As entrepreneurship has always been
a strong interest of mine and one of the key motivators of all my actions, it
often comes up as a topic of discussion with friends and acquaintances.
Speaking with people about starting a business made me realise that a common
worry is that the whole process seems quite intimidating and terrifying to
people who have not done it before. That is absolutely normal as I doubt there
has ever been a single person who felt certain about starting their own
My team and I strongly believe that anyone can start their own business. This belief is one of our core values and one of the reasons that made us start our company in the first place. Our experience of working with people from all sorts of different backgrounds who managed to become some of the most successful entrepreneurs has confirmed that so far. Entrepreneurship is not only for the brave – if you are here reading this article thinking what it would be like to start your own business, then you are already there.
Here are 10 signs that you probably need to start your own business:
1. You are not too happy at work
If you are sick of that 9-5 job stuck in the office, or you’ve become fed up and are looking for a new challenge, or you simply cannot find a job that is fulfilling enough, then you have to try something new. Most people would just apply for another job in a similar field (and likely end up feeling the same). My suggestion is to truly explore all your options and always keep in mind that there is an extra one, often overlooked – that of becoming your own boss.
2. You want to be more flexible
Do you dislike your office environment? Would you prefer working from the comfort of your own home? Are you in full-time employment or a parent and are looking for an additional income? Being an entrepreneur is all about being in control, making your own decisions and being flexible to work on your terms.
3. You enjoy learning
Starting your own business requires quite a diverse skill set. Not everything will be about the product you are trying to sell anymore – you also need to be a good leader, a strong communicator, a networker, a decision maker and so on. No need to panic if you are not a natural talent in all these areas, most people aren’t – I definitely wasn’t. What you do need to have, however, is the willingness to learn new things. Becoming a business owner can be one of the few professions that require you to constantly acquire new skills and knowledge - which is quite the exciting journey!
4. You are passionate
One thing that is common among all business owners is that they are visionary people with a passion for making their dreams come true and sharing them with other people. If you find there is a particular product or idea that you find inspiring or a vision you would love to pursue, then it is worth considering taking it to the next level.
5. You like helping people
Once again, I can speak from experience here and say that when I first decided to start my own business I had a strong desire to help other business owners – and still do. If you are genuinely interested in helping other people and believe you can find a creative way to do so, perhaps it is time to launch that business.
6. You are creative
Creative people often feel restricted working for someone else. Setting up your own business is one of the best ways to share your original ideas and express your thoughts. Don’t let your creativity be filtered – be yourself!
7. You want to set your own schedule
Not everyone is made to work from 9 to 5 (not everyone is made to work in general, but that’s another story!). Different people can have different ‘productive hours’. If you are one of these people who wish they had a different schedule, perhaps it is worth considering starting your own company. Being an entrepreneur means you get to decide which days and times you work, and when you get to have a break or a holiday.
8. You are looking for an additional income
Are you perfectly happy with your current job, but feel like you’ve still got a lot of free time in your hands? Have you always wanted to start your own thing on the side? Starting a business can be a lot of work, but not always. The good thing about being your own boss is that you decide how much time you are going to invest and when you are going to invest it. If you like the idea of having your own business, but want to take it slow then by all means do – there are numerous examples of successful businesses which did not grow overnight.
9. You are motivated
People who are naturally self-motivated to get things done tend to be successful entrepreneurs. If you are one of those people, I would definitely recommend you consider entrepreneurship. If not, don’t be discouraged – it just means that you could use a mentor. Find someone that can push you to do the right thing and keep you motivated throughout the journey. That could be a friend, a family member or a business partner.
10. You want something more from life
Do you ever wonder if what you do for a living is actually meaningful or if your actions have a positive impact to those around you? If you are interested in creating something meaningful and making a change in this world, then chances are you are ready to become a business owner. Building something of your own is a significant achievement – plus you will always have an interesting story to tell people!
Be aware that entrepreneurship can be a tough but rewarding road. Ultimately, the most important piece of advice is to simply follow your heart and start trusting yourself. At some point, undoubtedly, you will get discouraged. Remember not to give up.
Enjoy the journey, and good luck!
This weekend my wife and I have left the kids with nana and grandpa and we've travelled to Buxton in the Peak District, apparently England's leading Spa Town, nice. The weekend escape in February is an annual event that we commit to every year, visiting a different destination each time, we love it.
I do all of the planning. The research usually starts in November, and the challenge for me is to find an interesting town or city where Abby and I can spend a whole weekend not tied to the usual demands of a busy family and work life.
"I'm thinking about my businesses all of the time, it’s in my blood."
The break away from it all, is a very important event in our calendar and one that plays a significant role in my business life too. Don't worry, I don't spend the whole weekend working, quite the opposite in fact (except for this blog). But, as a certified, got the t-shirt entrepreneur, I'm thinking about my businesses all of the time, it’s in my blood.
When I'm away from the businesses (my staff and business partners know this) the constant contact that we get so used to is intentionally policed. That combined with the removal of family commitments (my weekend role is usually taxi driver, tutor and punchbag) my brain unwinds very quickly and I often have some inspired ideas that are implemented on my return with much enthusiasm.
The idea of taking a break away from it all to unwind is nothing new, but these days how much of a break do we really take when we have our phones in our pocket? Part of the ethos of our annual break is being disconnected from texts, LinkedIn, Facebook, What's app, phone calls and all the other distractions in our connected world. Here in Buxton for example, I have no data reception, no wifi, just, me, my wife and my thoughts. It was following one of my “thoughts", I felt compelled to write this blog as testimony to the power of the disconnected weekend break in Feb!
'I have no data reception, no wifi, just, me, my wife and my thoughts."
However, "embrace the beauty of technology" is one of BLAM's, and therefore my, core values and detaching myself from that technology in order to think creatively is something of an irony. The key thing for me is having the discipline to connect and disconnect to get the best results, something that doesn't always come easy to me.
I am writing this blog on my disconnected mobile, with relaxing music playing, in a clothes shop that has given me free coffee whilst Abby tries on several outfits. There's no signal so no interruptions, heaven :)
It's a well documented subject, the idea of intentionally unplugging and getting away from it all. My advice to our BLAM Partners is to make sure you diarise the breaks the same way you do with the work behaviours and consider the amount of connected time you allow yourself whilst you are there. Like me, I'm sure you will find hidden inspiration in your unconnected escape.
Next week, I will be refreshed and technology will be fully embraced once more and I'll be loving it! Now, where's that awesome little bar with craft beer on tap I spotted earlier, that looked really inspiring...
Pay-Per-Click advertising is one of the quickest ways to attract traffic to your website. Everyone knows that building your following organically can take quite a while - and for start-ups in particular time is gold!
Most people who attempt to set up a PPC campaign, however, tend to feel overwhelmed and often give up. There is such a wealth of possibilities when it comes to PPC advertising and so many different factors that need to be taken into consideration – not to mention the industry jargon which confuses people – that most beginners feel lost before even starting.
Despite these difficulties, we have identified a few simple steps that can lead any start-up to create a successful PPC campaign quickly and easily.
I would love to know what your thoughts are with regards to PPC. Are you planning to use PPC as part of your marketing?
Perhaps you’ve just had this crazy idea. Or maybe you’ve been thinking about it for ages. Whatever your situation, this article aims to help you realise why now is the best time for you to start your own business.
First, let’s define the term social media ‘strategist’, ‘expert’,
‘specialist’ or whichever title you prefer to use to describe that particular
marketing specialisation because I understand it
often causes confusion. I have picked the
term ‘social media strategist’ for this post’s title as for me it is the most
accurate to describe the role. A professional in this industry will never
proceed to manage anyone’s social media platforms without properly planning a
detailed strategy first, and that is usually the main difference between those who are qualified to do the job and those who
A social media strategist, therefore, is the professional behind any successful social media business page. That person is responsible for aligning a company’s social media activities with the overall marketing direction of the business. For some, this might still seem generic and difficult to understand, but hopefully, the rest of this post will shed some light into this role’s specifics while answering some common queries I often hear from clients.
Having said all that, and even though social media are a powerful tool, people should never make the mistake of thinking that a solid social presence is all it takes to ensure a good level of sales. The purpose of your social media strategy is to complement and augment your overall marketing and sales strategy. One cannot do well without the other, and anyone who tells you otherwise shouldn’t be trusted.