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Three in five Americans dream of starting their own business. That means 61% of people are sitting at their desks or behind a counter daydreaming about leaving behind the work they actually do and finding the calling that fills their cup. As many as 92% of those dreamers never start: most people never turn dreams into doing.
Wantrepreneurs are often held back by financing problems or lack of technical know-how. Even more say they just don’t know how to get started. But it doesn’t matter how you start your business. If you’ve got a fire burning inside to build your own business and be your own boss (BYOB), you can do it. You haven’t taken the plunge – not yet.
If you’re ready to stop saying “what if” and BYOB, it starts with a simple recipe: vision plus people plus systems.
Vision: the what
Start with a blank sheet of paper. By harnessing the power of your vision and going into extreme detail, that blank sheet of paper becomes your Painted Picture – a crystal clear snapshot of where you will be in the future.
Your mind works consciously and unconsciously 24/7 to bring the things you see in your imagination into reality. You are limited only by the clarity of your vision. It is almost as if, in the moment of dedication, the universe conspires to help you.
People generally think about goal setting in two ways: pie-in-the-sky hopes and dreams, and strategic planning. According to more than 200 scientific studies, the best way to achieve real results is to use both with the help of mental contrasts. Following your dream in the sky with actionable steps will give you the inspiration and game plan you need to reach your desired destination.
To create a Painted Picture, you have to move yourself five years into the future. Ask yourself some important questions: What things did I do five years ago that really paid off? Why were they the right things to do? What almost stopped me from doing those things? Once you answer these questions, you’ll know exactly what your future looks like. Then you can start building the team and strategy that will help you there.
People: The Who
My start-up junk trucking company, The Rubbish Boys, was making about a million dollars a year when I was haunted by the questions, ‘What if I had the right people? How different would my business be?”
I had made my Painted Picture of happy, uniformed workers in clean, shiny trucks that became the FedEx of junk removal, but we hit a plateau. I realized that I had hired the wrong people and that I had to start over if I wanted to turn my vision into reality. It broke my heart when I fired the entire company – all 11 people – in one day.
Then I made “The Beer and BBQ Test”. It’s two simple (and delicious) steps to finding people who really fit our culture.
First I wonder:
Do I find this person interesting?
Is this person genuinely interested in what we do?
Can I imagine having a beer with them?
The second part is about deciding whether the person is a good addition to our team in general. If I threw that candidate into a group setting, like a corporate barbecue, would they find a way to connect? What do they bring to the group dynamics?
To encourage people to follow your vision, help them see themselves in it. When you empower your people and value them for their contributions, your people will become more involved in helping you realize your vision. Never underestimate the transformative power of human capital.
Systems: the how
Entrepreneurs rarely take the time to experiment, refine and systematize every process. But if your vision is your pole star and your people are your crew, systems are the roadmap to get you where you want to go.
Your systems depend on the type of business you build: are you starting from scratch or joining a franchise? The type of business you choose to build also depends on whether you are the type of entrepreneur who lives in the big dreamscape or if you are an achiever who can get things done.
Think of it this way: the visionary maker of a new company is like the builder of a race car. Do you want to build a race car? Or do you want to drive a racing car? Either way can lead to great success, but winning the race is much more likely if your race car is already on the track.
Regardless of the path you choose, you cannot win without tested and refined systems. Create them or buy them, surround yourself with people who believe what you believe and feel what you feel and who embrace your infectious vision.
This article is an excerpt from the book BYOB: Build your own business, be your own boss by Brian Scudamore.