The startup scene has really boomed in Malaysia the past five years and when I was starting up my business 10 years ago, the term “start up” wasn’t used much. We were just called “new business”. To start up a business, owners either bootstrapped, borrowed from friends and family or the bank. Borrowing from the bank isn’t easy as you had to have a three year track record and when you’re starting up you have a zero track record. It’s always been a catch-22 situation.
I’m lucky to have a service-based business. It costs less to operate and overheads are relatively low. There are some aspiring business people who say they can’t start a business as they don’t have enough money. In a way, that’s true. You need to have at least six months savings to ensure you can still survive with no money generating from your new business.
Then they say they don’t know the right people to rub shoulders with. Hello! I’m allergic to rubbing shoulders and yet have a business that is running without resulting in any torn sleeves.
It takes more than just money or connections to start a business. You need to be in the right frame of mind. You need to think like you’re “hungry” and will do anything (legal) to make sure the business works.
So many start-ups burn the money they receive starting a business that never fully gets off the ground. Big-budget, mainstream brands stumble — no matter how many people they employ or know.
When you have nothing, you have nothing to lose.
How do you develop The Right Mindset To Grow Your Business?
Begin With a Long-term Goal
I attended Tony Robbin’s “Unleash The Power Within” workshop a couple of years ago in Singapore. He made it clear that we all need to define our goals and review it every few months to make sure we’re not being distracted by other things happening in our lives. Have a goal for your business – how much you want to make by when, what impact you want to make, how you want to improve people’s lives with your product or service. Have personal goals so that your business goals can help you achieve these personal goals.
For me, I want to give my family a more comfortable life. They’re in their twilight years and deserve to enjoy the rest of it. I also want to give back to the community. I need to make more than enough to live and to give.
Don’t Wait for The Right Time To Start
Start Now. You might end up waiting many years thinking it is not the right time to start that business, or make that risky move. Make quick calculations, check your resources, check your skill sets, check for potential partners and START. I didn’t think much before starting my own business. I was young, naive, had some savings and a spirit to do my own thing and just did it.
Never Miss an Opportunity To Develop Yourself
I didn’t really read much about self development when I was starting my career. I preferred escaping the real world by reading novels by Irish writers. Their sense of humour is just so delightful!
I was impressed when my new mentee (talk about that later) told me she loves reading self-improvement books and she’s only 21! I only started when I was 29 when one of my younger part time crew mentioned she was reading “Rich Dad Poor Dad”. That book helped me open my mind. Sure, now the author seems a little floozy to some but he had a good thing going. His marketing is top-notch.
Continuous self-development will go a long way in positioning you to grow your business to a global level. Identify any areas you’re weak in and strive to become better in these areas. Many business owners have poor time management skills eg too busy to do things that really matter, while others don’t have the slightest idea how to treat their customers eg being overly calculative and disrespectful. As the business owner, you have to be highly productive.
Do Not Waste Your Free Time
Many people look forward to their leisure time. I sure do! It’s ok to just relax and recharge your energy over the weekend but instead of watching TV the whole weekend, do some reading about business or business people who have gone through tough times so you don’t have to repeat their mistakes.
Network! Do things that interest you while developing your skills. Explore new places. Keep learning!
Reading without doing doesn’t work. Creating opportunities to apply your knowledge should be your top priority. It will be meaningless if you get all this information and you don’t benefit from it. Whatever I read, I try to share with my communities so we all grow together and get to learn from each other. Some things might work for others but not for you and vice versa.
Don’t Forget To Work Out Regularly
I don’t but I had a friend who was an avid walker. He would make time to walk around his neighbourhood every evening and he sweared that it helped him think clearer. My idea of working out is walking to the office from the car park and back. Bad! You can do better!
There will be challenges, and that’s perfectly normal. Do not get discouraged however, because although the business will take some effort to get started, with the right mindset you will succeed.
Important: share your thoughts and ideas directly in the comments. Links to other posts, videos, etc. will be deleted as they come across as spammy.
No matter what you’re facing right now, there is a path ahead. You can use your heart, dedication and imagination to find a way, or make a way.
Thank you so much for reading. Share this episode with someone you know who feels limited by their lack of resources.