“Credibility is the art of accepting responsibility.”
- Julian Hall
ACTUAL “CASE HISTORIES”: Almost more than anything else, Federico wanted to own his own business. Since childhood, he had wanted to start, build and grow “Federico, Inc.” When he was younger, he was always looking around at how other people began and ran their own businesses. Each time Federico passed an empty storefront he felt a little sad because it signified to him that someone’s dream of opening and thriving in his or her own business had not worked out. At 44 years old, he was beginning to wonder if his dream of being his own boss – and his own slave – would ever materialize.
Without warning, within two weeks’ time Federico received word that (i) an aunt he was close to had passed on and left him a sizable inheritance from her will, and also that (ii) he was being laid off from his job of 14 years, and was going to be provided six months of severance. Both were terrible news, but together they could just possibly represent a rare, once-in-a-lifetime chance to open his own business.
What Federico had been thinking about for a long time was something that he, his family and his friends always longed for: an internet service that locates historic sites of interest to those of Hispanic heritage, one that listed the sites, explained their significance to Hispanic history and culture, and suggested both restaurants and hotels in the vicinity. He knew how it would ideally look, how it would ideally work, and why it had such a great chance of success.
But Federico also knew he needed others to work with him: besides customers, he needed lenders, vendors, investors, partners, contractors and affiliated hotels, restaurants, and the like. The problem he faced was that no one seemed to take him, or his idea, seriously because Federico was not already operating a profitable business. He wondered how he might get other people to take him seriously, and consider sharing with him (a) their time, (b) their attention, (c) their money, and (d) even possibly their own business reputations: Frankly, no one seemed to want to take the time to talk to “this guy with an idea.” And, no one seemed to want to be part of an “experiment.”
What Federico learned was that the more you are making your idea “real,” the more it will be viewed to be “real” by others. Said differently, having your mind and your act together makes others want to get together with you. That simple line sums it up.
LESSON TO LEARN: It is a well known fact that many people would just love to leave their jobs, and start a business of their own. There must be 10 new television shows devoted to that very topic. The advantages are many, and it seems like a lot of fun. The problem is that there is no simple pathway to success and no “courses” out there to teach you how to do it.
One particularly vexing problem faced by potential entrepreneurs is the “new business credibility gap,” that is, until you are up and running, it is hard to get others to help you get there, to work with you, to give you a chance, to consider being a lender, a customer, a partner, an investor, or to otherwise become affiliated with you. After all, who wants to be a surgeon’s first patient, a barber’s first customer, or the one to try out the services of a parachute folder? The issue is “credibility,” which really just means “being trusted and believed in.” The problem is, “How do you get business credibility before you have a credible business, that is, before you are “up and running?”
There ten things are ones you would be wise to do, and that are available to you to do, in order to gain the new-business (or proposed-business) credibility you need to get your new business or business idea off the ground. They are the “making it real” that Federico learned makes others feel you are “for real” and that is the essence of new-business credibility.
Having helped many people transition from employer-employment to self-employment over the years has given rise to these 10 steps to gaining credibility for a new business or new business idea and you’ll see what I mean.
HERE ARE 10 STEPS TO CREDIBILITY FOR A NEW BUSINESS OR BUSINESS IDEA: Bear in mind that no single one of these ten steps is essential to establishing credibility for a new or proposed business, but the more you put into place the more credibility your new or proposed business will enjoy. “Make it real, and it will be real, to you and others.” And bear in mind, too, that these ten steps are not the only steps you can take to engender credibility to your new or proposed business: Continue Reading. . .