October 20th, 2009 Archive

Are You Ready to Build Your Dream Business?

October 20th, 2009 by Liz in Financial Freedom

I hate to burst your bubble but the figuring-out-what-your-business-is-going-to-be is actually not the first step.

If you think you have that big business idea and you’re getting ready to quit your 9 to 5, pause for a while. I don’t want to discourage you, in fact, I’d like for you get all your ducks in a row NOW and make sure you have a firm foundation before you jump off the deep end.

Before anything else, you may want to take a step back and decide what it really is that you want in life. What are your dreams? Your goals? How do you see yourself in 10 years? If you’re getting tired of your current work and you’re thinking of setting out on your own you need to think about how this will fit in your life.

Being your own boss is no joke, and you will have to work hard. You have to seriously consider how your dream business will fit with your lifestyle. Having a business when you have a family is different from having one while you’re single. Or thinking of going into business would be a different matter when you have an 8-hour job or even a part-time one. For instance, if you’re single and you don’t have a regular job, then you have a lot of time in your hands to put everything into action. But if your time is limited because of your job or your family, then you have to adjust to your situation.

Building your own business requires time and commitment and even if you do get it up and running and even if you’re experiencing success, if you aren’t able to balance it with the rest of your lifestyle, then your life is going to implode.

To avoid that, you need to start with the end in mind. So don’t rush into things. Take some time aside to think about what that end looks like. To make things easier, I’m going to give you a brief overview on how you can lay the foundation of your business so it grows strong and true. I’ll share the 6-Step Process to The Science of Creating Your Dream Business with you here, which is part of our New Order Business School Curriculum.

The 6-Step Process to The Science of Creating Your Dream Business

1. Getting Clear on Your Vision

Getting Clear on your visionThis actually involves several processes to identify what your life looks like now, determine what’s happening in your life that makes you want to start your own business, and ask yourself why you really want to do this. Basically, it clarifies the question “Why do you want to go down this road?” In this first step, you’ll be asked to paint a vision of what you want your life to look like when you have your own business. Do you want to run a home-based business so you can stay home and take care of your kids? Do you want to keep your Day Job and just earn a little extra income each month? Do you want to totally replace your current income and retire to a sandy beach somewhere and sip fruity drinks out of a coconut? Whatever you want out of life you need to begin with that end in mind.

2. What’s Your “Why”

what's your whyAsk yourself, “Why on earth do I want to have my own business?” Although there are a lot of benefits that come with it – managing your own time, having the freedom to do whatever you want, it also comes with a lot of work. So, don’t believe those infomercials that say you can get rich fast by buying a particular item. Unfortunately, that doesn’t work. There is work involved. You really need to exert effort to build your dream business. Along the way, it could be fun for you, rewarding even, and as far as I’m concerned, the only way to go. But you have to understand WHY you’re going to keep going when things get annoying.

To give an example, I’d like to share with you the story of my almost-13-year old son Chandler. This year, he started taking French class in school, and on the first day, he brought home a pamphlet from his teacher saying that the class is planning to have a 10-day field trip to France in June. Chandler was so excited to show it to us since he has wanted to go to France for YEARS . You see, a few years ago we were on a trip and were sitting in the hotel watching the Barefoot Contessa on the Food Network. In that particular episode Ina Garten was at some fabulous street market in Paris and Chandler was glued to the TV for the duration of the show. When we got home he begged me to make the entire meal. I did and since then, he’s been obsessed with France and French food.

Well now he has the chance to visit his dream destination but it comes at a price –$3424 to be precise.

The thing is, Ric and I don’t want to hand everything to him on a silver platter. We want him to learn to start taking responsibility for his own desires. We pay for his regular field trips in school but this is different. We think it’s the perfect time for him to start working for what he wants. So his plan is to start his own business even if he’s not really interested in “internet marketing” but since he’s dying to go to France, he’s willing to do what it takes. That’s his big “WHY.”

However, in your case, it might be a little different. You may want to start your own business so you could earn money while spending more time with your kids at home. Or you may want to earn more so you can travel around the world. Or if you’re in the retiring age and your children have grown up already, you may want to make more money so you could live your twilight years in luxury. Or maybe you just realized that the corporate life isn’t for you and you want to set your entrepreneurial spirit free. There could be a thousand reasons for it and you just have to sift through them to clarify that “why.”

3.  Figure Out “What’s Working” In Your LifeFigure out what's working in your life

The core here is to find out what assets you have now. It doesn’t necessarily have to be financial assets, it could be personality assets, or contacts, or knowledge about a specific topic, or even your passions. Just take stock of everything because those things will be your strengths and you want to build from there.

There are a bunch of exercises in the Science of Creating Your Dream Business for each of these steps – to take you by the hand and walk you through the entire process. Of course we don’t have the time to do that in a simple blog post, but we CAN hit the highlights here.

4. What’s Missing

what's missing“Oh no, I don’t have enough funds.” “I’m too scared to do that.” “I don’t have enough contacts.” Finding out what’s missing – this is probably the scariest part of this whole process but don’t let that discourage you. Every time someone goes through this step, they feel 10-feet tall and bullet-proof afterwards. As you go through the “What’s Missing” process, you’ll be able to figure out and neutralize what’s missing, and eventually turn these into strengths.

Part of starting a business is determining what’s missing or what you need and then finding a way to get it. Find out what’s standing in your way. Do you have enough time for it? Are your funds sufficient? Whatever constraints you have, you need to find a way to overcome them. This is probably one of the most important parts in the entire process of setting up a business.

Going back to my earlier example, of my son Chandler, his major constraint was that he’s only 13 years old. He doesn’t have a business background, much less, any experience in the world of work.

So Ric and I decided to buy him some courses that are geared to some very basic systems. Chandler can study those courses and go on from there. We provided him with some useful tools he could use in setting up his business.

Aside from his age, another constraint for him is time. He’s a full-time student and he also has extra-curricular activities, not to mention his responsibilities at home. So the challenge is to fit his business into his lifestyle. We want him to be well rounded so we set up a system wherein he can allot 10 hours a week for his business, and eventually earn the $3500 he needs for the trip. We’re helping him through this process so we can neutralize his “What’s Missing.”

5.  What’s Next

what's nextThis is where you think of an actual business idea. The plan is to combine the parts that are working with what’s missing so you can come up with “What’s Next.” For instance, you’re very passionate about food and you want to build a business related to it. One of your options is that you could start a catering business. But if one of your other passions is spending time with your family, then you’ll experience time constraints when you go into a full-fledged catering business. I mean, how could you enjoy being a caterer if you’re always on someone else’s schedule and you can’t spend time with your family whenever you want? It won’t fit at all with your desired lifestyle.

The trick is to assess your overall lifestyle first and then think of the business part. So if you combine your passions – food and family, maybe you could consider starting a food blog and figure out how to monetize it. This would be a better idea than the catering thing because with this, you could work at home while supervising the kids. The idea behind this step is to figure out what your dream business is going to look like in your life as a whole.

6. The Focus on Action

the focus on actionIn this last step, you basically put into a plan everything you’ve thought about in the previous steps and then get moving and finally start with your business. Again, you need to focus on your overall lifestyle and how you want your business to fit with it. You also have to focus on your monetary goal: How much do you need to make? If you just need an extra $500 or $1000 a month, you may not have to start with a whole huge business right away. But if you’re aiming to completely replace your current income and lead the “good life”, then your path is going to look very different. Take all of these into consideration while making your plans. The key is to assess your overall needs first and then just take it from there.

Now you know there’s more to just thinking of that great business idea when you’re planning to start your own business. There are other important steps involved like the ones I mentioned above. But that was just an overview. If this has been helpful to you, check out the full course at The Science of Creating Your Dream Business

Turn your dream business into reality.

After you check out The Science of Creating Your Dream Business, come back here and post YOUR vision – let us know what your life looks like when you’re REALLY happy with it.