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How to build a business using the initial of your first name

Paul Ryan | November 22, 2017

Continuous improvement is a driver in any successful business. The struggle for many is being able to maintain the drive, the perseverance, patience, and motivation to continually improve. 

Even more so, when capital and cash flow keep you up at night. 

So how do you maintain the motivation and the drive?

Mentors, networking groups, business seminars are aplenty but what gets you through the day to day grind and challenges.

It’s always important to see the lighter side of what you’re trying to achieve so let’s see if you can build a business using the initial of your first name as a guiding influence.

If you can create a little guiding influence that resonates with you personally then it just might be the motivation and accountability tool that drives you forward.

Here’s my 10 point accountability tool.

Partnerships – build relationships with people, other business owners, clients and the community. Build as many partnerships as you can as they could become the best source of new business or new opportunities.

Payment – please don’t forget as a self-employed person you are not guaranteed a paycheque on a Friday. For you to be paid, you need paying customers so you need to have a clear understanding of your time management, systems, processes and profit margins.

I see so many people not valuing their time. A customer will always want the best possible price and at times you will need to discount or provide something extra however never devalue yourself or your business.

Persistence – for a business to be successful the owners have to be persistent as you will experience highs and lows on a regular basis. Some persist, others find the challenge too tough but if you believe in what you are doing go for it. The key to persisting is to be able to identify how you can experience more highs than lows.

People – surround yourself with good people. You can have the best idea in the world but if the people or team around you don’t have the same belief then the business will struggle. People that have belief in the business will go outside their comfort zone and also do the little things to help the business be more effective.

Plan – yes it is important to have an overall business plan but what plans do you have in place on a daily and weekly basis. Make Friday the day you plan what you need to achieve the following week and see how many meeting you have scheduled. If the calendar is bare then you can’t expect to achieve your plan.

Play – play around with ideas and sales pitches. As a self-employed person, you are a salesperson. It doesn’t matter if you are selling a service, product or an investment proposal you still have to influence and prove to the client what you’re offering has substance and that they should proceed – it is called selling.

So many self-employed people don’t see themselves as salespeople

So play – treat it as meeting new friends or simply play act. Put an imaginary hat on and play a role similar to what an actor does in playing a part in a movie.

It doesn’t have to be you, its business.

Poor me – you’ve probably got a minute otherwise no one is listening. Keep the glass half full.

Process – what processes do you have in your business to ensure your customers have the best possible experience?

Procrastinate – don’t procrastinate. It is much easier to say than to act on. Recently, I was working with a group of 10 self-employed people and they were asked to write down the one thing they would like to stop doing for their business to move forward. Everyone had written “stop procrastinating” 

Quick question, what’s the Nike slogan?

Proud – be proud of what you do. I meet a guy a couple of weeks ago who just started his own I.T business. When I asked him what the business was he looked down at the ground and mumbled IT Services.

If you aren’t proud of what you do why would a client buy from you?

Like the mentor, networking groups and keynote speakers, there is nothing necessarily new in the above. It is simply delivered from a different perspective or experience. It’s personal and in my case, with a capital P.

I’d love to hear your first name initial plan. I hope this helps in some way.


Great Article Paul, I know for me the Plan, People and Persistence are the big three we focus on, but I am definitely going to review the others you mentioned now.

Keeping in line with the first initial theme, I think a successful business is built on the following foundations - sight, scope, shape, spend and sow.

Sight – without understanding your vision how can anyone expect to maintain their motivation which leads me to Scope.

Scope – without a true purpose around your vision most people cannot work hard without being rewarded because their purpose is not enough of a motivator - it’s that simple.

Shape – a business needs to be able to adapt to be able to take alternating steps that will propel them forward to their vision. It doesn’t matter if you take a different route as long as you end up at the right destination.

Spend – if you offer $100 worth of value you will only gain $100 worth of income, short-sightedness limits your cashflow. You may have real value to give but how do your prospective clients know that and how can they get to know your value when they have to commit to buy from you first? If you look at the majority of billionaires they started with a purpose backed by a free platform that provided exceptional value.

Sow – what you sow today you reap tomorrow. The more seeds you plant and the more time and effort you put in, the more opportunities you will have.

By investing in your vision and a true purpose, your value will increase along with your return on investment.


Very insightful, my husband runs his own business so we might try this exercise over the weekend.

As Paul has taken the P's from me, I thought I'd share the keys we use to build a successful business:

Create and Dream, Inspire and be inspired... But always trust your instinct -
Often we get too close to the coal face and can't see the wood for the trees.
Step away, out of you physical and business zone, then take a look from a different perspective... Life grinds on around the world daily and there are lessons to be learned and solutions to be found in the most obscure places. Get out there and live, the more you see the more you learn, the more you do, the more you can do.
In my experience the entrepreneurs who reap the highest rewards are those who actively manage their dream / goal attainment process. You have to visualise the future or business direction you desire and then affirm it until it becomes your reality.

Contacts / Contracts / Confidants -
An effective and trustworthy accountant and a clever lawyer should be the foundation of every business.
A trusted circle of confidants, accumulated over time and industries can only enhance your knowledge pool and bring a variety of equally valid ideas and solutions to challenges you may share with them. Remember, history repeats itself. So, astute mentors with more life experience than you, as well as young fresh visionaries are key. Whatever issue or challenge you have, someone else has either been there before you or will follow.
The mantra "the more you give the more you receive" is true, so be generous with your knowledge, in my experience it has come back ten fold.

Cash Flow / Costs -
Keep the cash flowing and contain the costs. Once the costs are contained, contain them again and then halve them... Cash flow is paramount for any business, any size to survive.
My biggest value cost is my time, which most people negate. Your time is valuable and you should account for it accordingly. Analyse, prioritise and allocate. The most successful people I have worked with never book 1 hour meetings, most issues can be resolved in a 15minute window, and some highly effective operators can work to even tighter time parameters.

Compromise -
Know when and where to compromise.
Do not compromise on core strategy, but do compromise on everything else to move forward.
Progress is the imperative, progress at optimum velocity is quintessential in this day and age to survive, so you will have to compromise to progress.

Competition -
"Imitation is the highest form of flattery" (so said Coco Chanel). So if you have a great business idea, prepare to be imitated. You have to be two of the following three things...
Be the first, be the best or be the cheapest... Pick two and work steadfastly towards your goal.
Be mindful of what the competition is up to but don't waste time and energy on anything you have no control over.

Control / Delegate -
Control the business and control the delegation of tasks and roles to those who are best suited to execute. You can not do everything if the business is to grow in an optimal fashion.
By delegating to the the best possible executrix, you entrust their judgement and know-how.
Never give up control until you sell. The vision and goals of the business can easily be derailed if there are too many shareholders with differing vested / auxiliary interests.

Care -
Care for yourself, your family and your colleagues, physically, mentally as well as spiritually.
Lead by example and keep focused on the bigger picture.
Avoid letting setbacks, which at a later date will be forgotten, get under your skin in the present and distract you from your end goal.
Don't exist in the unknown future or get bogged down in the past, live in the present... and make each and every day count. Tempus Fugit....

All the best

About Me

Paul Ryan

Current Rating: 4.86 / 5
North Sydney, New South Wales
0412 977355
Founder of Today's Tale

Today's Tale is a sports platform that enables individuals, sports clubs and sporting communities to collaborate, promote their sport and commercialise their content.

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