I was recently given the opportunity by Wenta to give a talk to entrepreneurs about the most valuable things I have learnt since I started trading.
Below is a list of the 8 lessons I found most important. This is by no means a complete list and will surely be updated as I go along. I hope you find the compilation useful!
1. Embrace feedback
This can be a challenging one, but is really the key to development. Welcome comments as if they were manna from heaven!
- Be willing to adapt style, services/products
- Swallow your pride
- Listen for golden, game changing advice
2. Network at training sessions
Training events are 50/50 improving skills and making connections, no matter how interesting the sessions are!
- Avoid staying in the background
- Fellow participants are in the same boat
- People are likely to understand you
- Bond by sharing challenges & contacts
- Encourage each other
- Link on social media
- Participants can be potential clients
- Make sure you stay in touch via social media
3. Find your right forum(s)
Some people play podcasts like first fiddle, others flourish on Facebook while a third group triumph on Twitter. Find out which medium(s) work best for you and zoom in.
- Social Media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram among others)
4. Update social media every day
Show others that you are alive and thriving. Don't leave your last update in 2012, bring it back to the future where it belongs!
- Keep in touch with clients
- Say active and update regularly
- Share news and show you follow trends/research
- Allow people to get to know you
5. Work on the website
Your page is the window to the world and you want to make it easy to skim through. Help people quickly assess who you are in 10 seconds or less and they might stay on your page.
- Structure your page with a balance of text and images
- Social media icons need to be visible and at top and/or bottom of each page
- Use professional high quality PNG (adapt to screen size) images
- Paragraphs should be 3-5 lines maximum
- Make sure that website looks good on mobile phones
6. Be confident
When you speak with confidence, excitement and beam with positive energy, people feel it. We focus on who we can trust and respect. Be that person.
- Step into the role of the entrepreneur
- Be proud of your services/products
- You are your own best USP
7. Tell everyone you know
Christmas, Easter and Diwali are not just holidays; they are also occasions during which you tell your nearest and dearest about your latest pursuits and ask if they know anyone who may be interested. Finally, do not, I repeat, do not under any circumstances forget your business cards.
- Tell others about your business at family events
- Share updates with friends
- Always carry business cards
8. Follow your passion, not your purse
I have had business advisors telling me to focus on intercultural training, while what worked best was life coaching and motivational seminars. Listen and learn, and in the end go with your gut.
- Make sure you focus on products/services you feel excited about
- Choose products/services that will keep you going during the late hours
- Focus on what you believe in
I hope the above lessons helped. Feel free to contact me with comments or questions!
I wish you good luck with your business!