How to Move Your Business Forward

Moving your Federal Contracting business forward is the meat and potatoes of your business success; so your business strategy and the actions you take to gain business and grow are how you gain momentum. So how do you go about it?

The answer is somewhat simplistic — you need a road map on where you want to go, and the type of map depends on where you are in your business’ life cycle: startup or established business.

Startup. If you are launching your business, you need to have the underpinnings of your business established such type of corporation, necessary licences, tax id, registration in Systems for Award Management, email account, and company bank account. They also may include a company logo, business cards, letterhead, corporate policies, company website, and a capabilities statement. If the company is earning revenue, you will need to obtain an accounting and payroll service. My advice is to contract these services out. Why? Because your number 1 goal is to grow your business and doing anything else is a distraction. This is true regardless of where you are in your business life cycle.

One item new companies should focus on is their social network. Who is already in the business space that could help bootstrap your business? Your social network can lead to subcontracting opportunities, teaming agreements, and could even provide your company with a facility clearance.

Once you have these in place, your road map will be the same as an established business. Note: If your just starting out, review the previous posts: The Basics; How to Compete for Federal Contracts; and How to Certify Your Veteran-Owned Small Business

Established business. Developing your road map involves understanding the “why” of your business. Simon Sinek provides a wonderful lecture on TED.

“Why? How? What? This little idea explains why some organizations and some leaders are able to inspire where others aren’t.” Simon Sinek. ”

Once you have your why you do what you do, then you can focus on your road map. If your why is to protect the US from cyber attacks, then your road map will be aligned to this tenant and should drive your pipeline and your business model. The realities of the market place can influence where in the market our companies try to gain work but if we can tie our why to those adjacent markets, it will still resonate with our customers and other like-minded individuals. Knowing your why can bring pinpoint focus to your business model. For example, a model of your road map based on your why might look something like this:

Knowing your why can provide a laser focus to your business

Really take a hard look at this road map. Can you apply something similar to your business? Following this model can help drive your business forward and starting from why will help discriminate your business from your competitors. As you go through each element of the road map, you will build velocity and synergy.

As always, keep taking action every day.

With love and respect,

Gary

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Never Trust a Rudderless Ship to Take you to Your Heart’s Desire

Destiny is manifested by one’s true purpose, thoughts and actions — not by doing what other believe you should do; what you’ve been taught, or through following someone else’s dreams. Are you living the life that was assigned to you or living a life you have chosen? For many of us, choosing our work, usually by working for someone else has never been a true choice. It is through circumstances or the beliefs and/or personnel fears of others (family, friends, or lack of self-awareness) influenced our choices, thereby placing us into our professions. A sort of benign ignorance of what we really want – work that is attuned to our inner desires that provides inspiration and fulfillment.

“There never was a moment, and never will be, when we are without the power to alter our destiny” (Pressfield, 2002, The War of Art, Kindle Version). As I’ve said before, I am a fan of Stephen Pressfield’s book, “The Art of War” as it clearly describes self-sabotage and how to fight against it. Whatever is keeping you from your life’s purpose needs to be identified and understood. It is only by knowing your enemy that you can defeat it. Procrastination, the subtle sabotage by family and friends, sex, alcohol, fear and other diversions that keep you from your life’s purpose are all forms of self-sabotage or as Pressfield labels it – resistance.

For those that have discovered that the daily pursuit of a business goal is more than just a vehicle of making a living, it is part of the self-realization, that spark of inspiration, that we can — with all our being — take control for our lives and responsibility for how we intend to live it. This is the sometimes underlying, sometimes overt overarching theme by which we try to live each minute of every day…when either with the weight of a hammer or the subtleness of a whisper, resistance takes us from our chosen path. The thing is, once you’ve awaken to the possibility of living your life based on your self-chosen path, you cannot help but return to it. There is no other choice.

We have to be constantly vigilant of when we move away from our path either willingly or from benign neglect. Our very lives depend upon it. To seek out like-minded people can help you keep moving forward whether your work is launching a business, writing a book, or getting healthy. Reading book’s such as Stephen Pressfield’s War of Art, listening to Podcasts, and other content can help keep you focused as long as keep working on your goals each and every day. For those who feel they must know every detail and learn as much as they can before they pursue their destiny – you, my friends, are rolling in self-sabotage. The time to take action is now for we cannot afford to waste time. Too much of our lives have been wasted out of loving ignorance. So let there be an urgency in starting our work; then, once you have started, slow down and methodically do your work each and every day. As long as you are on your path, the sense of urgency is no longer needed – just keep walking.

With Love and Respect,

Gary

Who Starts a Business?

The person reading this post does!

So what type of person takes the initiative and risk to start their own business?  There are several books and website that state the type of personality that is required – self motivated, disciplined, risk taker, expertise in a certain field, and etc.  According to these sources, if you do not have these essential qualities, you should stay in your job and let someone else take that role.  The real message is that you should allow someone else determine your future and value.  Do not believe it!

The simple truth is what one person can do anyone can do; the trick is to realize truth of the previous statement for each of us.  Each one of us is capable of achieving much more than we may be capable of realizing.  When you truly believe you have the potential to do anything, you see life differently and life begins to change. Self motivation and discipline automatically begin to replace inaction without a conscious effort.  You feel more alive because you are living in a world of possibilities versus a life of limits.  This is not about achieving outward facing success –  financial and material gains, but about your internal success – how you feel about yourself and life.  Life can be full of promise and excitement…and the possibility of achieving outward success.  All you need to do is start.  Take the first step and believe in yourself and wonderful things will follow.

We do not need to live a life scripted by others, even if those other people, such as family and friends, love us. No one truly feels your pain or joy more than yourself. No one truly knows what you need from life more than yourself.  No one can know you more than yourself and no one can live your life for you except you.  Living for yourself changes everything.  More energy, joy, and a deeper sense of self materialize along with a sense of purpose and that purpose is ultimately you. Never ever undervalue yourself.  You have everything you already need to live the life you want.

Do you feel that there is something missing, maybe a vague dissatisfaction with life or perhaps you find yourself complaining about virtually everything?  These are indicators that you have taken on the role of victim and living based on someone else’s concepts.  You do not have to feel desperately unhappy to start living for yourself. Whenever you create — be it art, a garden, or a business — you live a fuller more meaningful life.  It’s a life long pursuit and it starts with you.

Starting a business, developing an product, or idea are some ways, but not the only ways, of living by your own set of principles and beliefs.  By taking responsibility for the potential of your future, it opens you up to you.

Here’s to taking action and showing gratitude everyday!

With Love and Respect,

Gary