April 21, 2022
The world is changing faster than anyone can keep up with and the work environment we knew pre-pandemic is all but gone. Yes, many industries have started to open again now that COVID is less prevalent, but there seems to be a definite shift in how employers and consumers conduct business. Gone are the days of exclusive in-person meetings. Zooming in pajamas and grocery deliveries are here to stay forever. Not only have people taken early retirements, but there has been a tremendous surge in entrepreneurship during the past couple of years.
I started a business right before the world shut down and let me tell you, not only was it frightening and became a huge leap of faith, but it also caused me to reevaluate my business plan even though I had just started and thought I had it all figured out. Seeing as how nothing has been quite conventional, here are my words of wisdom, tried and true, for anyone who desires more independence and the freedom that can be found by becoming an entrepreneur.
Now you are probably thinking – ok, here she goes with the typical outline of all the things that one needs to do and the million boxes to be checked off to get started. Nope, that is not me and I am not that girl. I found that when you are starting a business there are three essential components you need to identify as your primary colors so they can become the foundation of your own masterpiece.
- Identify your passion and purpose. What are you doing when you feel like you step into the most authentic version of yourself? I’m talking about that thing that you can feel deep inside your core and know that it is good? And what medium brings that to life? When you find the perfect union between these two things you have identified your true passion and purpose. From the outside looking in, I look like just another financial advisor. However, on the inside my drive is to educate and empower people to make excellent financial decisions that ultimately lead them to achieve their personal goals. What we see on the outside may not be what happens to be on the inside. The key to a successful entrepreneurial path is to be able to articulate your concept clearly so your audience wants to buy your brand.
- Take a hard look at your weaknesses. Let’s face it, nobody is perfect, and we all have things at which we do not excel. The sooner we embrace this the more quickly we can set ourselves up for true success. When we surround ourselves with people who have stronger core competencies that complement our own, the stronger we become. The cool thing about that is while we are building our phenomenal teams, we are also setting others up for success alongside us. You would think I love all kinds of numbers. That’s absolutely not the truth because I find accounting incredibly tedious. Just ask my amazing accountant (who graciously puts up with me) how I really feel! Having said that, I more importantly do not want to be responsible for audits and I like to ensure that that my clients have those same benefits. I may know a lot of things about an array of topics related to finance, but I always defer to other professionals when their counsel is needed. Some of my greatest allies not only include accountants, but attorneys and marketing professionals as well (and do not forget the value of a good financial advisor!). Do not put yourself in a position to be a “Jack of all trades and master of none.” It’s simply not flattering.
- Develop a mindset to give back. This is the most unequivocable piece of advice I can ever impart to anybody, not just aspiring entrepreneurs. You cannot get ahead in life if you do not give back. Period. Giving back comes in so many different forms. Whether it is something to do with your passion and purpose, or information on a topic that you happen to be an expert at, people will want to be a part of your story if you put yourself out there to support your community and peers. It does not have to be in monetary form such as a donation or sponsorship, you could speak at career day at your local high school. You might consider participating in a community clean-up project, but whatever form it takes it is a compelling piece of your story when you want to improve the community around you. Start small where you can and grow from there. Take it from one entrepreneur to another. The beginning always feels humble but the farther down the path you go you will find tremendous rewards. As Winston Churchill famously said, “we make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”
Taking the dive into the business world and creating something by yourself for the benefit of others may seem like a daunting mountain to climb, but the view from the top is amazing. I can attest to that, although I would never climb a real mountain. In a time when more and more people want the flexibility to have a career and raise a family, finding the work and home balance, this has become a more mainstream and conventional path to explore. If you find yourself wanting to do something more, use these principles as guide points when you develop your plan, and know that when you do you will be well on your way to claiming your fame.
Iris Buczkowski is the founder and CEO of Birch Wealth Management (birchwealth.com). Birch Wealth Management is an Investment Adviser registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission. All views, expressions, and opinions included in this communication are subject to change. This communication is not intended as an offer or solicitation to buy, hold or sell any financial instrument or investment advisory services. Original content provided by Iris is for educational purposes only and should not be construed as investment advice.