This serves as a rather personal and honest post about my journey as an entrepreneur, as well as some of the lessons I’ve learned thus far. It follows my recent attendance at Venture Capital Entrepreneur, international speaker, and best-selling author, Daniel Strauss’ The Billionaire Mindset Seminar. Many will tell you that being an entrepreneur consists of continuously being on some or other journey. At least we learn from our journeys and then, we build on what we’ve learned.
Honestly, since attending Daniel Strauss’ The Billionaire Mindset Seminar earlier this month, I’ve dealt with a whole bunch of emotions and frustrations. Now, as I sit here – on this lovely #MotivationMonday – I finally have the words to explain what went down at Lanzerac Wine Estate. The seminar, consisting of two full days, was filled with an almost overpowering amount of business-related and entrepreneurial learnings – some hard to hear, others very empowering and downright inspirational. I’ve decided to break it down into the most important things I’ve learned – things that turned my business mind into a whole new direction; one that might just make my entrepreneurial spirit reach new heights.
So, here are the most important lessons I took out of the seminar:
One of the most important things I had to realise again, was that I am able and I can. Following retrenchment in 2020, launching this blog in that same year and trying to build a freelancing business (with none of the below lessons engraved in my mind yet and two toddlers at home), I often felt discouraged. In fact, more often than not, I felt like a failure. But, as many entrepreneurs will tell you, it often takes a failure to help you climb that last step towards success. “Plan to fail,” as Daniel Strauss highlighted during his latest The Billionaire Mindset Seminar.
The seminar was attended by numerous people from across the country (and even some delegates from Namibia). Some were already big in business, others were just getting started. There were farmers, beauticians, hotel owners, people from the medical field, teachers and tech gurus – all very different industries with one similar goal: To build business better.
The overall reassurance after once again realising that it’s possible; that we all can, was tangible.
The beginning is a good place to start
A truly insightful part of The Billionaire Mindset Seminar was when we were asked to complete the BBP – short for Billionaire Business Profile. This ‘test’ was custom developed and gives you an in-depth Beta report of your business profile, but also of your current level of wealth creation. It’s an honest reveal of where you’re at within and with your business and much different to the numerous personality tests we so often do in an attempt to understand ourselves and our businesses better. The BBP test will be available to the public soon and promises to fill numerous communication gaps and potentially even limit personality clashes within companies.
From the BBP, I learned that my business is still very much in its beginning phase when it comes to the level of wealth creation. It’s called Survival Mode and it hit hard. After almost three years of owning Suitcase & Chardonnay, it was hard to hear. But, at the same time, it was also enlightening, as I now know what to do next. Interestingly, the BBP also puts me under the business profile called Foundation. While that might sound rather uninspiring, I love the fact that I am a Foundation. It means I am compassionate, well-organised and a multi-tasker. Foundations are also reliable and trustworthy when completing projects, and they do the projects they work on, well. Foundations are people who lead by example and they follow through on projects. And, while they are task-focused, they are also great at maintaining and nurturing relationships.
While I know there are shortfalls (as there are with all the other business profiles too), I like being a Foundation. The bonus is that you can still work on the skills that other profiles might have and hone those skills over time.
This is who I am
During The Billionaire Mindset Seminar we were also asked to describe ourselves in one word. At one point in time, I could have told you exactly who I was. This time, it was the most difficult activity of the whole seminar! Daniel Strauss then suggested that we ask people close to us – those who know us well – to describe us in one word. I was astonished at what came out of the exercise and apart from feeling incredibly grateful and humbled, I felt inspired. In fact, I’ve been telling my husband for a long time that I don’t feel like I know who I am anymore. Getting married, having kids, building a home, building a business – you kind of lose a little of yourself over time. That’s why this exercise was so valuable to me – not only from a business perspective, but also on a very personal level. The thing is, as an entrepreneur, you need to be in tune with who you are and what you believe in, in order to make your business work.
Words like determined, focused, dedicated, integrity, enthusiasm, kind, classical, genuine were but some of the perceptions people sent through. I was gobsmacked. Somehow, each of these words found its place again; a purpose that will drive me to do what I do best.
Be careful what you tell yourself about yourself. It’s not necessarily the truth.
There’s a difference between self-employed and being a business owner
Currently, my business – which consists of freelance writing, blogging and content creation – is at a point where I can’t go on holiday for three months and it will still generate income. I’m self-employed. Not a business owner. There’s a difference.
During The Billionaire Mindset Seminar, Daniel Strauss said that we need to look for the critical moments when building a business and creating a balanced lifestyle at the same time. There are different paths to wealth creation and you need to find your unique path and focus on that. You need to find the ‘unfair advantages’ – things that others in your industry don’t see – and use that to your advantage.
The seminar was one of the most critical moments in my career path as a businesswoman, instantly shifting my focus onto a whole new path that will bring me to a point where I can move over to being a business owner instead of being self-employed.
There are seasons in business
How apt that spring is here, since that’s exactly where my business is at. In business, spring is the season for start-ups, a season in which you focus on creating revenue streams. The challenge here is that this season is best run by a person with a Dynamic Business Profile – pretty much the opposite of me. So, as I focus on my new business path, I am also focusing on learning a couple of Dynamic Profile skills along the way. This includes thinking about the big picture in addition to focusing on the detail. Dynamics build ambitious teams with their great interpersonal skills, and they are brilliant at networking. While I can network, I am better at networking with and building on already established relationships. Dynamics create the relationships; foundations nurture them. Of course, there are many other traits I might want to work on, but that will happen as I grow with my business.
Which is the season for Foundations then? Well, autumn. It’s the season in business when bonds are strengthened and the quality of income is increased.
Structure your business right from the start
Depending on where you’re planning to go with your business (some people merely want to be small business owners, while others want to list their businesses on the stock exchange) you need to go in with a plan. Structure your business in such a way that it is easy for you to exit, even if you only exit when your time comes to leave this earth. At least then you left a structured business to those who will be taking over.
Finally, be the garden
For your business to be successful, you need to build it in such a way that in time, people will come flocking to you without you even having to do much marketing. It’s like creating the perfect garden – one that birds, bees and butterflies come flocking into. Like the birds, bees and butterflies, your customers need to know that with you, they’ll be safe and looked after. That they will get exactly what they need – and more – from you. Be the garden where people love to be.
For more information on Daniel Strauss’ next seminar, which takes place in November 2023, click here. For the BBP test, stay tuned. I will also share a link to the test here once it’s officially been launched.