(Photo: MBM Publishing)
If you want to create opportunities for yourself by creating your own business, no matter your age, it’s not too late to start. If you do make that decision, however, dream big. How big? Capital B-I-G.
“If you’re dreaming and you tell your dreams to someone, and they don’t think that you are crazy, you’re not dreaming large enough,” entrepreneur William "Bill" Parrish Jr. tells BET.com.
As a former employee for Newark Public Schools in New Jersey, Parrish was in charge of design and construction projects for the district. In what may not have seemed like a blessing at the time, Parrish was "technically fired" from his job of three years in 2005. It was then that he had what he calls a “now or never moment.”
After his job was eliminated, he knew it was time to invest in his dream of building his own business “now or never.” Using the knowledge formed in his previous career, Parrish immersed himself in the part-time construction management business he created while still working for the school system. Little did he know, a year and a half after he started working for himself, his life would never be the same.
“We went from having nothing to having almost 30 employees in a very short period of time,” he says of the three years it took to grow his staff. “It was a year and a half from the time I left my job until the time we grossed almost $2 million.”
As the president and CEO of the aptly named NobleStrategy, LLC, Parrish is now managing construction projects exceeding $130 million and also sharing steps to how he created his success through his new book Making Bold Moves: Creating Multimillion Dollar Success in 500 Days or Less!
Though it may sound cliché, Parrish says if had he not dreamed big, he would never be where he is today.
“You have to say it, see it, be it and believe it. Convince yourself that your dream can happen, and then look at peoples’ successes [who are] where you want to be,” Parrish says. If you want to be like them, he says, “start dressing like their successes and doing what that success requires.”
In addition to dreaming big and overcoming the fear of being in an uncomfortable space when building your business, Parrish offers these suggestions:
—Work on the side: An extra job may give you the opportunity to fully develop your “side hustle,” or created business, until you can move it to the place where it becomes your full-time venture.
Parrish says starting a business takes money, and if you have the option to save some money before fully investing yourself into your business, do it.
—Learn to speak and present ideas: A local orators club is a great way to perfect your professional communication, speaking and pitching skills. After building these skills, when the right time comes, you will be better equipped to present your concept or idea and hopefully get the financing required to get started.
—Train at your local chamber of commerce: Joining a local business alliance or chamber of commerce is a great way to network with like-minded individuals and business persons who can assist you when developing and growing your business. You can also take advantage of the tremendous wealth of resources and training most chambers of commerce offer their members, including tax planning, business planning, marketing and human resources seminars.
—Invest in yourself: While seeking money to start or run your business, you should also invest in yourself by tapping into your retirement savings to get money for the critical initial product supply, technology and equipment it will take to get your business off the ground.
—Use social media: Social media is a great way to deputize family, friends and colleagues to test your concept and see how many people are interested. It also ultimately assists with your marketing efforts.
—Find a mentor: When seeking to start or grow your business, it is imperative to talk to seasoned professionals in your field who are doing what you ultimately want to be doing. Their knowledge will guide you and their expertise will be valuable in preventing you from making some of the same mistakes they may have made.
Through it all, even when success may not look like it will be in the near future, Parrish says to maintain your passion.
“No matter how smart folks are, they should never be more passionate about your vision, or your product, service or experience than you,” Parrish says.
So use your passion about your dream to keep you motivated and then go for it.
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