Yesterday I downed my coffee and headed out to The Business Show, basically a tradeshow for busineses, with some seminars and talks thrown in. I went last year, but as I'm running a very different business now, I figured I'd return to see what I could learn.
I have heard Shaa Wasmund talk quite a few times, and made sure I went and said hello to her before her talk. She's an inspiring lady, with a best selling business book, who always takes the time to reply to my emails/tweets. Some of the soundbites/summaries I took away from her talk this time were:
- Regret weighs more than fear. No matter how large your fear feels (of failure or risk), the weight of the regret of not trying it will always feel bigger.
- People spend too long wondering how to start. If you're not sure how or where to start, just get started.....on the smallest bit. Make a phone call, read the book, go to a networking event. Something. Just get started.
- Don't allow the ifs and whens to stop you from starting. We can wait till the kids go to school, or when the economy feels safer, or decide to wait to see if we can get a cheaper rent. Just start.
- Seize the moment. Speak to everyone you can, take every opportunity.
- Believe in the notion of abundance. There is enough for everyone, and if you give out, you will get back. If you become successful and more rich, no one has to become poorer. We can all succeed. Give willingly and freely and it will be returned.
- Don't set yourself up for failure. Create propositions that people won't say no to. Only expect others to do what you would do yourself. The right opportunity won't escape you.
Next up for me was listening to Simon Calver, who was one of the founding CEOs of LOVEFilm, and now CEO of Mothercare.
- Take control of your destiny. Wake up, decide to make a change and do it. Its your life. Own it.
- Meet as many people as you can. Network, create connections and make your face known.
- Get insured!!! The risks aren't worth it.
- At some point you will need to structure your business so that it can grow. You can't do everything forever.
I then listening to Jonathon Yates, who had a lot of business experience, and has a book called 'Freesourcing'.
- Standout. Jonathon got a meeting with the Tesco buyers after sending a handwritten proposal, rather than emailing or phoning.
- The only thing you truly control is time. We all have the same amount of time, and we need to learn to master it to use it to its best. How much do you want it?
I also picked up a booklet from Inuit, which contained some interesting statistics. They surveyed 500 small businesses and found that:
- 86% were self financed.
- 64% launched their business with less than £5,000.
- A third would do it differently if starting over.
- 4.6 millions businesses in the UK have less than 10 members of staff.
- 42% started with less than one grand.