“You have to have systems in place so that when you can’t do business as usual, you can still do business.” Ursula Garrett
Are you facing a business problem you can’t solve? Stuck in a job you hate? Ursula Garrett has seen such problems over and over again in her career, and in a recent interview with Margo Lovett, she shared some tips about how you can overcome your challenges and grow.
Ursula has an MBA in entrepreneurship and she is also a licensed CPA practitioner. Her life’s mission is to help businesses and people who are struggling by sharing with them actionable strategies. She draws on years of experience while helping her clients solve all kinds of problems.
Success didn’t come naturally to Ursula. She had to work hard for it. After taking business classes and learning to do payroll, she joined a radio station, but she couldn’t make ends meet. She later joined the military, where she had to leave her high heels and pumps for combat boots.
Working in the military was a “good experience,” but it was not going to work out for the long term. Ursula is the type of person who doesn’t take orders well. The longest job she ever had in her life was when she worked at a firm for two and a half years to get her CPA license. She had a different calling.
Ursula went to work for herself. She now helps business owners live their dream and build their business empire one asset at a time.
1 What stops people from living their dreams?
According to Ursula, there are two camps of people. In one camp you have the people who are stuck in a job they hate. The promise of a steady paycheck and the fear of failing at something new has these people trapped.
A lot of women follow this pattern in the life of staying at a secure job, which is understandable. Once they are in their 50s or 60s, when their children are grown up and they don’t have those responsibilities, that’s when the entrepreneurial spirit in them rises. Most of Ursula’s clients are in this category.
The other camp of people is those who want everything right away, and this is the camp that Ursula is worried about. People from every age group can be found in this camp.
People who want to succeed overnight don’t like to work for anybody. They jump from one job to the next quickly or start one company after another without investing the time and effort to learn the skills necessary to succeed in any of them.
Ursula’s advice for these people? They need to be grounded and they need to be focused.
Figure out what your dream is, what your goal is, and then make sacrifices. Do what you have to do to get where you want to go. Ursula Garrett
2 How to fund your dream?
One of the sacrifices you have to consider, if you are in the second camp, is to work in a company even though you don’t like it. Think about what Lisa Nicholas said, “let your job fund your dream!”
How can your job fund your dream? Through savings! Don’t spend everything you earn. It is human nature to spend more as income increases. Stop yourself from falling in that trap. Every time you get a raise, save that extra money, and once you have enough saved, use that capital to pursue your passion and your dream.
“There has to be a systematic way to gain your financial independence, to build financial wealth.” If you follow this systematic approach of learning to live on what you earn and save as much as possible, you will be not be worried in the future when you want to go on a vacation or when you want to start a business.
3 How to start your business right?
Ursula’s book, Plateau to Summit: The Ultimate Guide To Take Your Business To The Top, explains how you can discover your passion, tell your story, and claim your happiness. Building a successful future is possible if you start your business the right way.
Starting a business, just like anything else in life, has to start with a good plan. You have to write this plan down and hammer out all the details. Remember, if anyone is interested in your business, like an investor, the first thing they will ask for is the business plan.
If you have a good business plan and if you have answered all the possible questions people will ask in the plan itself, you will be in a better position in meetings, because you won’t get asked too many things.
If you haven’t started a business before, you may not know all the details you need to add to a business plan. Ursula’s book discusses the important elements of writing a good plan; people, purpose, and finances.
Ursula has worked with so many businesses that she can tell what is wrong by taking one look at your financial statement.
4 How not to get distracted?
In today’s’ connected world it is easy to get distracted by looking at what others are doing. When you see someone else in the same industry doing something new and different, and how it is working for them, the first reaction is to try that yourself for your business.
People don’t check if the other company has a different goal in trying out something new. All people see is the money. This mindset has business owners constantly chasing after the next new and exciting thing.
What you should focus on instead is the core of your business. What’s the core of your business? What’s the purpose? What’s your mission? You should put all your energies into building that core and not get sidetracked by what someone else is doing.
When you know who you are as a business and where you are going, it becomes easier to get there. There will be obstacles in your path, but if you are focused on your goal, you will find a way through the obstacle. Facing the challenges in your path and overcoming them is better than taking a different path that will take you to a place other than where you want to go.
5 How long does it take to become an overnight success?
Eddie Cantor, a famous singer, once said that it takes twenty years to make an overnight success. You have to put in the time and effort in order to become successful. Rarely do you find someone who is able to come up with a great product with little effort, and that product turns out to be exactly what everybody wants.
This doesn’t mean that you have to work eighteen hours a day for eighteen years to become successful. Whatever you do, just make sure you put your heart into it. Sometimes all it takes to become successful is to launch the right product at the right time. Most of the effort here goes into planning.
6 Have an exit strategy
When you start your business, you should always have an exit strategy. Ask a lot of “what if?” questions to prepare for the unexpected.
What if your new product doesn’t work? What if your company can’t make any money for 2 months? What happens to the business after you retire? Will your children be open to taking over the business? Do you plan to sell the business in the future? The more questions you ask, the better prepared you will be.
7 Ask the right questions
Sometimes, the best way to find a solution to a problem is by asking the right question. Instead of asking “what if this doesn’t work?” ask “what can I do to make this work?”
Ursula was faced with this situation after the pandemic hit. Her “what if?” question was “what if I couldn’t open my doors to my clients?” Instead, she focused on what she could do to help her clients despite the situation. She now communicates with her customers via phone, email, and text messages.
You have to have systems in place so that when you can’t do business, as usual, you can still do business. The current pandemic has shown business owners that despite the situation, there is a way to make money. You just have to find a different way of doing things.
In-person meetings have become Zoom meetings, public speaking has gone digital, live events have become webinars. The best part of having a habit of planning is that you come with so many strategies that once you face something unexpected, it is relatively easy for you to find a way to make it work.