Are You Lost?

Posted by dwallace on December 15, 2010 in Coaching, Mentor, SBA, SCORE |

“Every 1000 mile journey starts with the first step.” –Asian proverb

The quote above has been used in more motivational books than anyone would care to remember, but it does ring true even today. Even with all the modern conveniences of today, a 1000 mile road trip is still going to be long. You have to plan for it.

You probably should make sure your car is mechanically well taken care of. You’ll want to have your oil changed and check your tires to make sure they can make the trip. You’ll want to make sure you have a jack, just in case. And you’ll definitely want to have a GPS or a map to help you get there too.

Before you take off you’ll go to the gas station and fill’er up. Plus you’ll get some snacks and drinks to take with you before you take off. You’ll use the restroom if you didn’t go at home. You don’t want to forget anything before you start. You want to be as prepared as possible so when you get going you don’t have to stop for anything. You want to go as long as you can without running out of gas.

It’s funny how a person will plan for weeks or even months before they go on a 1000 mile road trip, but they hardly plan at all for their life or their career, or their business. Matter of fact most people let their life and career happen to them. Like a guy driving around lost, too stubborn to ask for directions, they’re lost too and don’t know how to get on track.

The fastest way to achieve something is by setting a goal. Setting a date that you want to accomplish your goal by is very important. This makes your mind work toward that time frame. It’s ok to set your goals high, just make sure you give yourself enough time to achieve them. Tony Robbins once said, “People overestimate what they can do in a year, but severely underestimate what they can do in ten.”

Speaking of Tony Robbins, one way a person can get back on the road to a successful, fulfilling life, is by using a coach. There are coaches in almost every field these days. Whether you’re trying to learn about marketing your business more effectively, or trying to finish that manuscript, coaching is just one way to help you get your life or your passion back on track. They also will take your game to the next level. Almost every successful person you’ll ever see or read about has almost always had a good coach or mentor.

In the old days (10-20 years ago) coaches used to be called mentors. The good thing about mentors is they are usually free. Besides not paying them, the main difference between a mentor and a coach is the relationship. Mentors usually have more of a personal relationship with their protégés. Coaches on the other hand are usually about results.

If you need help with your business, there are many organizations willing to help you, often for free.

The Small Business Administration is one of the best resources for potential small business owners. This government agency helps entrepreneurs with business plans, obtains financing through guaranteed loans, and can also help obtain equipment.

The SBA has several different workshops to help with start-ups and can provide you with all the necessary forms you will need to start your business. Every major city in the United States has an SBA office. Look them up on the Internet or the phone book to make an appointment to go see them.

Chamber of Commerce
Like the SBA your local Chamber of Commerce is there to help you set up your business. They are usually more aware of particular things going on in the community that they operate in than the SBA. Because of this, you should consult them when you chose a location to set your business up in.

Your local Chamber of Commerce will undoubtedly be able to help you with the necessary forms and tell you what restrictions there are in that area in regards to your business. It is also a great place to network. Most of the times there will be other local business owners and local politicians at the meetings. This will help you get a feel for how businesses are doing in the area you are looking at.

The Service Corp of Retired Executives is part of a national non-profit association dedicated to entrepreneur education and the formation, growth and success of the nation’s small business. SCORE volunteers serve as “Counselors to America’s Small Business.” These counselors have years of experience and want to give back to their community. They have a wealth of knowledge and contacts in particular fields.

I have spent many hours talking with SCORE counselors and highly recommend using them. Many times they work out of the SBA office. To find where a SCORE Counselor is in your area look them up at or consult the phone book. It is recommended that you make an appointment, although many time walk-ins are welcomed.

Remember, “Every 1000 mile journey starts with the first step,” but today you can do it in a comfortable car, with a GPS, and person who’s been there, sitting by your side the whole way. All you have to do is ask someone for help.

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