How to play the entrepreneurial game

It’s been awhile since I last wrote, so here’s a quick update.

The online store my wife and I started is doing well. We’ve grown to be the largest online-only dress shop in Canada using the tools / techniques I described throughout the course of this blog. Believe me there’s a ton of information here for you to sift through to help get you started on your entrepreneurial journey.

Aside from that – I’ve learned so much in the past year, and below is quick summary on how to play the game.

Put in the work

Sorry kids, there’s no such thing as sitting on a beach on watching the money roll in. You have to put in the work. You have to grind, hustle, struggle, believe, beat yourself up, and then figure out how to succeed. There’s no such thing as ‘passive’ income in this life.

Do whatever the hell you want – even if you change your mind

What I’ve wanted to do with my life has changed about 12 times over the past couple years. I wanted to be a radio star, a sales star, a magazine publisher, a golfer, a restaurant owner, a marketing consultant, an entrepreneurial coach, a video game player and more. I’ve tried it all, and only a few have stuck.

It’s okay to pull the plug if you thought you wanted to do something, then you tried it, and you didn’t get the results you thought. I found by trying to do all the things that pop up in my head, I finally figured out what I really wanted. Right now, I’m playing video games online (check it out here), helping my wife with the biz, golfing and working a 9-5.

If you can work a 9-5 to generate some more income…do it

The money was tight for a couple years after starting a business and trying to get a magazine off the ground. My wife and I did both within the same year, and the finances were tough to watch. However, we persevered and did what we had to do to make a dime. I took up working retail, and finding odd jobs to pay off our living expenses. That’s right – no venture capital here.

Then I finally decided to grab a cushy 9-5 to ensure our finances were stable. It’s a job where I make good enough money (for now) to live comfortably, and I don’t have to take my work home with me. When I leave – I leave. So many people get caught up with work consuming their life. FUCKING STOP IT! Leave work at work. No one will care, trust me.

Play the game

When you have established yourself as a hard worker (or at least you look like you’re working hard) it’s soooo easy to find a job. Use existing contacts, friend, family whoever to get your foot in the door. From there – coast. Do whatever you can to ensure your finances are stable, so you can play / start a business in the evenings and weekends.

I busted my ass for 5 or 6 years to make a name for myself, now I’m trying to coast and focus on the things I really enjoy outside my 9-5.

Get a gimmick

There’s no other way to put it. I slapped on a bow tie, and instantly distanced myself from the competition. Whether it’s hunting for a job or writing this blog. Find something you can do to separate yourself. Unfortunately, being YOU isn’t enough anymore. You need a gimmick. Wear bright red shoes, place a flower in your hair, wear bright shirts…whatever it is find something to make you literally stand out in a crowd.

The above is a quick run through of what I’ve learned in the past couple years. It was a tough grind, but there is a light on the other side. I’ve seen it, I’m living it. If you need some help – feel free to drop me a line at effumarketing@gmail.com.

Love you,

Jordan ‘The Guy with the Bow Tie’ Rycroft

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I’m a small business, where do I go for help?

Help, I need help, small business help

HELP!

80% of businesses will close their doors within the first five years. I heard this stat yesterday, and I’m not going to take the time to Google it right now.

I don’t know the main cause for the above, but I can almost guarantee it has to do with ego. If you’re running a business, you think you’re the best, you can do no wrong, etc… etc… Unfortunately, the general public doesn’t think about you in this way.

It’s similar in the technology startup world. “Dude, did you hear about what we’re doing? Ya, we’re going to change the world!” When in reality, only 1 in 10 statups ever take off, and out of those, very few will ‘change the world.’ It doesn’t matter if you went to an Ivy League school, or you have this crazy business acumen, 1 in 10 will be successful past a few years.

When I was starting out, I thought I knew it all, and I didn’t need help. Wow! Was I ever wrong. The world slapped me in the face on numerous occasions. Then, I checked my ego, and started to ask for help.

There are many routes you can go to find help. I’m not going to list all of them here, but the below items are what I’ve found to be the most powerful for myself, and others I’ve spoken with.

1) Find someone you know who currently runs a successful business, and ask to ‘pick their brain.’ Even if you don’t know this person, pick up the phone, shoot them an email, or connect with them through social media. Mention you’re a business owner, and you’re looking for help. This person could be a mentor for you. Once you have one mentor, don’t be afraid to ask for another. And don’t be afraid to ask someone who’s in a similar business to yours.

Quick anecdote – I recently was working with a startup, and found a direct competitor in their lane of business. I said we should reach out to this competitor to get an idea of the challenges, opportunities, etc… Of course, there was resistance from this startup. “They’re our competitor, why would they help us?” #1 – people like being asked for advice. #2 – you’re trying to grow the market, and I’m positive they’d like to grow their market / revenues just as you would. So, we reached out, and within 15 minutes we had a response, and set up a Skype chat.

2) Read – this has been the most effective for me. I usually comb through my feeds every morning, and read every night before I go to bed. If I find an interesting article or book – I usually try to reach out to its author to again, ‘pick their brain.’

By the way, if you’re looking for a decent script to reach out to just about anyone – feel free to shoot me an email at effUmarketing@gmail.com.

3) Do the things you don’t like doing. This was the pitfall with my dad. He has his own business, but he had to shut down his storefront due to numerous reasons, but mainly due to his stubbornness in only doing what he wanted to do. He didn’t like the accounting aspect, so he let it slide; therefore cash flow started to hurt, and BAM! CREDITORS! If you don’t like accounting, find an accountant, if you don’t like selling, find a salesperson, if you can’t afford the aforementioned, suck it up, and DO IT!

Finally, I’ve also found this site to be very helpful when it comes to the areas of any / all small businesses. It’s small business owners, helping small business owners. Check it out at www.businessingmag.com.

As always, you can reach out to me on Twitter, LinkedIn or email at effUmarketing@gmail.com. I read every message.

Love you,

Jordan ‘The Guy with the Bow Tie’ Rycroft