Whether you just opened your gym or you’re years in, planning out a new service to offer, you might be stuck wondering: how do I even get started? How do I come up with a plan, and how thorough does that plan have to be?
Here are some guidelines for taking an idea and successfully realizing it:
1. Understand that the more “educated” way isn’t necessarily always the best.
Oftentimes we can get hung up on how little formal education we have when it comes to our choice to become entrepreneurs. However, the beauty about entrepreneurship is that your success depends more on what you personally can bring to the table, right now, than what your resume touts.
A number of people over the past few years have tried to offer us advice, tossing out phrases like “core competency,” “synergy,” and “SWOT analysis,” thinking they had the qualifications to advise us on how to run our business. Although I always appreciate people’s help and concern, I also take a lot of these conversations with a grain of salt.
Why? For two reasons:
- I have learned much more about what to do and what not to do by simply trying things I thought might work, and then seeing how it goes. Action and experience will teach you more about how to achieve success in business than book smarts ever will.
- Many times, these are the same people who talk a good game about starting their own business but ultimately never do. Would you rather be the person who never fails but never attempts, or the person who fails and eventually learns how to succeed? Carefully consider the “source” when you pick up advice along the way in growing your business. Trust the person who has been there before and is giving you tried-and-true advice, not only the advice that has been published by Harvard Business Review.
Here is why this is good news. You can rest assured that everything you need to succeed as an entrepreneur, you already have. You can trust your own creativity and resourcefulness to implement that next great idea, and you don’t have to feel unqualified simply because you don’t have the “right” pedigree.
2. Make sure your plan has holes in it.
“Well, what am I supposed to follow if not a really detailed, meticulous, and bulletproof plan?”
Your experience, resourcefulness, and intuition.
I know. The thought of operating out there in the unknown without a solid plan to fall back on is terrifying. The reality, though, is that no matter how incredible your plan is, things will not always go according to plan. Whether it’s deciding on the culture you want your gym to have or how many members you plan to sell a new product to, know that even if you don’t follow your plan, it will because you found another, maybe even a better, way to do it.
When we first took over the gym, we went through the typical motions of figuring out our core values, our mission statement, what our vision was for the gym, etc. All the things the MBA would have told us to do.
How many of those core values do we still talk about when making decisions on behalf of the business? None.
When did we fulfill the vision we had back then? Never.
Our core values today are different and have evolved a lot since that one staff meeting that took way too long. And our vision now is much more concrete and based on what personally excites us than what “sounds right.”
So, have a good idea of what plan to do, but ultimately understand that you cannot anticipate everything today. You may hit some road bumps, but you also may be pleasantly surprised by the journey. When finally implemented, your idea could turn out to be better than you ever could have imagined.
Do you still feel lost and overwhelmed?
It gets better. You will figure things out. You’ll become comfortable with the decisions you make, and you’ll continue to gain confidence in what you’re doing. If you have a plan and plug away at it, you will find what doesn’t work, but more importantly, you will certainly figure out what does. The only way you won’t is if you stop.
3. Get to work.
Oh the dreaded step that separates the (wo)men in the arena from the spectators:
Actually doing it.
But, you say, you need three more months to comb through your business plan! It’s just not good enough yet.
Or you don’t want to go out and find someone to run the new class you want to offer! It’ll happen when it’s the right time.
That’s not how that works.
If you’re reading this post, it’s because Lee and I took an idea, and we did something with it.
I didn’t say we took a good idea. I just said an idea.
I can’t wait to see the evolution of Almost Elite from today, May 22, 2018, but I can rest assured that no matter how
laughable humble this website is today, I did something for the bigger objective we both have to help fellow micro gym owners optimize their businesses and their lives.
The hardest part of this step is the mental piece, which I know can often be the most insurmountable. But understand that this step is also the easiest. You have done as much as you possibly could have to prepare for this moment.
It’s time to take that first step.
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