Do you understand the rules of business?
Looking back at my days in uni, I might not remember much of it. But somehow, I can remember vividly an advice that my career counsellor gave me right before I graduated.
He said something about rules – just like how we’ve learnt the rules of life through personal experiences, it is now time to pick up on the rules of business.
This made sense to me immediately. At that point of time, I was running a side venture and was experiencing some successes, but equally as many failures.
So I immediately picked up a pen and paper, and started listing down all the things that have gone well or otherwise since I started, and began to uncover the learning lessons behind each. From there, I picked out a few key themes, and these formed my rules of business.
RULE #1: Only start a business that can make you at least a 5-figure profit every month (eventually).
I want to start with this because I think this is the most important bit of all – money. Like it or not, businesses thrive when there is positive cashflow, and they fold faster than you can say “entrepreneurship” when cashflow is negative. This is often overlooked by those who have just stepped into the business world.
I’m also pretty much against doing business to “earn a few hundred bucks”. Opening a business and running it requires much time and effort. Why do it only for “grocery money”? Aim high, and most importantly aim to build and scale your business so that you can hit a 5 figure profit every month.
And that’s simply because it’s the first barrier that you have to break, that will propel you further in business. Earning this amount each month means that you have already implemented some sort of marketing and sales system, and that is a good set up for you to grow even further. 5 figures first, and then you can figure out the next step.
Achieving it might take time, but so long as you know that someday down the road, you’re able to scale and hit that amount. I see a lot of small businesses too that, due to scalability issues, have a maximum ceiling of $4,000 – $6,000 that they can earn every month. Don’t limit yourself in that way. Find the right opportunity and work on it.
RULE #2: Skills or passion? Both.
Should I go into something that I’m good at, or something that I’m passionate about?
The answer to that is, both. I wake up every morning excited that I can work on a new marketing strategy, or that I’m working with a client on improving their marketing systems. It’s something that I love to do, and getting better at every single day.
If you’re not jumping out of bed with excitement every morning to work on your business, sooner or later you’ll experience a “burnout”. Same goes for passion without skill.
RULE #3: Work with only the best
This is something that I had to learn the hard way after over 2 years of being in the industry – work with only the best. And by that, I mean that you should be very choosy with whom you work with. The wrong client or partner can suck your energy and leave you with a very, very bad taste in your mouth. One of the best things about being in business is your freedom of choice – choice in who you work with, hire or provide a service too.
So exercise your freedom in a healthy way.
I routinely (and politely) turn away clients who want to work with us from time to time, simply because they don’t have the necessary requirements to be coached, or they don’t have a viable business model that my team and I could build a marketing system for. It’s highly tempting to simply just accept them into our folds and take their money, but we know that it’s more trouble than its worth at the end of the day.