Most people quit. They quit because either they don't get the results they want fast enough. Or they have too many things going on and they flit between projects. Or the size of their expectation doesn't match the size of the effort that they are prepared to put in.
But you are not most people. You are different. That's why you're reading this post. You think you just might've found the project to get those results. And you're prepared to put in the effort, you have put in some already.
You need to keep going because you've lifted the lid on the cookie jar. You've thought about what life would be like if you could get your thing going. Pyschologically you've come too far to settle for a job doing something you don't want to do, going somewhere you don't want to go with people you don't want to see.
But how do you keep going? How do you get unstuck when you haven't made the progress you want to make? How do you keep going? The answer is in three parts:
This is part a: Patience, do one thing well (focus), massive action
This is part b: Chunk it, set goals, measure
This is part c: Persistence, fun and connection
This is part d: If you want to change the way you earn money, you have to change the way you think.
You know what you need to do.
Yes THE Einstein. He knew one or two things about life, creativity, business and a whole lot more. But the question is, why does E=MC squared? Anyone reading this who has been to one of our workshops will have sat in excruciating pain whilst at this point I play hangman.
Well I got a D in Physics so rather than muse about the energy and light and unfathomable crap (important crap but gobbledeegook to me) I took the letters and substituted them to help start-ups. A kind of start-up business success formula.
E=ENTERPRISE - random aside - the word enterprise doesn't directly relate to business although it has been hijacked by successive governments to get people starting businesses. It means to undertake a difficult task with boldness and adventurous spirit. I'll say.
M=MOTIVATION - if you wake up tomorrow morning excited to work on your business, chances are you're gonna be ok. If you'd rather set fire to your eyeballs than make a sale, then Houston - we have problem, to coin a phrase.
C=CONFIDENCE - at PopUp, one of our principles is to "spend as much time building your confidence as you do building your business. Imagine this: two planet Earth's. Planet no.1 is where the confident people live. That's where the fun is, where the parties are and where the opportunities are in abundance. Unlike planet Earth number two, where the not so confident people live. There's not as much fun, nowhere near as much cash and definitely not as many opportunities.
As far as we know (unless you're a Star Trek fan) there is only one planet Earth. Which means if we can go about our day full of confidence, then opportunities will be flying out of the walls to meet us.
For all of these reasons, we show people how to make money doing what they love to do. They're more motivated, they grow in confidence but they spend more time in their business because it's what they love.
These are the foundations. We don't add the skills and the strategy until we've got the foundations right otherwise, in business terms, we're buggered.
For more help, subscribe to our YouTube channel. We're putting up videos faster than you can shake a stick at.
We might all be just one tail whip away from greatness. More on that shortly. What I'm not going to do is analyse the business model of the skate park. That might be a bit near the bone for the owners of the one I was hanging in yesterday.
What's more interesting is the entrepreneurship lessons that can be learned by watching the skaters (scooterers doesn't look quite right as a word) do their stuff. I observed three teenagers make massive progress, grow in confidence and have a great time while they're doing their thing with their scooters. Even if their tricks made me feel a bit sick - especially when my kids started tying to copy them. Here's why:
In most western nations, entrepreneurship is taught as a solo sport (soapbox warning). However whilst as individuals we read, learn and strategise the most overlooked ingredient of success is peer support and the activity missing from the daily routine of most of us striving for success is to celebrate. Celebrate the achievements whether successful or not. Well done you. Keep going. Most people never take action and you're doing it. You rock.
Now read this again and substitute the word scooter with 'business' and 'tricks' with 'ideas' and you might get what you need.
The tail whip could bruise your ankles, but it's worth trying while your friends are there to support, whether to applaud, replicate and improve upon or maybe call the ambulance.
Quite a lot. A lot more than I thought possible. So my boy's scooter goes missing, probably liberated after being left outside our house in the evening. For the benefit of those without young kids, in 2016 when you're 7, your scooter is everything. It ranks right up there with oxygen, YouTube and cookies. But rather than get angry with the world and mope about the house (that was my my role) he asked himself these questions:
1. How much will a new scooter cost?
2. What can I do to get money to buy one?
3. How quickly can I get mum to help me make cookies for me to sell?
Bless him; he'd already figured out that a scooter wasn't going to reappear funded by the bank of Dad. I know what you're thinking: 'Is this going to be one of those smug parent blog posts, dripping on about how great his kids are?' I mean he impressed the hell out of me, but it's not a vomit article, I promise.
Lesson 1: The principle of changing focus
As adults we waste time on 'how did this happen,' 'whose fault is it' and my favourite which was drive around the streets looking for teenagers to threaten. The last one was moderately enjoyable, but not that helpful.
H's approach, by asking himself 'how do I make this better?' meant his creative brain spent time solving problems rather than getting 'aggy.'
Long story short, we buy the ingredients, he bakes cookies and then with a plastic box and a handmade sign he immediately embarks on the most brutal sales approach of them all - door to door cold-calling.
Lesson 2: The principle of no fear
This isn't about confidence, he's quite the introvert. It's just that he hasn't been uploaded with the adult apps: fear of being judged 1.0, or the fear of rejection 1.1. The fact that someone might say 'no' had zero impact on his willingness to act. If they say 'no,' I'll just knock another door was his attitude. He was happy to ask for sales until he got the results he wanted. The third batch, was perfect and he made £6.05. Only £122.95 to go. Good dollar when you're seven.
Lesson 3: The principle of immediate action
Most start-ups we meet don't take this kind of action. He didn't delay for a second. He went from concept to cookie sales in less than four hours. He had 10x'd his sales within 24 hours. We meet people who spend months writing business plans.
Lesson 4: The principle of persistence
He was hit with several examples of PDSS Syndrome (Parent Delaying Tactic for Sanity). 'Not yet,' 'maybe later,' etc but he was undeterred. He did not stop asking until the cookies were baking. The relentless persistence in the face of setbacks and reluctant stakeholders was a thing of beauty (and parental irritation).
Lesson 5: The principle of simplicity
So I helped him make a website which took about an hour and he pressed publish without hesitation. No doubts of 'it's not ready,' or 'I haven't got a logo' or the 'paypal buttons don't line up.' Then this happens:
H: "But how will people find it?"
Me: "We have to tell people it's there."
H: "How do we do that?"
Me: "We have to tell all the people you've sold cookies to and get mum to post it on Facebook."
H: "Can we do it now?"
Lesson 6: The principle of the narrative
No-one wants to read another dull Facebook post about their perfect children baking perfect cookies in their perfect family life except for Granny and the favourite Aunty.
But the story as to WHY he sold cookies was where the power of the business really sat. It made the wife share it with her Facebook friends (which led to more than £50 of sales and donations, which had a 10x effect on his first sales trip).
It was the story that helped him leverage angel investment without a business plan or sales targets (me, £30 worse off for the ingredients) and secure a volunteer cookie chef who wants the experience (the wife) and together they bake. The story also helped him secure two volunteer sales assistants who worked for free, whom he later rewarded with a cookie and a cheeky grin.
How to get to the story of your business? It's all about what people will want to tell their friends once they've bought. It's not the bag they're buying, it's the story of how it was made, or the designer who made it. It's not the cafe or the lattes they're buying, it's the story of how it began. It's not the cookies they're buying, it's how they came to exist.
So the seven lessons; change your focus. Ignore your fear. Take immediate action. Be persistent. Be utterly simple in your approach. Tell the story. Oh, and lesson 7 - look after your scooter.
"I'm going to use this award to help inspire others to become entrepreneurs." So look out people we're coming to a town near you VERY soon. Well done Alan - we're proud of you.