius risk takers and charismatic leaders.  No doubt there have been quite a few of these personalities in business start ups throughout history.  But does that really help define the underlying traits of entrepreneurship?  I don’t think so!

When we think of entrepreneurs, we automatically think of successful entrepreneurs.  We tend not to associate the word ‘entrepreneur’ with failure or unsuccessful business people.

It is easy to laud successful entrepreneurs as heroes and visionaries.  It is just as easy to label unsuccessful entrepreneurs as egotistical losers.  To do so however, is to misconstrue the concept of entrepreneurship.

It is in a similar way that we misconstrue the concept of ‘risk’.  We focus only on the downside of risk – the risk of loss.  No one except trained finance boffins ever talks about upside risk or the risk of winning.  Yet risk is a positive and negative concept.

It is the same with entrepreneurship.  Some entrepreneurs are successful and some are unsuccessful.  And some try and fail many times before finally succeeding.

So merely exhibiting entrepreneurial traits is no guarantee of business success.  It merely defines the type of person most likely to get off their ass and give it a go.

So with that in mind, I have listed what I believe to be the 7 entrepreneurial traits required merely to give a business start up a go – with no guarantee of success:

  1. Uncomfortable working for others
  2. Enthusiasm and motivation to make it work
  3. An ethic of hard work
  4. Sees opportunity, not problems
  5. Can enlist others in their cause
  6. Has intuitive good judgment
  7. Can attract necessary knowledge and skill

Now here are the final three entrepreneurial traits that, in my experience, distinguish the successful from the unsuccessful:

  1. Has sharp awareness of own strengths and special skills; an honest recognition of own weaknesses plus an appreciation of what is lacking; doesn’t presume to know everything or do everything
  1. Takes much of the risk out of risky ventures by carefully matching products and services to consumer demand, by thorough business planning, by excellent team building and by adherence to sound business practices, particularly financial management
  1. Is doggedly persistent and not deterred by setbacks and failure; recognises that success is a journey, not an overnight outcome; always finds a way; has the ability to maintain a calm positive mind in the face of adversity; recognises that mind is everything; becomes creative to survive

Until next time!

Gary

For 100 top business start up ideas and lots more tips and traps for entrepreneurs, read my latest book at:

http://garyweigh.com/recession-riches-and-wealth