How to Start a Business That Changes Things?Khulekani Manyepedza
Gentle reader, here I bounce again, this time on your back!
Please pull me to your front! Smoothen my cheeks if you can. Ha ha ha haaaaaa!
It’s me again, and you know how I roll…Please listen to me loudly. In January I predicted that 2014 would finish roughly for me, I am stuck…Living far from home, without a salary, struggling in every way. I am a nobody. I am tired… happy… and poor.
I’m almost crushing. But things are very different for me. I’m much happier. My life is full. I believe in Christ, so allow me to say something like, ‘My cup runneth over.’ So what is it that gives me so much peace, so dramatically? Last night, I was up until 2 AM. I used that time to write down some really important stuff. I know that these ideas have made all the difference in my life and career. The important thing to realise is that I’m not special. I’m not super intelligent, and I don’t come from a rich family. My message is that anyone can start a business, make bucket loads of cash and do something positive for society all at the same time.
Anyone. You can print this out and keep it somewhere close by. Or share it on Facebook with a friend who may also be looking for change in his or her life. I don’t mind. I really believe it’ll help you.
Here we go. To build something lasting around your precious, awesome dream, you’ve got to be a total maniac who really believes in these principles:
Everything I do will start with a dream. My dreams will be my guide. I’ll pay close attention to them, recapturing the ones that are lost and creating new ones as I go along. I’ll find a way to make them real. Today I’ll do something, it doesn’t matter how small, that will bring myself closer to the standard of living I crave. Tomorrow, I’ll do the same. I’ll keep thinking of new stuff to do. Keep dreaming big and stop dreaming only when you die. So don’t be as if you are already dead, and remember there is no limit to what you can dream, if you think you are really dreaming crazy impossible things, it’s Okay as long as you keep them to yourself, don’t let your friends kill those dreams inside of you.
You have to think anyway, so why not think big? – Donald Trump
I acknowledge that no man can live in a vacuum or somewhere alone in a pacific island. I know who has shaped me, the key figures in my life. I will thank those people. But I can see that many of my outside influences do not work in my favour. I’ll take a careful look at my beliefs and I will decide which ones need to go. To move forward, I will have to shed some of the mental dead-weight that’s no longer serving me. Never forget this: ever forget this: you can only be as good as the people you hang with!
I’ll work on my relationships – near and far. I understand that people, not money, power nor influence, are central to everything I do.
Because I’m small, I need to work much faster than my competitors do. Because I’m poor with a small capital to start with, I need to work much harder than my competitors do to level the field. I need to become an expert. In order to exploit the gaps, I need to understand my industry better than anyone else. I must learn to do more with less. And I will be a pleasure to do business with. I am coming to terms with the fact that my life is ending one minute at a time. That’s why I’m doing work that excites me and I’m doing it relentlessly: nearly every waking hour. Even on the days when it doesn’t excite me. Especially on those days. I recognise that this is not the easy route. That this is often painful. But I know that when everything seems lost, the war will be won with all these things that I’ve done.
I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance – Steve Jobs
I’m learning how to spot the moments when I am being tested. I understand that these tests arrive unannounced, and that the fate of my business will be decided by what I choose to do in the hard moments. I’ve stopped thinking about how unfair life can sometimes be.
If I don’t watch where I’m going, I’ll end up somewhere I don’t want to be. Some of my goals are tangible. I can imagine holding them in my hand. Others are just a state of mind. However, I’m learning that the journey is the real reward and I’m getting smarter every single day.
Ideas in secret die. They need light and air or they starve to death. That’s why I’m acting on all my good ideas. I’m not keeping them underground. I’m using my unique strengths to create things that didn’t exist before. I’m a revolutionary. I cannot accept the old norms, the old patterns.
Because I’m redefining my own meaning of the word Success, I’m not going to get preoccupied with money or any other consumer obsessions. This frees me to wake up every morning and think about what’s really important: making a difference to my customers. They are the holy grail of all my business plans.
I’ll find a way to keep score and record how far I’ve travelled. I’ll listen out. If I get thanks and praise, I’ll double my efforts. If my work is greeted with deafening silence, that’s a flashing light. A warning which clearly says I’m missing the point. In that case, I’ll change my plans, make adjustments and think of new ways to leave a big imprint on people who count.
I’ll enjoy watching my company get bigger. But I’ll ensure that it does so without sacrificing the principles that matter to me. I’m no angel, but my moral compass will be a secret weapon. I’ll always do what’s right. Always. I’ll build a movement and share my brand with as many people as possible. In time I will create an army that rallies around this cause and creates change in our society.
But most importantly, my business will leave a legacy. In an age of opportunists, trickery, smoke, mirrors and broken promises, people will look back at what I’ve built and remark. They’ll say that this was something real. This was something good. This was something that changed things.
I hope you find these principles valuable. Let me know, ok? Rock on with your bad self. I look forward to hearing from you soon, Champ.