Business is about making money.
But that shouldn't be the only reason, you've got to love what you're doing.
Business takes time, if you're not enjoying what you're doing then the Business is not going to be successful.
That's our most important principle: Make Money Doing What You Love.
Traditional Business Support will tell you to begin with a Business Plan.
We at The PopUp Business School think that is a massive waste of time.
Business Plans are traditionally used to get funding. But what if you start your Business with no money? Go out, make sales and find what your customers want before you even consider a Business Plan.
Download the file below to access the Year in Review questions.
Happy New Year!
We often talk about putting energy in. Putting energy in requires stamina. Some days we have lots, other days we have little. Putting energy 'in' is a finite resource.
Putting energy out is a different story. The more energy we put out, then we don't lose it - more seems to come back. And the results are better. Significantly better. You're tapping into an infinite resource.
Putting energy out has a higher purpose than putting it in. It's more important. It's not about you. It's not about your bank balance, your career or your business. It's about others. Transferring your energy out to others means you can help them to do difficult things - incredible things.
Do it for one day and notice what happens. Notice how you feel. Do it for one week. Do it for a month. One year later, notice the shift that's happened. Notice who you've become. Notice what you've created. Notice what others have been able to achieve.
How do I know this? This time last year we were putting lots of energy in. Exhausting. Since then we've spent the best part of a year putting significant energy out. For proof, keep an eye on our news feeds for the announcements we're about to make.
The results are better. Significantly better.
You instinctively know that you need to focus. Meanwhile, follow-the-rabbit syndrome continues to present new and exciting distractions. The cartoon snake with the eyes has been sent to hypnotise you. You're tricked into believing that it's possible to focus on more than one thing. That it's okay to back more than one horse.
So there you have it. Rabbits, snakes and horses all in the first paragraph. I'm already confused. Confusion is part of the problem. Everyone you speak to will be confused about what you're about, what you're trying to achieve and more importantly you'll confuse yourself.
Consider the rule of 50. Each idea has 50+ directions you could take it, 50 things that could go wrong and 50 hours of your precious time to invest to get your idea off the ground. 150 thought processes is enough for anyone and this is before you've created or sold anything. For those people working on more than one ideas simultaneously, the multiplier effect will:
a) Bake your noodle
b) Make you frustrated because of the lack of results
c) Cause you to abandon the one that would've worked (because ol' snake eyes will be having you think you gave it your all, but it didn't work, so you'd better start something new)
The real reason you want more than one project on the go is probably fear. James Corden said in his recent interview with John Bishop that he never had a plan B because that would be like admitting that plan A was destined to fail.
The answer is to rate your all of your ideas in a four box of excitement versus reality check:
1. Y-axis: How much does it excite you to do this every day?
2. X-axis: How close are you to being able to begin?
The one that comes out top goes in your to do list. Let's call this the chosen one. The others don't. For ALL of the others, there are two other lists:
List 1 is your hobby, absolutely not in work time and there's only space for one thing on this list). List 2 is for everything else and it's called the 'Someday Maybe' list. This list is absolutely not to be touched until the chosen one has succeeded (unless you can give it in its entirety to someone else and trust yourself not to meddle). Here's what's worked for me (and I am a self-confessed 'Ooh! Look! A rabbit!' entrepreneur):
Leave rabbit hunting to Elmer Fudd. Better to execute one idea with everything you have, than do a half-arsed job on a few.
"IF YOU HAVE A BUSINESS IDEA YOU WANT TO BUILD, WHY WAIT? JUST DO IT!"
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.
My friend Ben is great at nicknames. One of the crew back in the day earned the nickname Kodak. And why? It was because he was so negative (from the days when photos came with negatives - shows you how old I am).
It was like having a toxic friend, bless him. It doesn't matter how good your mood was, Kodak would find a way to bring you down.
We all have negative moments. Alan calls out the difference between radiators and drains. Some people heat you up, others suck the life out of you. The reality is most of us oscillate (big word for a Friday) between radiator and drain. The more we radiate the more productive we will be, the more opportunities we'll have and the more fun life becomes.
Don't be like Kodak. Go put on a Beyonce and Motorhead mash up and shake your ass. Even if you don't feel like it. Especially if you don't feel like it.
Email. Like a lamp post to a drunk - handy to lean on but not all that illuminating. Especially when it comes to really 'connecting' with people. This is the connection economy but all of these amazing tools can be trumped by one thing. It was created in 1849 by an Italian called Antonio Meucci. Can you guess?
It's called the telephone. Heard of it? This is your weapon. We've found that by getting off Facebook and using it to actually ring someone (like the old days) amazing things start to happen. We have some major announcements coming at the PopUp Business School, but none of them would've happened if we hadn't got on the phone.
Who you gonna call?
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.
Think of this as the exorcist for the procrastination demons. And yes you should read this now and not put it off til later.
Here is my old 10 step strategy for doing tasks:
I wouldn't recommend using it. If procrastination was on the list, I'd even have put that off until tomorrow. Here is my new one - you might find it more helpful.
Anyway enough of my lack of tennis ability; I'll get to the point. The tennis players are the stars and let me prove it:
"Did you see that line judge? She had an amazing match. The way she made those calls and interacted with the umpire," said no tennis fan ever.
Consider this. Pop culture drools over successful entrepreneurs and they're presented as heroes to inspiring youngsters. This bothers me. It's not about the star, the idea they had or the car they're driving. It's about the execution of, the resilience and persistence and most importantly the team behind it. Every successful start-up business has an outstanding team of people in supporting roles, advisory roles, gritty roles etc.
The truth is that without the umpires, ball kids, crowd, lawn experts, media, coaches, physios then the tennis match would be a dogs dinner of an event. Instead, 21st century tennis (despite British weather) continues to thrive because of the incredible team effort.
So whilst we're busy lauding the entrepreneurial rock stars and leveraging their swagger to inspire the next generation, it's actually the ability to build a team and inspire individually and collectively to do their best work and continue to grow, aces (see what I did there?) any snappy dressing, flashy, incey wincey, techy start-up wantrapreneur any day. A bit like Nirvana was to music in the 90s, 'serving others' (boom) should be the new soundtrack for start-ups. Go build your team. Inspire them. Empower them. Accelerate them. Pay them as soon as you can.
Wish I'd written this in June. Sorry I only just thought of it. Big hello to all those line judges out there - we love you just as much.
Where do you work from? Which local café or restaurant could you go and turn in to your office for free? Where could you go that gives you the motivation and concentration you need?
We'd love to hear your thoughts! Leave your comments below or contact us on Facebook and Twitter!
Make money. Have fun. Do good.