4 Keys To Turning Your Small Business Dream Into Reality

April Crichlow

Small business owner prepping to open. --- Image by © Hero/Corbis“Success occurs when your dreams become bigger than your excuses.”

Every year hundreds of thousands of people go back and forth on a very important, potentially life-changing decision: Should they chase their dream of becoming a business owner? The good news is that many people decide to go for it. The bad news is that often they don’t understand all that is required to start a successful company, nor do they have the patience needed to deal with adversity and poor decisions.

The best advice I have heard about starting a business is this: “Do what you do best and outsource the rest.”  This is especially true for people who dislike sales, dealing with financials, or any of the other 10-15 hats that most business owners must wear in a given work week.

Listed below are four more pieces of advice, or keys to success. Take the advice and memorize it as you journey down the path from dreamer to entrepreneur.

  1. It is never too late to realize your dream. T.S. Eliot wrote, “It’s never too late to be what you might have been.” Today, one of the fastest-growing segments of startup businesses is the 50+ age category: People who are retiring from their corporate careers but don’t really feel like retiring yet. They are turning hobbies into businesses and passions into profits. Whether you are 20, 50, or even 70, if becoming a business owner is something you’ve always dreamed about, take the plunge into entrepreneurship.
  1. Patience is a virtue, and a necessity in business. Very few people get entrepreneurship right the first time around. It might not sound ideal, but you need to include room for mistakes in your business plan; revenue will probably be lower than you expected, and expenses will be higher. If you lose patience, the likelihood of making a bad decision in the heat of the moment increases. Be patient.
  1. Visualize living your dream. Whatever your dream may be, picture it. Picture the steps that you will take to get there. It is motivating and a solid reminder of why you are taking this journey in the first place. “You can’t be it if you can’t see it.” View this Ted Talk by Patti Dobrowolski on how to visualize and achieve your dreams.
  1. Be accountable. Share your dream with five people involved your life and business. Pick individuals who will hold you accountable and challenge you along the way. Hold yourself accountable by writing down your dream on a piece of paper, reading it every day, and taking time each day to make your dream a reality.

The common thread in the four pieces of advice above is that they all use proactive terminology. It’s hard to be successful if you are always in reactive mode. If you’ve taken the time to put together a solid business plan, then you should have the conviction “to move confidently in the direction of your dreams.”  Thank you, Henry David Thoreau, for that last quote.

Want more insight on entrepreneurship? See The Emergence Of A New Breed Of Entrepreneurs.

About April Crichlow

April Crichlow is the Senior Director of Global Indirect Channel Marketing at SAP. Her specialties include demand generation, multi-channel marketing, marketing analytics, ERP, Cloud, Database and Mobility software solutions.