Becoming an entrepreneur
by Mike Satterfield, for Club LT
The life of an entrepreneur is full of ups and downs, risks and challenges, triumphs and defeats, It is a roller coaster that few really ever talk about. With social media we are quick to highlight the rewards of being your own boss, but the reality is that it takes years to become an overnight success. While there is no formula for success that works for everyone, here are some basic principles that have helped me throughout my career as an entrepreneur.
“No” is most people’s default answer to a sales pitch; it is almost a reflex. Understand that nine times out of ten they aren’t saying no to you as a person or even the pitch. They are just saying no because it is easy. It is easier to say no than to set you up as a new vendor or risk sticking their own neck out for an untested concept. Find out what the objection is, see if you can overcome it, if not move on to the next prospect. There is a difference between being persistent and committed to winning, and banging your head against the wall.
Set goals for each day
Long term goals are fun and while it is fun to dream about all of the things you are going to do one day, setting real reachable goals each day is the key to making your long term goals come true. I keep a note pad on my desk and I write down my five top goals for the day. Crossing those off each day will help you build more confidence.
Remember your elevator pitch
Your story is one of your most important assets. Having a great “elevator pitch” lets you take advantage of opportunities on the spot and share your message. An elevator pitch is a 10- or 15-second answer you have ready to go when someone…on an elevator, say…asks you what you do. Your response should be concise, compelling and illustrate the core and distinctiveness of your brand and business.
Here’s a quick sample: “I’ve started a company that allows new moms to feed and care for their babies at half the cost of shopping at retail stores or on Amazon. We deliver products, advice, encouragement and empathy, all with real people—not just AI—providing these services.”
Practice it, make it memorable and tell your story to everyone you can. You never know who might be a potential client…or who might refer you to one.
Give, give, give
No matter if it’s your first day working with a client or your thousandth, your only purpose is to provide value to your customer. People will come back if you keep providing them value, but in today’s competitive market you can’t rest on your laurels or count purely on relationships. “What have you done for me lately?” That is today’s customer mind set.
Take care of yourself
In the hustle and bustle of starting a new company, it can be easy to find yourself at a desk for hours on end, ordering in food, or on the road for weeks at a time. Dedicating time to your fitness, grooming, and sleep are important if you are going to be a success in any venture. Schedule time for exercise, make sure you are looking sharp and get enough sleep so you can be on your A-game when you are working.
If you feel better about yourself, you will perform better.
About Mike Satterfield
Mike Satterfield is an entrepreneur who loves cars, travel, fashion, and building businesses. In addition to running The Gentleman Racer, he also manages multiple fashion companies and is renovating a historic building in Texas that will soon serve as his photography studio and automotive shop for restoring classic cars.
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