—Neil F. Anderson, Founder& President, The Courage Group, Inc.

Starting a business from scratch, bootstrapping your own gig with limited funds, is the ultimate E-Ticket ride, the ultimate roller coaster ride. Only this 24/7 ride is more emotional than physical.

Most people during their lives never take this roller coaster ride, as most are working for someone else.  But for those people, who have already started their own business, or are just thinking about it, here are some helpful tips that just may make this ride a bit smoother. And equally as important, may help you avoid the start-up graveyard. And worse yet, having to go back and work for someone else again.

# 1 – Market and Sell 24/7This will help minimize the entrepreneur ups and downs, which will be many. The more potential customers/clients you can find and sign up, the more money you will make. And more importantly, the more bills you can pay. Some of the best advice I got early on was this; you have to market and sell everyday, otherwise you will fail. Remember, nothing else in business matters except customers, paying customers. Not the best mousetrap, not the best technology, not the smartest guys in the room, not intellectual property, only customers. Mark Cuban, Owner of the Dallas Mavericks, was right on; “Sales cures everything.” Jerry Mitchell, President and CEO of Jerry R. Mitchell and Associates, Inc; and President of The Midwest Entrepreneurs Forum, says; “Neil, this piece is a must read for every one thinking about starting their own business venture who thinks sales is a dirty word.”

#2 – Have a Sense of Urgency 24/7This is one of my biggest, hardest lessons learned early on. After I got fired from the corporate world, I had a nice severance package, insurance to fall back on. I think you know where this story is going. I kind of cruised along during the first two years of The Courage Group. I did not have a sense of urgency until the bills were starting to go unpaid, creditors were calling, and the electricity and phone were being turned off. You have to understand that many people are afraid to take the leap, and will talk others out of taking that leap as well in order to make themselves feel better about their fears.” The experts were right; it will take you twice as long as you think it will to turn the corner. Treat every day and every dime like it is your last, right at day one of opening your doors.

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