Being an entrepreneur can be scary. When a lot of people think of entrepreneurs, they think of all the glamorous stuff: dreaming up big ideas, making pitches to influential people, the freedom and thrill of being your own boss, etc. And there’s truth to a lot of that, at least once you reach a certain level. But it’s usually a long, hard road to get there, and if you’re thinking about starting a business, you need to be prepared for some intense challenges.
The Challenges of Starting a Business
I’m speaking from experience. When I started my first business, I had literally nothing. I had to scrap and grind to get any momentum at all, much less stay profitable. It was a while before I had enough money to invest so I didn’t have to live paycheck to paycheck. It took just as long to find the right people who I could depend on to build and maintain a successful company.
Moreover, I had to make a lot of decisions along the way. Sometimes I made good calls, but plenty of times I didn’t. Some of these mistakes were costly in time, money, and emotional energy. Looking back, I can see these decisions clear as day, and part of me wishes I could go back and do a lot of things over. Even if I could though, I wouldn’t, because those mistakes taught me some valuable lessons, which I can now share with you. Because of my broken road, you can have a smoother time starting a business than I had.
After over 20 years as an entrepreneur in construction, real estate, and authorship, I’ve seen a lot of businesses around me thrive and fail.And in a lot of the businesses that I’ve seen fail, I noticed a consistent pattern.
The Mistake You Need to Avoid
So many times I’ve seen a technician go into business for themselves, thinking they can be their own boss. A lot of these folks they think that they will have an easy time being an entrepreneur. However, while a lot of them are skilled in doing the technical work, not many of them have the skills to be the leader of an organization.
For instance, take Jim the plumber. Jim is an excellent plumber. He consistently diagnoses plumbing problems accurately, and he fixes the issues better than anyone in town. He’s truly excellent at what he does. The problem though (as he sees it) is that he’s having to give a cut of every job he does to his boss. Jim figures he’d make more money working for himself, and one day he goes for it.
At first things are great, but then he realizes he has to do a lot more than he used to. He has to track all of his expenses, which now he’s solely responsible to pay. He also has to find all his own work and negotiate on price himself.
And all that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Jim realizes if he wants to take home more money than when he was a worker, he needs to hire people to take on some additional work. But then Jim finds that people don’t always follow through. He struggles to find trustworthy and skilled people, and he cycles through a lot of candidates, none of them ending up being what he’d hoped.
Jim’s situation is simple. He is a skilled worker, but he had no grid for being an entrepreneur when starting a business. He’s now having to be the laborer and the manager, and it’s more than he anticipated.
Market a Passion
What makes it worse is that Jim never really enjoyed plumbing. He was good at it, and he didn’t mind it when he was only doing it 40 hours a week. But now he’s doing it 60-80 hours a week, on top of all the additional work he needs to do to keep his business going. In other words, Jim had a marketable skillset, not a marketable passion.
When I say a “marketable passion”, I mean find something that you would do for free and build a business around that. This is because it’s almost unavoidable when starting a business to be doing a lot of things that drain your energy. Therefore, if you can find work that energizes you, you can manage to do the things that suck life out of you. This may be a skillset (like plumbing) that people are already used to paying for. However, it may be something that’s not making money as far as you can tell. Don’t give up on hope if that’s the case – you’d be surprised what people will pay for.
My main point is this: if the sole goal of the business you want to launch is to make money, it’s not gonna go anywhere. Starting a business from the ground up is a massive undertaking, and there needs to be more driving you than profit. Otherwise, you will be miserable, and you probably won’t make it.
Most businesses that fail were started solely because somebody wanted to make a little more money. Instead, I recommend building your company around something you actually enjoy giving to people and that would be your way of making an impact.
This Is My Way of Giving Back
Right now I can honestly say that I’m practicing what I’m preaching. I didn’t start sharing my ideas and advice for free so that I could make money. This is something I do because I am passionate about helping people achieve their dreams. Believe it or not, I want to help you that much, and so does the rest of my team.
If you’re thinking about starting a business but want more actionable help with getting it going, I have great news. Right now I’m giving away my entire eBook library for free. These include a lot of useful information on how to identify the best advisors, develop your strengths, and identify your weaknesses. I wish that I’d had this information when I first started, and that’s exactly why I want you to have it now.
Successful people follow patterns, so if you’re not successful, you may not be following the right patterns. Here I want to share 7 habits of successful people that I’ve repeatedly seen work.
The Shocking Habits of Successful People
Even from a young age I was blessed to be surrounded by a number of millionaires. Today, twenty-two years after starting my entrepreneurial journey, I’m proud to say that I have access to mentors with an even higher level of success.
Being in close proximity to people like this has allowed me to observe and detect a consistent pattern that makes them successful. Specifically, there are 7 habits that have stood out that exist in each of their lives.
#1 –Say “No” more Than “Yes”
People who are not as successful as they could be are often people-pleasers who allow others to take them away from what they feel they need to focus on. One of the most obvious habits of successful people is that they say “no”. They view their time much differently than the majority do. Because they are successful, a lot of people want their time and resources. However, not every opportunity is worth their time and resources, and in order to be responsible with their time, they have to turn down a lot of people.
#2 – Use Failure as a Learning Tool
Successful people don’t play the blame game. When things don’t go as planned, they do not beat up on themselves. They still make mistakes, but they do not take them personally. Instead, they choose to look at them as a learning tool, leveraging them for future success.
#3 – Invest
One of the definitive habits of successful people is that they spend more time investing than spending. Constant spending will keep you stuck. If you buy something perishable, that money is gone forever. However, when you invest money, it makes more of it for you.
If you’re reading this, wherever you are, I encourage you to become wiser with what you have. He who is faithful with little will be put over much. Would you rather pay 8-9% to your credit card company, or make 8-9% of that for yourself?
#4 – Live by Financial Ratios
Financial ratios are a habit of successful people that helps them constantly invest. They avoid overspending by keeping their spending restricted to certain percentage of their income. This gives them more cash to put to work for them.
Most people have a debt-to-income ratio. The average debt-to-income ratio that lenders consider stable is around 40%. This standard is way off, in my opinion. Ideally it should be 0%, but a more realistic goal for a lot of folks is 20%. If you are over this percentage, I encourage you to get it down to this number. You can do it.
#5 – Respond vs React
Here I mean that successful people are proactive. They plan ahead. Rather than panic when things get bad, they stay cool and implement a strategy that they probably thought of in advance.
Currently, we’re dealing with COVID. A lot of people had no nest egg saved up in case things went wrong. They lived paycheck to paycheck rather than save for a rainy day. Now a lot of those people are in serious trouble. Meanwhile, those who had savings have been able to ride out the storm without losing everything, transitioning into a new job if need-be or taking a hit financially in their businesses without having to close their doors. These people used their ratios consistently for years, and now it’s paying off.
But wait, it gets better. Those with cash on hand have the opportunity to buy things on sale. Economies are cyclical. They go up, and they go down. When things happen that shake the market, a lot of people get spooked and start wanting to sell what they have. This drives the price of their goods down, because now there’s a ton of things on sale and not enough demand for it all. When you have cash to spend, you can take advantage of these cycles and buy when prices go low. Their value to the consumer will eventually go back up, and when they do, guess what? You’ve made more money.
#6 – Exercise Patience
Successful people know when to sit back, remain patient, and watch. Because they live disciplined lifestyles according to ratios, and because they plan ahead rather than react in fear, successful people are already in position to weather a storm.
In addition, they aren’t afraid to take a short-term hit if it means they will gain valuable information. In other words, they aren’t afraid to hold on to their investment as it loses a little bit of value in order to see if they’re seeing a glitch. Moreover, they aren’t afraid to hang on to their cash while everyone else is rushing to buy something popular in order to evaluate it properly. Patience is one of the most pervasive habits of successful people.
#7 – Focus
Most people underestimate the power of focusing for twelve months and overestimate the power of dreaming for 10 years. Successful people know when to focus on one objective at the expense of everything else. In other words, they know how to say no to good opportunities so they can focus on the best one. This is where the list comes full circle. Ultimately, the habits of successful people begin and end with the ability to choose the best thing and say no to everything else.
Bringing it All Together
Not that long ago I was coaching a man with a family of three. He was making well over six figures, but was still losing money every month because he was highly leveraged in debt. He was spread too thin, spending money he didn’t need to spend, and he was worn out. Following the principles of successful people got him from the negative to positive before he knew it. They can do the same for you.
If you want more from the Journey Principles Institute, check out some of our eBooks. Right now we’re making each of them available for free, so take advantage of that!
Plenty of entrepreneurs have faced failure in some form or another.
A product flops. The company goes bankrupt. A business partnership sours. A worldwide pandemic shutters a business that was thriving just months before.
It’s a cliche to say that it’s not what happens to you that matters, it’s how you react—but it’s also very true.
Stephen Scoggins is one of the many entrepreneurs who’ve managed to come through failure to the other side. The founder of a successful construction company, Custom Home Exteriors, and a highly sought-after motivational speaker, Scoggins has faced multiple challenges, setbacks, and failures throughout his life—including homelessness and destitution.
Today, his message is based on the belief that there is a tremendous amount of power in each person that can help define their future as they want it to be.
As a thriving business mastery expert, he dedicates his time to helping and teaching people how to make their biggest dreams in life a reality. Whether it is building a successful career, a business empire, or amassing material wealth in order to have a comfortable life, Stephen has what it takes to make it happen.
Life was not always easy for the multi-millionaire entrepreneur. Truth be told, he has had his share of setbacks, breakdowns, failures, and losses that eventually turned into successes and victories. While others despise their humbling and life-altering experiences that brought them pain and suffering, Stephen Scoggins sees them otherwise.
Determined to associate himself with as many kinds of people as possible, Stephen Scoggins has personally worked with countless people, including notable influencers, professional athletes, pastors, entrepreneurs, C-Suite professionals to soccer moms, students, and everyone in between.
Fueled by hope, prayer, and a second-chance opportunity, he launched an approaching-nine-figure construction company at twenty-two while sleeping in a borrowed friend’s car.