Posts

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 – 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