Your Personal Values
Values are tools that will take you toward your personal goals. Values are standards or qualities that you've established to help you make daily decisions. Those people who succeed in any business have some common personal values. Let's look at those values together to determine your strengths and opportunities.
The process of starting and operating any business is difficult. It will require that you constantly test yourself, maintaining what works and changing what doesn't. But that's what many people love about being a business owner: the endless challenges. It makes them aware of their characteristics and requires that they continue to grow.
The great thing about being an independent businessperson is that you get to select which twelve hours of the day you're going to work! As your consulting business grows, you'll spend at least six hours a day producing your service and another two to eight hours marketing and administrating it. If your consulting service is full-time, don't expect to work just a forty-hour week — at least at first.
Discipline is the power behind hard work. You can know exactly what needs to be done and still not do it. Self-discipline forces you to act. Having goals that are meaningful to you will increase your self-discipline.
Great business owners often make poor employees. They're too independent. That's all right. They cannot, however, be stubborn. Business owners must maintain a balance between independence and open-mindedness to succeed.
If your consulting business will involve a spouse or partner, involve her in your business analysis. Interview her for her viewpoint on your personal values and risk tolerance. Ask if she would like to participate in your business and, if so, how. Remember that you will rely on life partners to cooperate in your business decision, even if they don't actively participate. Work together.
It takes a lot of self-confidence to start a business. It takes a lot more to make it successful. But self-confidence isn't ego. It's a belief in your unique skills founded on past success. You know you can successfully operate a consulting service because you have the skills — not just the desire — to do so.
Life is chaos. No matter how much you plan, conditions and events change. Products change. Markets change. You will change. A successful business owner must adapt to these changes. Without change, life becomes very dull.
To succeed in business, you must make good decisions every day. Wisdom requires knowledge. You must be able to gather complete and accurate facts and make the best decision you can from those facts. You will not be right every time, but you will be right most of the time. This is good judgment.
Stress has been defined as “the confusion created when one's mind overrides the body's desire to clobber some yo-yo who desperately deserves it.” Humor can help reduce stress. Stress is a part of everyday life, especially in business. Learning to live with stress without taking it personally can help you succeed in business.
A good place to begin measuring your stress tolerance is in your current employment or responsibilities. Be aware that the stress level of an employer is typically higher than that of an employee. If you're stressed out now, wait until you're the boss. If stress is a problem, find ways to relax your underlying nature and reduce your self-inflicted stress.
Need to Achieve
Success is the achievement of something you go after. It may be the completion of a project, the start of a business, or the learning of a new skill. This need is a driving force within successful business owners that helps give them the energy to reach their goal.
Your personal values will influence daily decisions you make as a professional consultant. Take the time now to consider and analyze your personal values so the consulting business you build will fit you.