How to Run your 1st Successful Business

Jan. 31, 2015 by

As an entrepreneur, you don't run one business that's a homerun. You run many businesses that are base hits before your grand slam. Meaning, don't expect to run your first business and make 1 Million+. Entrepreneurs run businesses FOR LIFE. It's not a one or two time thing, it's a LIFESTYLE. Focus on small successes and they'll compound into large ones. 

So here is my advice on how to ACTUALLY run your first successful business. 

1. Run a service based business - Products take time to build, but you could start running a service based business TODAY. It is a direct trade of time for money and it can be any skill ( moving lawns, tutoring/teaching, personal training ). Make a flyer, hang it somewhere your customers will see, and eventually, someone will call. You will be able to actually learn business and YOU'LL BE MAKING MONEY. Or you could spend 3-6 months developing a product...and not get paid. 

2. Focus on money - How many days until your first $1? Literally, what day do you expect someone to hand you cash...and who is it? Money is REAL and is one of the best metrics to check if your making the right decisions. Ask yourself how much money did you make THIS WEEK. 

3. Do you really NEED it? - Do you really NEED a website? Do you really NEED weights to personal train? Do you really NEED an office? The answer is NO. These are all things that are nice to have, but not necessary to start. Start with the ABSOLUTE NECESSARY things you need to make your 1st dollar, and nothing more. 

4. Using EXISTING software to automate/ digitize your business - We are in the 21st century, there is EXISTING software to automate pretty much anything. (I know because I build web apps!). Look for ways to lighten your load, but instead of interns or employees, use programs. You can automate scheduling, surveys, emails, invoices, anything. Google is a great, free way to automate/ digitize your business. Gmail for emails, Google Drive to save/share files and documents, and Chrome store for other apps that integrate. 

5. Ridiculous, SICKENING Work Ethic - Have a credo. Running a business is HARD. There are highs and lows. When you have low times, you're tired, and it's 2am and you want to go to bed. You need a saying, or thought, or belief that the effort you are putting in now is in the purpose of something greater. Business is competition, so you have to work harder and want it badder than someone else. My first successful business was SDSUeeTutor. I started tutoring for $20/hr and grew to $30, then $50/hr. Tutoring engineering and programming gave me the skillset to enter the software field, now I charge $80/hr and have a software product, HoursLogger. Small wins are necessary to grow. TRUST ME. 

Spend time consulting, not tracking time.


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