I am dedicating this article to my great friend and business colleague Phil Strachan, the best brand specialist I have ever met in my 40 years of business ownership. Phil always talks about the importance of your business standing out from the crowd and not being just A N other whatever it is you do. I wanted to put my slant on this message, especially based on the above quote that I found whilst searching. 

I have never followed anyone else’s agenda. I hated working for someone else. I would have been crap in the Army as I hate taking orders. I am surprised I lasted 14 years as an employee before I set up on my own. 4 years in Midland bank, and then 10 years in the Airfreight Industry with 5 companies – I couldn’t work out if it was the industry or the company I was working for that I didn’t like – turned out I was really not cut out to work for someone else. 

As small business owners, we need to be different. We need to operate differently. We need to think differently. We need to act differently. The problem is no one teaches us how to run a business, so we leave a job and go into self employment. We don’t know how to act differently, so we end up running our own business but still have employee mentality. This has to change quickly. So what do we need to do?

  1. Work on your own personal development – we all need continuing education
  2. Go networking – this is an art, so you need to learn how to maximise the opportunity
  3. Learn how to outsource and who to outsource to – check credentials of those you outsource to
  4. Look at outsourcing as an investment and not a cost
  5. Spend time working ON your business – at least 10% of every week
  6. Get a mentor or a coach to help you build a better business – check their credentials

Owning a business is a honour. It should be part of us. It should mirror the way we are as a person. We should run it with strong values and we should run it the right way, and do the right thing for our clients. 

I remember when I set up my second business in 1987 and my Dad thought I had lost the plot. My wife was 3 months pregnant with our first daughter and he told me I was totally irresponsible leaving my job to set up on my own. My direct family never really got it. They were not necessarily laughing at me but they were not really supportive. Entrepreneurs are different, we don’t follow the crowd. Because we are different we need to make sure our business is different. We don’t want to be just A N other whatever business we are running. We need to stand out from the crowd, not be the same as our competitors. Being different is good, it’s exciting,  it’s an adventure. It’s stressful at times, but being and doing something different will never be easy. It is what makes success such a precious thing.

This article was first published on LinkedIn by Richard Knight on 15/11/2021