5 Principles For Entrepreneurs To Follow
Back in 2012, I was an expat in a global position based in Switzerland, traveling around the globe 190 days a year and constantly meeting with great people. It was a time full of challenges and all the resources I needed: a top-notch international team, a great budget, a company award for a game-changing project we developed, housing and all the benefits of a Forbes 50 company.
But one day, after four years at this pace, and looking into hundreds of variables I couldn’t directly relate, I decided there was a great need to have a strategic methodology in order to create what I now call marketing models. But back then I didn't call them that.
Some months later, after many attempts to create a new business model, I decided to quit my “perfect” job, go back home and start my new company. Today, it is a group where we specialize in developing and creating marketing models for brands and companies, from startups to Fortune 100 companies in different markets.
Day one for me was quite busy. I had previously announced my plans and company, so I already had a few clients who wanted to work with me. Despite the “do everything” entrepreneurial spirit in terms of finance, legal setup of the company, etc., I had no team, and my office was an abandoned meeting room my dad had lent me at his former office. I had with me only my computer, a whiteboard I got at Office Depot, lots of white sheets and a rollerball pen (the exact type, brand and color I use to this day).
But not every day was like day one or the many days at my previous job where I had everything. There were, and still are, many days where I feel lost, mad, doubtful or simply tired and just want to quit.
Many people ask me how I kept going, how I kept believing, how I kept moving forward and what advice would I give them. Here are the five principles that kept me going during my transition from a global expat to a one-man-show entrepreneur. (Note: These principles apply for any new job, task or assignment you have, not only when starting your own business).
Always remember the passion you had when you woke up on day one and said to yourself, “I will make this thing huge; I will knock it out of the park and really make a difference.”
Know when to ask for help. Don’t think you can do it all. Know when to say no, and always keep your feet on the ground. Truly believe in yourself, but don't think for a second you are the only person out there trying or doing what you are doing.
Take that call. Answer that email. Be responsible for everything. Don't blame others or the circumstances; you are responsible for each decision you make. You have to own it. Also, make sure you understand the responsibility you have with yourself, your family, community and your country. Remember that whatever you do, try to make someone besides yourself happy, or help someone be better or have a better job.
Be true to yourself and to your team. Be the leader you would follow. Develop your team and your clients, and don't be afraid to share your knowledge with them.
Things take time — usually more than you think. Don't think because you have a logo, a website and a Facebook page, you will be selling like coffee at 7 a.m. under an office building. Ideas, brands and projects take time to develop and mature. Be patient; don't lose your long-term view or goals, but make sure every step, decision and deal brings you one step closer to your goal. Don't rush. Just walk fast enough to be noticed.
One extra thing I learned over this last year is that you need to have a perfectly clear and articulated purpose (not a reason) for why you are giving your time and knowledge to your project or whatever you are starting on. The most valuable thing I always thank my team for is their time. Be 100% convinced and clear on the real purpose of why you are giving your best time to your project.
I have these principles written down a piece of paper and taped to my office wall. I suggest you do the same and define each one the best way in your own words.