As you look at the groundwork you have laid for your business, looking at others in your life; do you often wonder what it took for them to succeed? How they made it so far, so quickly or what motivated them to keep going even when times were difficult? If you have, then you are not alone. We all, yes, I include myself in this situation, look at other successful small business and wonder “why not me?”
There a many reasons. The one we will dive into today is the groundwork we do when beginning our business. Taking your idea and building something out of it.
Quality vs Quantity
First up is the quality versus quantity. There are many qualities which make a great entrepreneur or embracing new skills to support you in becoming one. There are also an unlimited quantities of opportunities for you to gain experience and skills you may need. One of the elements people often overlook is the foundation in which they are building upon. Your foundation in which your life is built has everything to do with the groundwork you are willing to lay. This is not going back and pointing the finger at our childhood to place blame or find excuses. It is about looking forward to your ultimate goal. Then asking yourself what it takes to get there, to achieve and manifest your goal.
Stone vs Sand Groundwork
We all know the building parable “Is your house built on sand or stone?” When it comes to achieving success, understanding your experience and academic portfolios are the building materials you use to build your life and business home with. It is important to ask which pieces of your experience are stone and which pieces are sand. While we are moving through life, our foundation needs to actually be compromised of both elements; science remember will tell us sand is actually small, very small stones.
In life, flexibility is critical to us learning and adopting new information at any given moment. This allows us to mold and bend when necessary and stand firm in our beliefs and values. Using myself as an example. People often wondered why I chose to make certain decisions in life. For the most part, my decisions were based on following my heart; therefore staying true true to my dreams and values.
When first embarking on the new role of coach. I did the exercise most of us have done when making a decision to take a turn in our careers. I wrote down how my life experiences both professionally and academically supported my soon to be decision. Even when I look back to my teenage years working at a boat marina during the summers; my work experience has always, in the end, supported either directly or indirectly my decisions. Growing up in a family owned business, the entrepreneurial instinct was well modelled and encouraged.
Looking Back, Looking Inward
Take a few moments now and reflect about where you are and how your journey brought you here. Are you where you want to be either personally or professionally? If not, how can where you are today be a piece of stone in your foundation? Are you on the path to achieving the success you are seeking? Remember you need to think outside the box sometimes to see how there is a supportive element to be found.
Getting back to the concept of having both sand and stone as part of the groundwork; you need to remain flexible as life is not consistent nor is it predictable beyond a certain point. Yes, we can predict if we break the law, we know there is a chance of getting caught. But seriously, outside of the obvious, life is unpredictable. And having sand within our foundation allows you to adjust when necessary and take corrective action.
When we can identify which elements are directly supportive – the pieces of stone and which pieces are indirectly supportive – the sand; we can begin to build our foundations in a way our goals becomes accessible and bringing our success within reach. Experience such as our degrees, diploma and certifications can be either supportive directly or indirectly as well.
Business: You are opening a clothing store business. You have business degree, this is directly supportive. You are certified in CPR, this is an in-direct support. Your certification in CPR may be used at your place of work to help a person in need. It is not a necessity but could come in handy.
Restaurant: Your work experience of flipping burgers at a fast-food restaurant is directly supportive. Your experience of being a summer life guard as a teenager is indirectly supportive. Your goal to own your restaurant – flipping burger obvious connection right? Life guard not so much or so you think. The communications skills you learn during lifeguarding stint helps you talk to people under stress with a cool head; therefore having a great leadership skill.
We will also want to remember the roads we take to achieving our goals may be a winding pathway. Most individuals hope their road to success is like: point A to point B to point C. Most though, experience the bowl of spaghetti noodles approach. This means, you may in fact have to reroute yourself to gain the experience and skills necessary. Your journey may then look like: point A to point B to point D to finally arriving at your destination of point C. Some of this back and forth is also learning about your own personal brand. What it looks like, values it is based upon and possibly rebranding your business to be aligned with who you are as a person.
When deciding to make life changing decisions, your success will always be built on the foundation of your past. Each step, course and decision is part of the groundwork you laying for your success. How you apply and use these foundational skills is what empowers you to continue reaching for your goals and achieving the success you desire.