Entrepreneurship can be a very difficult road, requiring a great deal of work and sacrifices. Although it’s very interesting, being an entrepreneur is not always easy. Results will take time but if you have patience and why not a little bit of luck, things will eventually go your way and you’ll see the results you were wishing for.
I’ve had the opportunity of creating several entrepreneur projects. Some have been successful, others have been failures (on a side note, I don’t consider these failures as something negative, because I’ve learned and grown from the mistakes I’ve made). Today I want to focus this article in that point in time, when your hard work starts to payoff and you begin to see results. The road ahead is still very long, however you see in this point that your efforts and sacrifices have been worthwhile and that everything is coming around.
I wanted to bring this subject today, because I’m currently living it and I want to share this with all my readers. About a year and a half ago, I decided to quit my day job, my steady income and change it for independence and the following of my dreams. I created a consulting firm called Consultorías 360° (360° Consulting); I specialize in Innovation, Internet and Technology Strategies consulting. Although this firm is part of a larger company (it’s actually a Business Unit), for all intents and purposes, I work alone and I’m independent. This also means that when I don’t have any work for a given month, I don’t receive any income.
About 2 years ago, I decided I wanted to return to the Entrepreneur path. It was clear that the road ahead was tumultuous, long and that I had to make sacrifices. However I was not scared because I have already taken this road in the past, sometimes successfully, others not so much. Anyway, I was ready for what lie ahead.
Those who have worked on the Consulting World know there are some aspects that are vital to be successful in this business. There are three that are very important. The first is the knowledge you have on the subject you deal with, something that wasn’t a problem for me. The second is personal presence, something that’s beyond physical looks. This includes the way you dress, your confidence and other elements. Although I’m not great at all these elements, I’m OK and I transmit to my clients great confidence and security, something that has helped me.
The third item, many times the most important is how well known you are. In other words, what entitles you to be perceived as an expert on your field of knowledge? This was my weakest aspect, as I’m young, starting this project at the age of 28 (now I’m 29 and soon I’ll be 30). Most people and clients I initially approached saw me as someone very young, with no expertise and you could also say no pedigree. Acknowledging this I decided that my strategy was to become an expert and let people know who I am and what are my credentials. Several opportunities came my way, thanks to life (an why not, to God) and I took them.
In the last year or so, I’ve had the opportunity to participate in several actives which have allowed me to be positioned as a leader and someone who knows a great deal about Technology, Internet, Innovation and Business Strategies. To start with, Colombia’s (the country from where I write these lines) main Financial Newspaper allowed me to publish a column once a week. I use this to show my clients that I’m a trusted source and that my writings are consulted by thousands of businessmen every week.
Another activity I’ve been doing frequently, is dictating small talks on these same subjects, to people from different areas. I’ve done free lectures for associations of professionals, Rotary Club and others. Although this wasn’t my original intent, several companies have hired and paid me to give these talks to their employees. All this lectures have been great as many clients have come thanks to them.
The third thing I’ve done is Networking, via Internet and physically. This has not been as successful as the talks, but I’ve managed to acquire some very interesting contacts.
All this work has taken me over a year and a half and today I’m starting to see how it pays off. I’m constantly receiving requests from clients to check their projects and give them a hand.
This year and a half has been hard; however I’ve never lost faith nor lost track of why I was doing all this. I also never stopped dreaming and knowing I will eventually be successful. The road ahead is still very long and problems will eventually arise. However I believe I’ve paid all my dues as a newcomer and only good thing will come in the future. All this time I’ve been planting seeds and now it’s time to pick up the harvest (I’ll continue plating new seeds every opportunity I have).
Everyone who has transit the entrepreneur road will probably relate to this experience. If you’re just starting I recommend you to have faith, keep dreaming and work hard. Things will occur in their given time. Have patience and when you succeed, remember this reading and share your thoughts with us.
Image taken from Flickr.com