As an aspiring entrepreneur, business owner, or working professional, you don’t need a lot. You don’t have to come from money or have a million dollars to build your business. That’s part of the hype that most people assume. What does matter is having the mindset to get started. So, start by asking yourself questions to lead to building a solid foundation. You are your foundation and it starts with you.
1. Who am I?
If you want to be successful, you must be willing to do the inner work and take a long, deep look inside to know yourself. You’re not what society or school told you who you were. You must look deeper than that. What do I like doing in my spare time? What are my core values?
Who do I want to work with? What am I trying to achieve? What are my personal goals? How am I going to change the world for the better? Ask yourself these questions to better connect with yourself and learn how you’re most inclined to serve others.
2. Who can I serve?
Once you’ve established a solid internal foundation, you can now move onto the outside world and see how you can help with your skills. The world around you is a reflection of your inner world, and by knowing yourself, you can start to know how your strengths can serve others.
Business isn’t about selling to everyone… if you sell to everyone, you are selling to no one. So, who is your ideal client? What knowledge or expertise do you have that will solve their problems? Why are they going to choose you over a sea of other qualified candidates? How are you going to connect with them so they can trust you? You must get deep and personal with yourself before you know how you can serve other people.
3. What are my top strengths?
Everyone is born with certain natural talents and aptitudes. Some people are introverts, and others are extroverts. There is no right or wrong answer; it’s a matter of who you are at your core. It’s being honest with yourself and knowing how you can best serve others. This is why it’s best to be honest with yourself. When you’re honest with yourself, it translates to you being honest with others.
This relates to the first question. So here is where we can take it a step further: Do you like writing? If so, then you could be a copywriter, email marketer, editor, or content writer for a big company, or even your own.
Are you analytical and strategy oriented? You could become an SEO professional or market research analyst. Do you have natural photography and video editing skills? Digital marketing has a major demand for video editing skills. Quality video plays a major role in marketing efforts, so video editing skills will always be in high demand.
“Focus on your work. Do what you’re great at. Don’t compare yourself to others and or waste time criticizing the lives and work of others. Do what matters most to you and make a difference doing that.” – Germany Kent
4. Where is my ideal client located?
Once you know your personal why and who you choose to serve, you can then perform your client research process. With millions of people using the internet to establish their presence, you have access to a number of potential contacts looking to connect with other business professionals. Social media is used for business nowadays with marketing efforts, so taking a look at companies and people you want to work with on social media is a great first step.
If you want to serve customers, social listening is also a good strategy as well. You have to think strategically like the customer. Social apps like Reddit, Quora, Yahoo reviews, and Google Business let your customers do the talking for you. You can also interview your ideal client to build rapport and gain more insight into their wants and desires.
5. Do I have the right systems in place to run a business?
Running a business not only requires strategy and stamina, but do you have the right systems in place to keep organized when things get busy? Most things are available online. Which email service provider are you going to use for your email marketing strategy? Which web hosting service will you use for your site? What am I going to outsource? Who can I outsource specific tasks to?
Those are a few of the many questions you must have answers for to get started on your business. After all, failure to plan is planning to fail. By having systems in place and knowing which tools you want to use, you can prevent most startup mishaps by being prepared.
“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
6. Which mediums can I use to reach my clients?
So many people have an abundance of talent but unfortunately, may not know or have been taught how to channel it into business strategy. But with the proper research and knowledge, you can overcome this obstacle by studying market research.
Currently, most business professionals utilize the LinkedIn platform to connect with like-minded professionals in their niche. This gives you the power to put yourself out there and connect with people in your industry. Facebook is also a place to connect with other like-minded business professionals, as well as create specific groups and communities of those who share similar interests and values.
7. Are you ready to be the CEO of your life?
The final and most important question, is are you ready to be the CEO of your own life? As an entrepreneur and independent professional, you must take charge and be fully responsible for your life. Now, I’m not about to say you have to wake up at 5am. What works for some people may not work for everyone.
Being the CEO of your own life is knowing what works best for you and maximizing your full potential. So, you must be honest with yourself and ask yourself these questions to know yourself and who you can serve to change the world. You must also have confidence within yourself and know what you have to do to become successful.