Last week, Entrepreneurial Scotland held it's annual conference at Gleneagles. It was a whole day taken out of my business and an evening event, which didn't come cheap! However, it was well worth the investment because I made some fantastic contacts, learnt some amazing things and realised how lucky I am to be a part of such a supportive entrepreneurial community in Scotland.
A theme emerged from the day and that was TAKE ACTION. Every single person in that room had decided to do something about their idea and had gone ahead and taken serious action in order to achieve their dreams.
Most entrepreneurs will freely admit that very little hard planning goes into what they do in the early days of their businesses. I've met business people who have spent a year planning their business, whilst watching golden opportunities sail by them. Whilst the entrepreneurs who take a deep breath and jump off the edge of the cliff, not quite knowing where or when they'll land, end up grasping those same opportunities with both hands.
The best advice I've ever heard about business planning was from the former UK FD of Nike and he said, the business plan was out of date within 24 hours of it being published. Action took over from theory almost instantly.
Now, you need an idea of where you're heading and you need some figures to back that up. Since business planning is an exercise in the future, there is always an element of guesswork, so spend some time on it, but focus more on putting your ideas into action.
I like to take the 80/20 rule versus planning and action. I spend 20% of my time planning what I'm going to do and 80% of my time doing it and doing lots of other things that hadn't occurred to me during the planning.
Yes, write goals, it's very important to do so otherwise you won't know when you've succeeded AND then put all your energies into executing those goals. The goals will remain written, the action needs to happen today, right now becuase it's always better to start immediately.
If you're waiting for that perfect time to get started, let me tell you that it doesn't exist. There is no perfect time to put your dreams into action. If you're saying this to yourself, then it's an excuse not to take action. And if you're doing that, then it's likely you're scared.
When you realise you're only born with two fears; the fear of falling and the fear of loud noises, you'll realise this fears are simply in your head and are completely made up. We like to say things like, "what happens if it goes wrong?" To ourselves. I like to change that to "what happens if it goes right?" And "what happens if this is really successful?" Yes, be aware of the down sides, but don't dwell on them.
So, the successful entrepreneurs in the room last week were all people of action. They all said, "let's do this" and then went ahead and did it. Then, when they failed, they picked themselves up and started again and repeated this until they achieved success.
It's a simple formula, that anyone can replicate. So, what's preventing you from achieving your dreams?
Rebecca Bonnington is an expert in human communication and behaviour which she uses to coach and train your people into peak performance. You can contact her on 07734934084 or firstname.lastname@example.org or www.rebeccainspires.com