Business Ideas – Barrie John – During reading and workshops, I’m asked ‘Barrie, how do you start a business?’ There is no simple answer. However, we can consider the solution in a short article.
What qualification have I to write this piece?
I worked as a consultant for PLC’s for many years, building an impressive reputation for ability and resource. I have close ties with many institutions as a business advisor. And of course, there are 25 years of working as a professional medium and trainer. I’m also a director in several businesses. I’m not writing as a business guru: I’m writing from the perspective of years of experience: and I am the first to comment: ‘Not every venture has been a 101% success!’.
Do not think I’m about to give you a formula for wealth. And you’ll not read about my journey, because mine is like your own: unique. And it is the uniqueness which will be a starting point.
There are many books and internet articles about how to succeed and connecting using social media and emails. However, your uniqueness is the key to success. And you will have to work on your identity and once found; it must be the one identity. You may get away with reinvention once, or if you’re very fortunate twice. But the essential essence is your brand. So make a brand. It does not matter if you are, retail, personality, one-person band or fifty employee millionaire. The brand encompasses your identity.
However you look, whatever you wear, say or do becomes your identity. Over the years, I’ve seen many gifted people fail because they do not care about their identity. Why would you identify with health and be a smoker or overweight? Why would you be a spiritual teacher and be offensive? Why would you be a healer and not be kind and generous? I watched a presenter at a business seminar talk for an hour about ‘something or other’, and all I could see was his filthy clothes, unpolished shoes, and poor teeth. For the life of me, I cannot remember the subject of the talk. I do know the organiser would never have him back.
I’m known as a medium. My work is loved by believers and despised by many who do not. Some of you may have seen me on TV being questioned by opponents of my work. My choice is never to bow to pressure. I am authentic, and I serve those who love my work. No matter what is your path of business: selling cars, cigars, food, healer, psychic, teacher. You have to be authentic and determined to defend your point of view.
If there is no kindness in your heart, you’ll never receive kindness and generosity from those you work for or with: people soon see through deception. If you are a person who loses friends and business partners often: then the problem is with you, your generosity and kindness. We all know the tough nut business owner: and he may well succeed. But his life will be hard and full of toil. In contrast, the kind and generous build long term and binding relationships with customers and clients. Think carefully before you comment! If you become insulting on social media, you may think you’re impressive: on the other hand: there WILL be many allies of the person or point of view who subject of the unkindness, and there will only be one longterm loser. So be kind and generous.
Keep Your Promises:
To build trust, you have to keep the promise. Even if you lose money, you have to be known as someone who can be trusted. Not only this: you have to fulfil your obligations and bookings. I have travelled 150 miles to a ghost hunt knowing full well my fee will not even cover the petrol. But I will not let people down, and, I know there will always be another booking which will cover the loss. There is nothing worse than disappointing people. I have had lucrative bookings offered to me when I’m already booked for a lesser paid job. I would never go back on the original deal. And there is a bonus to saying ‘No I’m already booked’ it is, the client realises you’re busy. Let someone down, and they’ll never come back, and when you come up in conversation, you’ll not receive good reviews.
It’s Going to be Slow Progress:
You will not become successful overnight. I asked Ian how long he would have work to establish the Well Being Brand: his reply ‘Initially my thoughts were 3-4 years – the reality is 6 -7’. And that is a difficult statement to comprehend. To become dedicated to a business for seven or more years before it becomes successful is difficult to appreciate. On reflection, I’ve worked at my business for 20 plus years, and it was Colin Fry and a TV show which turned the corner of my success.
Never Give Up?
I’m not sure this is the right phrase. Sometimes we have to accept something is not going work. If you have done your groundwork and involve yourself in something you love, then you’re already successful. But if money, wealth and fame is the desire, there will be a disappointment. Too many people are involved in your success, and I have seen this firsthand after working on TV shows. Incidentally, many years ago, I turned down a hosting spot for a TV show because it did not fit with my identity, ethos and ethic. Sometimes we have to refuse the bait no matter how good it looks. So, if you love your work and can contribute money from another source to support it: that’s fine. The moment your instincts and conscious feelings report back bad vibes, it is possibly time to move on: you’ll have learned a great deal to be used at another time.
Never overstretch your ability or resources. You’d be better working from one small and good platform than attempting to go for gold and failing. Many people would like a shop or offices or factory. When they would be better to trade on the internet or from home and buy and sell ready-made products rather than make them. I’m not saying being an artisan is wrong or cannot be turned into brilliant and profitable work. I’m commenting, sometimes there are easier ways to begin a business. I have watched spiritual workers become very successful with a pendulum and a deck of tarot: and other readers fail with ten’s of qualifications. Success often comes in small packages!
Always carry a business card. Nothing is worse than asking to borrow a pen or piece of paper. If you cannot be bothered to invest a few pounds in a 1000 business cards, your client will see right through the mist. And do not think ‘Go to my website: you’ll find out everything from there’ will work, by the time they get home, your name is forgotten.
One Last Fact:
You will not, nor will your product, be liked by everyone. Please do not fall into the trap, and it is a trap, of attempting to make people like you or your skill. Time, effort and possible success are wasted trying to make people gel. All we can do is follow the ideas suggested and allow people to find you and then, little by little; you’ll gain followers and clients. Working for yourself is not easy, and it can take years to find your feet. But once everything comes together, the rewards are beyond money.
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