DIY: Be Your Own Boss – 10 Tips for the Aspiring Entrepreneur.

Welcome to Y.I,

Before going on to the business of the day, you may be wondering why today’s post is categorised as a DIY. To answer this question, the ‘do-it-yourself’ – commonly called DIY – section has been created to tackle issues/ topics that have to be done by self. This means that the topics discussed are not necessarily things others can or cannot do for you, but things you shouldn’t have to wait on others to do for you. Here, we talk about some of the accomplishments you owe yourself.

Having said that, today’s topic is for that person that is looking towards starting a business, working towards it, thinking about it, or that person reading this right now. Starting, or rather, owning a business venture IS a big deal. In as much as working for somebody is good and has its benefits, perks and quirks; working for oneself can be even better for people who want it, and are gifted in it, and is a decision only you can make.

However, some people are better followers than leaders and feel more accomplished when they are working behind the scenes. Some people may not have the zeal for leadership, or may not just want it. Period. If you’re one of those people, ignore all my babble about leadership and still read anyway. It might help in other things

(Note: The points have been written in no particular order)

  • 1. Look around & look through: Satisfy a need.fbd7dfc1a3aa8d2319c6d1627e4c1cdc

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What is that thing you’ve complained most about? or you’ve heard others complain about. What is that thing that is lacking around you? A thriving/ successful business aims to satisfy the needs of its customers. Once you can satisfy a need no one has ever thought of satisfying, you ultimately have very little or no competition and you are off to a good start of actually helping people whilst doing what you are doing, and; making money at the same time.

2. Even if you do the same, Let it be you. Let it be better.


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If you know you can do something someone else is doing but even better, then do it! People are always looking for the better version of a thing. People are always looking for things with more advantages. So, when starting a business someone else is doing already, try to make yours have more advantages. Try to make it better in order to draw the market. And, make it you. In  everything you do, you spend a portion of your life (time), money and/ or effort, so, why make it mediocre? Your product is a representative of you. Let it have your trademark. Let it stand out from others. Be careful not to hide in the shadow of the other business.

3.  Plan. Test. Do.


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Plan. Plan. Plan. Having a plan guides your focus. Planning involves knowing your resources and more importantly, how to get them. It involves knowing the things you need for start up. It involves steps that need to be taken and goals that need to be achieved. Planning is preparation. Where I come from there’s a saying; ‘If you fail to plan, you plan to fail’. In order to be successful and move forward, we have to be careful to know the paths we’re on and how to navigate the trails. That is exactly what planning is about. After planning, it’s advisable you test run your plan on a small scale to test its safety proof. After that, it is of utmost importance that you launch. A plan can never be actualised if it is never done. Don’t let your dreams remain dreams.

4. Focus.


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Have a goal. Have a vision. Have a plan. Focus on it. Don’t be distracted by other people’s progress or lack thereof. Don’t be intimidated by their dreams, visions or achievements. Let your vision drive your focus. Let your plan guide your focus. If our eyes are too busy looking around, and not on the road, then we are at risk of an accident.

5. Get connected. Get involved.


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When starting a business, it is important to do so in non-isolation. A new business is usually a business nobody or very few people, most likely family and friends, know about. It is thus important to partner or try to get sponsorship/ acknowledgement with an organisation others already know about. This can come in the form of making a proposition to take a part of a business venture, activity or event. Getting involved and making appearances definitely helps boost your image and, markets you. It is also important that this is done with credible organisations. Partnering with someone, some group, or organisation means you are viewed in the same spotlight as them. Being a new startup, partnering with the credible, boosts your credibility. It is also important that no matter how big or small the  company is that you are partnering with, you do not lose your voice and individuality. Partnering does not necessarily mean merging. Partnering could come in the  form of  hosting/ sponsoring an event together. Also, make use of the world wide web. Be social. Be active.

6. Got ideas? Write them down.


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Sometimes, we get ideas, don’t write them down and then, find ourselves trying to remember those awesome ideas. The solution? Write them down. When you have an idea, don’t just let it sit in the backburner of your mind. The burner might just burn it to oblivion. Great ideas come at random moments, sometimes, even in the middle of the night. Have an ‘idea’ journal or notepad around you/ with you at all times to write down those sneaky beings before they sneak away. And when you write them down, even in the middle of the night, come back to them when you are clear headed and scrutinise them. Check the pros, check the cons and if it works, actualise  them.

7. Help people.


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Helping people helps. How? It’s pretty simple. Helping people helps you in 3 major ways (as regards to business). Helping people; 1. Builds relationships and the truth is, you never know who the person you help might turn out to be, or, when you might need their help in return. 2. It encourages name dropping. People never forget someone that helps them. They keep on talking about it, and just imagine if you turn out to be the  person that helped them; then they’ll be talking about you which in turn builds your market. 3. Helping people builds your image because, helping people is good, and, people would rather than not, do business with someone that is known to be charitable. So when you want to look for a personal gain to helping others, think about these three things. Personally though, helping others fulfills me. But that’s just me :).

8. Choose quality over quantity


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Okay, so if we want people talking about you, we want them saying good things about your business. The thing with quality is that, most times, it is expensive. However,it’s better to spend that amount once in purchase, than spend double or even more in repairs or replacements as in the case of the ‘cheapo’. Also, you don’t have to buy the most expensive of something to know that it is quality. You don’t have to break bank. Choose affordable quality over cheap quantity. Let’s face it; If you purchase something at a  throat-cutting price, you are most likely going to sell it at an even more throat-crushing price in order to make profit. Thus, it’s preferable you go for something that ranges from decent to great in the quality area of things as well as affordable in the price area of the field. A tip is to buy directly from the manufacturer in wholesale than from third parties. Another tip is to use the resources you can easily find around you and that will be of quality but come cheaper than importing. For Example, if you live in an area where there’s lots of quality wood, incorporate more wood into your business to save cost without the expense of quality.

9. Be willing to learn


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Before going into a field, and even whilst in the field, educate yourself. Be privy of information and facts that relate to the type of business you are about to start up. One of the ways to do this, is to ask questions from those that have been there before you in that regard. We don’t always have to experience  something ourselves before we can learn from it. There’s no wisdom in the redundancy of experiencing something someone has already experienced just for the purpose of learning. Also, it is also advisable to equip yourself with a bit of knowledge from other fields. Why? because some of this knowledge can be translated into something you could actually use in your business venture to spruce things up a bit. Finally, mistakes are bound to happen, but we only grow wiser when we learn from such occurrences. Going through the storm without learning how to steer the boat in the storm would render the entire ordeal pointless and wasteful.

10. Your dream. Your duty. Your Success.


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The topic of interest is your dream, your business, and your success. Sometimes we have dreams and visions, that people around us think are far fetched. Some may describe you as a lunatic for even thinking you could achieve that dream or for even conceiving it in the first place. The truth of the matter however, is; It is not their  duty to believe in your dream. Because, it’s not their dream, it’s yours. Only you can see that vision in your mind. The only determinant of its success is  your belief in it. You are responsible for birthing that conception of your mind. So, do not be discouraged. They can’t see what you’re seeing. Focus. When it actualises, then they’ll understand.

“What if I fall? Oh,but my darling,what if you fly?”
Erin Hanson

  • Cover photo: The Dapper Gentleman. found on:

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