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  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–

Until next time!


Business planning – the business mind

In business planning, much has been written and said about entrepreneurial thinking and the traits that entrepreneurs have in common.  But not much is said about actually developing the mind set that supports entrepreneurial thinking.

Let’s widen the definition of entrepreneur beyond the person with the big business idea who has the charisma and tenacity to win support for its successful implementation.

Now let’s call them the ‘everyday entrepreneur’ and include anyone who has a dream; has the guts to take a risk and have a go; and who gets a result, either good or bad.  So in my view, that can be:

  • Every business owner
  • Any action-driven risk taker in any context – e.g. business, sport, science
  • Anyone who attempts to network for gain; and
  • Anyone who addresses groups or speaks publicly

That’s a lot of people.  Well that’s my point!

Most heroes go unnoticed in this world, as do most entrepreneurs.  Your name doesn’t have to be Richard Branson, Dick Smith or Donald Trump to take a risk and have a go.

Many people try and many people stumble because they run into problems that they feel ill-equipped to solve.  That’s why it’s a common to hear of entrepreneurs having many failures before finally achieving success.

It is my experience over the past 30 years that all people have dreams; the majority have the entrepreneurial streak (in the wider definition), but most lack the mind skills to see it through to successful implementation.

More on business planning – the business mind in my next blog.

Check out my other blog at http://www.aikido-secrets–

Until next time!


Small business marketing – become a teen entrepreneur (part 2)

Extraordinary photograph courtesy of Spiral Photography

Continuing on from my last post, here are two more innovative ideas for teen entrepreneurs to join the small business marketing process.

Techno problem solver

If everyone over 50 is like me, then they don’t have the first clue about programming the new TV, undoing the onscreen nightmare that’s created when a wrong button is pressed on the TV remote; setting up the DVD player; and what the hell does a router do; getting online with a brand new computer; creating a Facebook page; organizing the first Skype conversation; setting up Windows Outlook; and making the plethora of associated gremlins go away.

The list goes on and on!  I need my adult children around just so I can live my life without an electronic or online disaster.

Therefore if you can effortlessly take care of all this stuff then you are valuable to almost half of the Australian population.  People will pay you handsomely for your assistance and advice.

Personal concierge

Busy people who work long hours don’t have time to do anything for themselves.  The main reason is that they have no time during the week when other businesses are open.

Many are also reluctant to give up valuable weekends to do boring stuff like food shopping.  Here are just a few things that need to get done:

  • Pick up children from school or daycare
  • Make medical & dental appointments
  • Go shopping for clothes
  • Do grocery shopping
  • Make travel bookings
  • Get dry cleaning done
  • Find theatre & concert tickets
  • Find a good restaurant
  • Buy Christmas, birthday & anniversary gifts
  • Organise events and other people

People need things to get done but they don’t have time to do it themselves.  Many are willing to pay someone else to get things done so life can go on harmoniously.

The trick here is to be super-organised, good at multi-tasking, very creative, and to have great contacts around town.  There will always be the occasional difficult request which distinguishes the very good concierge from the ordinary.  Having a good personal concierge is like having a good hairdresser and a trustworthy mechanic.

If you want to read more about becoming a teen entrepreneur and tips about small business marketing go to

Until next time