After 20+ years in corporate America, I voluntarily left in 2006 and actualized a dream I had been thinking about for many years in early 2007. On February 6 2007, I launched my own business education consultancy, training and content management company, originally called Train With Shane, that 2 years ago became DeborahShane.com.
I celebrate 6 years in business this year, during some of the most transitional, tumultuous and transformative times any of us have seen or lived through and I made it through.
Starting a small business is a lot harder than most people realize. It requires a lot of upfront grunt work, guts and courage and is not for the faint of heart. When it all starts coming together and working, the rewards and pay off are indescribably satisfying and rewarding.
If you are an entrepreneur in the trenches, by all means continue if it’s working and it’s what you are called to do but, it’s also perfectly OK to change course and decide to do something else or go back to work for someone else.
Being an entrepreneur in this day and age is truly survival of the fittest, most flexible, nimble and for those whose qualities and personalities are best suited for the enterprise.
Here are 6 of fundamental insights that have helped me over the past 6 years.
1. If you truly love what you do, you’ll find a way to make it work.
If you don’t look forward to getting up every day and leaping out of bed to go and embrace your work and career, then you will lose interest in it. I love media, marketing, branding, writing, strategy and helping people with these skills.
2. Ramp up to the relentless pace of change.
Technology and social media marketing have revolutionized the speed, delivery, consumption and usage of our communications and information. It’s quite stunning that we now have a new lexicon of terms and best practices that are essential and necessary for us to function and compete daily.
3. Review and take inventory regularly of what’s working and what’s not.
Things work, then they don’t. Follow trends, follow change and be honest and candid about changing what’s not working. Don’t delay or procrastinate.
4. Always make it about others, which makes it about you.
Serving truly is the new selling. This trend emerged a few years ago when we became content publishers across many media’s. When we help people with our expertise and knowledge the like and trust accelerates. ‘Share the why and sell the how’.
5. Build smart, strong, solid networks and surround yourself with them regularly.
Communities, tribes, circles, friends, groups, networks, hang outs, clubs, chambers, organizations, social media are the ways we network with the right people who will always lead us.
6. Have fun in the daily journey and ooze optimism, hope and positivity.
We know it’s not fun 24/7, every single day, but it’s that yin and yang of challenge and triumph that keeps us going. Optimism and positivity are mega magnets and always a brands best friend. They attract the right people to you and you to them. Share your truths but always find and share your silver lining.
When Felix Baumgartner jumped from the edge of space, it represented a watershed moment for content marketing. What he did was extraordinary enough, but with 8 million people watching live, Red Bull showed the world that the “brands as publishers” movement was here to stay.
A recent Aquent and AMA survey reports a significantly increased focus on social media (76%) and marketing automation (75%) and reported respondents think social media marketing and online content will be in demand the most.
This is where we are, what we are doing and where we are continuing to go.
It ‘s the real time story and the content marketing that allows us to tell it that makes a difference to people. Scale it for you, figure out the best way to do it and do it as often and as much as you can.
People are reading, watching and finding things you wouldn’t believe, but it’s got to be created and out there to be found.
Thank you all for you kind support and encouragement. It continues to make my journey rich and rewarding.
Deborah Shane is Top 100 Small Business Champion 2012, Career Author, branding/media strategist, writer and speaker. She hosts her Toolbox Blog and a popular weekly Business Radio Show that has over 108K downloads! She is a regular contributor to SmallBizTrends.com, Monster, Blogher, PersonalBrandingBlog.com, Forbes.com. Her book Career Transition-make the shift is available on Amazon.com and all major book sellers. Deborah delivers smart ideas and solutions, which make her a popular go-to resource for CNN, CBS, Fox and Forbes.