This is a guest post from Jaime Tardy, who blogs at EventualMillionaire.com. I thought it would be interesting to get some perspectives from other people who have had success, both online and off, so I invited Jaime to post this relying on her huge amount of interviews. Links to the full interviews are gathered where it is possible.
I’ve met over 50 millionaires in the past year, and three big mistakes keep rising up. Here’s how successful millionaires knew how to overcome them:
Mistake #1: “But I don’t have any time!”
“Time is a created thing. To say ‘I don’t have time’ is like saying ‘I don’t want to.” — Lao Tzu
I was talking with a millionaire the other day about how entrepreneurs want the newest tips and tricks to gain them more time. In reality, though, it’s the basic elements that matter. The word focus has rose up over one hundred times in the 50 meetings. We all have the same time. Imagine if you removed everything from of your arrangements tomorrow. No work, no driving, no eating, no Facebook, no TV. Just sitting. How long would tomorrow be? In work, we weaken our efforts by adding so much to our time table. Len Schwartz, establisher of Pro2Pro Network, said:
“It became largely noticeable to me that I was weakening myself and my efforts and my energy and my energy so much so that I was just rotating plates and getting nowhere. So, for all of you hearing that are like that and/or have gone through that, please understand the value of extreme attention.”
Many great businesses were made in just a few hours a week. Take David Heinemeier Hansson from 37Signals. He said, “So on the programming side of things, for about six calendar months that we worked on BaseCamp, I spent ten hours per week. That’s it.”
In a a work, it’s about how many hours you spend working. But for an entrepreneur that’s not it at all. It doesn’t matter how many hours you work. It matters what you create in those hours. Michael Burcham, serial entrepreneur who controls the Nashville Entrepreneur Center, said:
“Entrepreneurs aren’t rewarded necessarily by effort or hours. We’re rewarded when the outcome, the product or service we’re producing, actually does something that people care for. I see all the time people who are completly putting in crazy hours.
The things they are wasting their time on are so unimportant. They’re editing Page 21 of a business plan describing an operating model in an area form that no one is ever going to see. That’s a complete waste of time. So I would tell to you that it’s much more about what destruction you are doing each day and less about how long you are doing it for.
My own personal experience is I give everything a good six to ten hours a day.”
Action Item: Are the things you have on your to-do list today moving forward your work? Are you making effective effort every day to both 1) get new customers and 2) satisfy your existing customers better? To really enlarge your business, you have to do the hard work of prospecting for leads and closing sales.
Mistake #2 – “I Don’t Have Enough Money!”
“You can make excuses or you can make money but you can’t do both.” — Pat Mesiti
Money is always amatter for a newer businessmen, whether you have some or you don’t. This is one of the most wide excuses I know from prospects and clients. Money is not your concern. Your work and pushing through boundaries is the matter. Don’t get me wrong–it might be right that you small amount of money to spend. But many of the millionaires have had the same concerns. MJ Demarco, author of the Millionaire Fastlane, said:
“For anyone to say ‘Oh, I don’t have money. How am I will start a business?’ That’s an excuse. It really is. I begun my business with $900. All the capital that came into my work was human capital. Hard work, sweat, and the other factors I want to say is that it was all self experience. I took the time to learn. Everything I know insofar as my company, I had to teach myself. I was on the Internet, learning and buying books; I was at the library all the time.”
Joy Gendusa from PostcardMania.com said:
“When I sbegun doing postcard marketing for my business I had no money. So it was literally my paycheck that was going into postage and I begun sending 1,000 pieces every week.”
They find a way. I’ve known stories of going to SCORE, finding out how to get people to work for you without money for trades, or know how to do things yourself. In fact the time we are in now is probably the cheapest to begin a business We no longer have to pay for expensive printed brochures, or yellow page advertisements. Now we have WordPress, social media sites like Fiverr.com. rather than thinking how little you have, start to think about how much you have. You are so lucky. David Heinemeier Hansson also said:
“It has never been easier to establish something in software with no moneyl on hand as it is today. If you can establish it self-funded, you can do it,on your own time and with you being in control of the entire task the entire way.”
And a side note about funding: You don’t need to get funding. most of the millionaires I asked discouraged it. Most of them didn’t even have loans, especially in online businesses. They begun small, and just kept working and reinvesting.
Action Item: Is there a way you can swap your services and trade your experience with someone else’s? Can you learn how to build a website, deal with the software you want to build, etc.?
Erica’s note: When I first begun my hosting business, I swaped my HTML and CSS skills to a web design company in exchange for my first Cisco switch. I had servers out of Dumpsters and repaired the hardware myself. I bought parts on eBay. One of my employees, later in my business, said, “Wow, the whole business was built on eBay.” Yeah, most of it!
I created my own website, and founded out PHP to know how to accept credit cards online. Stop saying to yourself you can’t do this stuff. Rather than, buy the books, sit down and know what you need to learn, and ask questions. I had no teacher in this area, and I had no “mentors” who taught me how to work. I learned via IRC channels and people at work who knew this thing.
Don’t know anyone who knows what you want to learn? Look up local meetups in your area. They might be even worth giving a few hours each way to, or staying out in your car for a day or two. Do what you have to do to make your work better. The worst thing you can do is sit around waiting for someone to finish your work..
(end Erica’s note)
Mistake #3 – “I don’t know how!”
You may not know, but other people were there before and managed. Just because you don’t know how in the present time, does not mean you can’t learn. Sometimes you even confuse yourself because you don’t want to make a mistake, or you think we need to learn the “correct” way (of course there isn’t a “right” way, so you keep looking continously). This excuse is usually based in fear: fear of the unknown and fear of failing. Fear is normal though — for you and for millionaires. They feel the fear and do it anyway.
Amos Winbush III established a company called CyberSynchs. He was a songwriter and aspired to create a tech company.
“There was nothing on the marketplace to edit my concern and I thought that if I had this same problem there had to be millions of other people who had this exact same problem, so I told myself, “Let’s create a company.” I called my business chef and said, “How do I create this company?” He said you need to find some software engineers, so I did a lot of research to find out what software engineers actually were and what they do.”
When he was begining a tech company, he know nothing about software engineers actually were, let alone how to establish a business! He started the business with only $250, too. (He found a CTO on Craigslist for free!) He had a million dollar company in only 18 months. Amos depended on his tutor and just kept making moves. He didn’t let his excuses weaken him. He didn’t have a plan or money, but that didn’t matter.
Frank McKinney didn’t know how to make real estate before he begun, just like Craig Wolfe didn’t know how to do rubber ducks that look like celebrities (Celebriducks). If we already knew how to do every move it probably wouldn’t even be that interesting to us. The only thing you need to learn is the next step. Find out what that next step is. If you don’t know, ask someone who does.
Action Item: The real truth is that all of us, even those who have made a lot of money, don’t feel like we know what we are doing. Millionaires aren’t necessarily smarter than you–or more talented than you are. They do know, however, how to push through their fears and make the tough decisions. Today, work on one thing you previously feared. It probably won’t hurt as badly as you think it will, even if you fail. Just give it a shot!.