Keys to Success: What NOT To Do!

Today’s blog is a bit humorous with a touch of motherly advice.

Often I have people ask me what is the key to my success in starting my own business. Well I don’t think I found the key to success (yet) but I think I have a lot of experience with what NOT to do. As they say, we learn from our mistakes. An anonymous author once said, “Mistakes are proof that you’re trying”. So we’ll go with that. I wasn’t making mistakes, I was trying.

If only I’d known then what I know now.

I will give you some of my ideas on how to overcome roadblocks to success as they are inevitable. Roadblocks are part of life. We need to embrace the roadblocks but it’s also a good idea to learn from the mistakes of others. So, here is my list of DONT’S.

1. DON’T run with your great idea without advisors!

Often our great ideas are wrapped in emotions and because of this; we need a few good people to speak into our life. People we trust to tell us, “Hey, that’s a great idea go for it.”  Or to say “I think you may need to slow down on that one and get a better plan before losing your shirt over it.” Having said that, I am not implying that every opinion counts, but the opinions of those people who really care about us and are sincerely looking out for our best interests need to be valued and weighed in our decision to start something new.

2. DON’T forget to take advantage of the resources available in your community.

Your community is likely bursting with resources you don’t even know are there. I guarantee there are professionals in your area who have made a career out of helping others find their own dream. Having access to these career builders is a wonderful privilege. One big way to be able to organize your dreams and ideas is not only finding these resource centres, but also taking full advantage of the services they offer. If I had only taken advantage of the business resource centre in my town a lot of the financial mistakes, ones that I am still paying for  today, would have  never happened.  If only I would have taken a step back and asked more questions and sought more guidance on my BIG DREAM it could have been a much smoother ride.

3. DON’T be an island.

You need to get comfortable with asking for help!

You can find inspiration from people who are already been in the business you want to enter. Seek out mentors who are willing to guide you as you start up. Hear and share stories in order to learn how to avoid some of the setbacks that can happen while starting and running your own business. Once again, if I would l have taken my own advice I would not have used all of my own money to fund many of my start-up projects. Had I sought the advice of professionals or found a mentor they would have directed me to places where I could have found available funding to offset my start-up costs.

I could have avoided some of those roadblocks. Some of which I created myself by trying to do everything on my own and eventually suffering miserably from my own lack of knowledge.

We live in a day and age where there are so many resources available to us. There are grants and special funding from various sources that are readily available to help launch our ideas from dream to reality.  It may take a bit of work to find the help and resources we need. But if we are willing to search and dig for it the resources are out there. DON’T be afraid to ask for help!  In my experience, most people are excited to help, but they won’t know how to help unless you ask.

4. DON’T be afraid of rejection!

Rejection helps us look deeper into our career, our dreams, our plans and our goals to find out what needs to be fixed; rejection helps us be able to get tougher skin to be able to know what to listen to, what to embrace, and what to let go of. Rejection is a part of life so we just need to get through it and get over it!

Twelve years ago this was just a dream. Now it’s my reality.

5. Don’t Rush!

No matter how hard you work, building a dream will take time. Your career is precious and it’s something that you want to last for a long time, so make sure you work just as hard even when it looks like it’s not working. I’ve been speaking to, and entertaining children for over 12 years and I usually say it took about 10 years to be taken seriously. All good things take time.

6. DON’T forget to call your Mama!

Remember to keep in touch with your family and friends. When we are goal oriented sometimes we lose sight of the people that keep us going. Unfortunately, with my work schedule and working hard to pursue my dreams, I have lost some contact with my family and friends. I regret losing some of those connections with loved ones that I would have kept if I would have just taken a little more time to talk to them; a little more time to say hello. I fear that I have lost so many precious moments with people in pursuit of my dreams. Now I have to work harder to rebuild those relationships. Thank goodness that I have always put my immediate family first, but I’ve found that I’ve taken extended family and friends and put them on the side burner; partly because I think they don’t really want to hear about my dreams and goals all the time and partly because I don’t have time.

We should never lose sight of our friendships so I am endeavoring to do my best to rebuild those relationships. To reconnect with those individuals who really do mean the world to me. If you make the effort to stay in contact with those people now you won’t have to expend more energy reconstructing down the road.

Friends make the journey worthwhile.

7. DON’T forget about YOU!

Make sure to block off some time to just be you. One of the biggest mistakes I have made in my 12 years of pursuing my dream and building my career is that I have forgotten how to enjoy relaxing without thinking about work. I need to find myself again. To find out who I am. To rediscover what makes me tick.  I love watching old movies. I have a collection of more than 800 classic movies, spanning 6 decades, some from the early 1930s. Watching those films, savouring the stories, the music and the dancing rejuvenates me! Don’t lose sight of the things that make you really happy. Be sure to block off some time to enjoy you.

8. DON’T stop laughing!


Laugh at yourself. Laugh at your mistakes. Rejoice in your accomplishments.

Find the joy in your work! When you laugh, you stir up more creativity. Don’t take yourself so seriously! When you take yourself seriously you’re going to block your creativity. When you block your creativity, you are unable to see how you can improve in your career. But when you laugh you’re going to stir up something in you that will help you to continue to press forward.

My last bit of advice – you have great ideas so GO FOR IT!

Life is about taking risks, but it’s also about community – take advice, seek help and soak up encouragement from those around you.

Work hard! Play stronger!

Live. Dream. Give. Live. Dream. Grow!


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