Jason Dykstra is a Conflict Management Specialist who is helping people move from conflict situations to creative solutions. He specializes in relationalconflict and has helped families, businesses and churches to engage and embrace conflict in their circumstances.
Ever since I was 12 years old, I knew I wanted to have my own business. Perhaps it was in my blood, or because I was a punk, scrawny kid with a big mouth and something to prove or even because my family is a group of storytellers and idea generators, but the right business idea hadn’t quite yet formed.
I had always worked for someone, hard labour, barista, mental health, developmental disabilities, at-risk youth and with the exception of one terrible (read: extremely terrible) boss, I was extremely blessed with bosses and supervisors that saw potential in me and helped me to grow in my skills and talents. They gave me space to grow, run with new ideas and help develop new programs and breathe life into them.
Then it happened, I was sitting in a Conflict Management workshop for my job at-the-time and it slapped me in the face like a angry grandmother. I had found my business, Conflict Management and Mediation. I put my head down and studied and studied the field, took course after course, and hustled my ass off to figure out this whole business thing.
Then I was ready…right? Nope, I did what thousands of other mediators do, they work a full time job and do mediations on the side, but never take the leap.
There is a lot of fear and uncertainty with goes along with starting your own business. Trying to start your business at a time that is right is never easy. My wife and I had just had a son, our cash flow was at an all time low as a result of the maternity leave and third person, we still had a mortgage, lines of credit, mouths to feed, health issues in our families, and the list goes on and on.
Sooner or later though, you realize that the timing is never going to be right, there is always going to be something present that will justify your reasons to not take that leap. I was beginning to realize that there was no good time to start a business, so what was I waiting for?
Here’s a few things that I have learned over the past year of business;
- Be Self Aware: You are the person who knows yourself the best. So get to know yourself better! Know what your great at, know what you’ll never be great at, and know what you need to work on. I know for example that I suck at bookkeeping. Kind of an important thing right? So I hired someone to do the books. Problem solved. The more you are able to be self aware the more your business will grow!
- Surround Yourself with Support: I can’t stress this enough, ask anyone, you NEED to surround yourself with supportive people. Without my wife and family I would have been doomed. They will get you through the rough patches and they will be honest enough to tell you when your farking up.
- Just Do It: There is no good time to start a business, so what are you waiting for? Take it by the reigns and go for it. If you fail, learn from those mistakes, pick yourself up, and get back on the horse.
- Build Relationships: Relationships are the key to your business. Whether that’s with your customers/clients, business partners, staff, investors, your best friend’s dog. Relationships are the key to your business. Plant them, water them, grow them and you will see the returns. Be genuine in your relationships and please, please, stop maintaining relationships with people you aren’t compatible with.
- Read: Anything and everything. Read books about your profession, read books about marketing, read blog posts, articles, newspapers, read everything you can get your hands on. Educate yourself in what’s happening around you and your business and never stop growing. Once you, as a person, become stagnant in your thoughts, your business will follow suit. Want to be a leader in your field? Know what’s happening in your field.
- Listen: If there is anything you take from this whole post, this is the one. Keep your ear to the ground and listen to everyone. Learn how to listen well and everything will continue to grow.
- Get Comfortable with Uncertainty: Live outside your comfort level and you’ll always find creative answers. Don’t settle for the usual but strive to create something magnificent.
Jason Dykstra is a Conflict Management Specialist who is helping people move from conflict situations to creative solutions. He specializes in relationalconflict and has helped families, businesses and churches to engage and embrace conflict in their circumstances. Be sure to check him out over at www.absolutionmediation.ca or www.socialmedi8r.com and engage with him on Twitter(Link: https://twitter.com/jasondyk) and Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/absolutionmediation)
Tags: business lessons, jason dykstra, the entrepreneurs journey