Turning your side hustle into a full-time gig has never been so fashionable. Whether it's an inspirational quote or a viral LinkedIn article, we're constantly being reminded of why we should pack in the daily grind to pursue our creative passions.
It's a sweet idea, but in reality, we know starting something from scratch is a slog -- yes, a rewarding slog -- but a slog that requires a huge amount of time, commitment and perseverance.
Put a group of successful founders in a room and you'll find they share many common characteristics -- from daily work habits -- to more importantly, a special kind of mindset.
We asked four of them to reflect on their own experience of taking an idea and turning it into something big and how they navigated (and conquered) that inevitable fear of failing.
Find your North Star
Mark Middo is the director of Linkfluencer, a leading online community for LinkedIn training that focuses specifically on using the platform for brand marketing.
"It's really important to ensure there's a sense of urgency for your work at hand, but also that you have patience that results will come -- and they will come, if you keep at something you're truly passionate about and stay true to your course."
Reject the concept of 'failure'
"The best piece of advice I ever received came from a guy who sold a company for over $100 million. He always said 'there's no failures, only lessons.' If you take this mindset and apply it to everything you do, you'll lose the fear of failure -- which is actually what holds most people people back," Middo said.
Embrace the mistakes
Franziska Iseli is the co-founder of business education company, Basic Bananas. She's also an author and speaker, specialising in marketing for small businesses.
"When I was first starting out, I looked at any mistakes I made as an opportunity to grow and learn something from. It's important to make a conscious decision to be courageous and take risks without being scared of failing."
Look after your own backyard
Iseli said there is a difference between researching other companies and constantly comparing yourself to them. "I didn't spend a lot of time looking at my competitors and instead focused on doing things my way without getting distracted or influenced by what others are doing."
Hustle for your customer
Nicole McGuiness is the owner of eBay store Urban Outback Gear. She's one of the 2,100 Aussie sellers who've achieved an annual turnover of over $1 million since the platform launched in 1999.
McGuiness explains how she keeps her customer at the heart of everything she does. "We reply to customer inquiries within 24 hours, the quicker reply you can give the customer the bigger the chance you will secure the sale -- but it doesn't stop there -- we'll also ensure we are here for whatever they need after the sale, too."
Know your strengths (but don't let that stop you from learning)
Justin McDonell is the master franchisor and CEO of Anytime Fitness, the 24-hour gym concept. He also recently launched Massage Envy, one of the fastest growing retail franchises in the US.
"I learnt as much as I could from the ground up, and especially how to sell. At the end of the day business is about finding a need and being able to sell the concept, either to investors, consumers, or in our case potential franchisees."
Don't try and do everything
"Know what you are good at and focus on one or two key drivers to ensure success. Also, make sure you have other partners or team members to work on areas you are not strong," McDonell said.
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