Entrepreneurship is the ultimate crash course in personal development.
Why? Because it will put you face-to-face with your fears, test your courage, and unveil an untapped power of resourcefulness that you never knew existed. This is why at the beginning it’s all about your ‘why’ power, passion, and commitment to helping others…and of course timing!
Tip #1: Keep the faith.
One of my favorite quotes is: “Trust the timing of everything. Just because it’s not happening right now doesn’t mean it never will.” ~ Unknown
In my early days, I latched onto this belief. Knowing just one client stood between me and making rent that month was a driving force in itself. Of course I wanted to provide a good life for my daughter, which was my ‘why’ power. And knowing that I could help others overcome their credit troubles and open up to many more opportunities was my commitment.
These early entrepreneurial traits sustained my efforts of tirelessly cold-calling my way through the phone book for weeks on end. I was determined and better yet, persistent.
Tip #2: Be persistent and never give up.
In fact, it was persistence that caught the eye of my first client!
I had been calling this one office repeatedly for weeks in the hopes of reaching a gentleman by the name of Mike Daversa. I had left him numerous messages and kept calling hoping to get him on the phone. When I finally did, I wasn’t met with the fairy tale moment I had been dreaming of. Instead, after introducing myself, I was met with “Ugh…I picked up the wrong phone line.”
I was taken aback by the abrupt response, but I didn’t give up.
And Mike, stunned by his own response, was apologetic. Being the busy man he was — running the top mortgage company in Connecticut and eighth in the country after all — told me I had one minute to tell him what I was calling about.
This was it…my big break! I seized the opportunity and to my surprise, he agreed to give me a shot. All because I was what he called “persistent.” I met with his client shortly after and immediately knew I could help repair his credit to close the loan.
Tip #3: The fortune is in the follow up.
After doing our work together, I was completely invested in this client’s credit success. The results were going to be the moment of truth.
I called Mike to see if he had received the report, no answer. I called again, voicemail. Called again and again. Then I started to panic. Finally he answered, and I found out he hadn’t even pulled the report yet (sheesh!). So right there on the phone, we pulled it up together and BINGO! The client’s credit score was exactly where it needed to be to get the loan. Mike and I both screamed with joy! And just like that, I had landed not only my first client but my first BIG win!
From there on out, Mike and I became good friends. He invited me along to major conventions with his company and the rest was history. Those opportunities became the foundation for the Kelly Group as you know it today.
I look back on those moments I spent in the basement (aka “my office”) — flipping through the phone book, cold pitching prospective clients, wondering if I would make rent that month — and I wouldn’t trade them for anything. That might sound crazy, but it’s true. They really showed me what I’m made of, what I wanted out of this business, and who I’m here to serve.
So if you’re in the beginning stages of entrepreneurship right now, I challenge you to embrace it. This is the planting of the seed. Even though it may feel dark and scary at times, remember it’s not forever and you don’t have to have it all figured out. You just have to keep showing up, stay committed to your why, and say yes to the opportunities that come your way.
And the rest? It will bloom…in good time.