My Personal lessons (KykNET’s Winslyn)

For the last few months, I’ve shared advice regarding the business world and everything that creates a successful business. The world of entrepreneurship has never been an easy place and even though I’ve been working with a lot of small businesses the last 10 years, I’ve also built up my own successful businesses. Today I’m speaking about my own lessons and my own path as an entrepreneur.

I grew up in a town called Harrismith, where I washed cars and cut grass to pay my school fees. At 22 I started my first business. Today I can brag with a few successful businesses behind my name, but I also learned a few tough and expensive lessons. Financially I grew a bigger business in the last year than the previous 7 years. Did I work harder? Most certainly no! I did however learn lessons that gave me more success in this year than any of the other years before.

Today I’d like to share this with you.

Be more strategically involved than operationally. I read a book called “The E-Myth Revisited” by Michael E. Gerber. It changed my life, as well as my views on businesses and I’ll suggest it to anyone! Michael writes about why most small businesses are unsuccessful and that it’s all because of business owners not putting the right processes and systems in place and because the owner is responsible for everything. I did just that, I was involved with everything and never allowed others to take over, this is an expensive price to pay. My advice is to move away from any operational responsibilities as a business owner as soon as the business starts growing, focus on systems and processes and start to run your business strategically. Get the best platform for your employees to manage the best business.

We had to move into an office space early. This may be controversial in this time we live in since businesses are starting to move away from office spaces, but this made a big difference in our business. We started off trying to do everything virtually. People were working from their homes and we communicated electronically. It was only when we moved into an office that everything happened faster and suddenly we grew much faster. There’s just something about it, being in the same space and being able to communicate instantly. My advice is to get a space where you can get your business to grow as fast as possible. When the processes and systems are in place you can try to work virtually but a new business needs the interaction of an office space.

Relationships are the most important. A successful business is dependent on the entrepreneur behind it and more importantly, the relationships that the entrepreneur has. Everyone always says that networking is important, but it’s about more than just networking it’s about building relationships, with suppliers, clients, staff etc. When a small business starts growing the business owner is a very small component in the picture and the people around you are the people that make it all happen. Everything is just a small puzzle piece towards the bigger picture of success. My advice is to be aware of how you treat other people because it’s those people that can make or break you.

If I could be eighteen again today, in the streets of Harrismith, then I would have done everything the same because it’s those lessons that made me who I am today. I would definitively have gained success earlier if I applied these lessons. It was an honour to be able to speak about my personal life.

Visit my website and share your personal journey with me.

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