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Sunday, 25 March 2007 16:17

Fire Your Boss

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Cultivating your entrepreneurial spirit is vital to your success as a spa owner. You can become a successful entrepreneur if you have motivation, willingness to learn, and a positive spirit. The motivation to starting your own spa requires an entrepreneurial spirit, a spirit that is within each of us. For some, it may be a dying ember that needs to be sparked, while in others it may be a passion that cannot be extinguished.
The desire for money alone is not a strong enough reason to start a business. Any business, large or small, needs to make money to survive and grow.

However, money cannot be the sole motivating factor for you to become a successful spa owner. You need to have passion and a burning desire for your dream to come true. If you don’t feel that level of passion about your venture, then you should re-evaluate your plans of becoming a spa owner.

Are You An “Entrepreneur?”
Crisis Vs. Opportunity. In Chinese, the word “crisis” has two meanings- on the one hand it means danger, while on the other it means opportunity. Entrepreneurs see opportunities where others see problems. This is probably the fundamental factor that distinguishes an entrepreneur from one who is not. Entrepreneurs have dreams and visions. They have the ability to move forward amidst the vicissitudes that pose obstacles along their path to achieving their goals.

Goals. Setting deadlines for your goals is critical. Aim for tomorrow’s goals today. Deadlines and time frame commitments drive action and make you move forward. Keep one eye on the long-term opportunity while taking care of today. Teach yourself to focus on the important things and to allow the less critical things to take a back seat.
You can also hand off tasks to a person who can take care of them for you. If you are a creative person and are not very good with numbers, hire someone who is practical to do the accounting and taxes. Prioritize the most important tasks to help ensure that you will spend time on those activities that will make a difference. You will then move closer to achieving your goals.
Make writing your goals down a top priority. Keep in mind that committing your goals to paper will actually help you reach them. Once your targets are on paper, you can refer to them regularly to track your progress, change them as your spa’s situation changes, and use them to help keep everyone on your staff focused on what’s truly important for your success as a business.
When setting personal goals, be as specific as possible. Don’t say that you want to earn “a decent and comfortable living.” State that you plan to take home $4,000 a month during your first year of operation. The more specific you are, the easier it is to design a plan to reach those goals. Start with a goal you feel is realistic and work backwards, developing smaller goals along the way that will help you hit your target. Set goals that you can win.
Some goals that you may set for yourself may involve:

  • How much money your spa will make each year
  • How much money you will earn as the owner
  • How many hours you will work each week
  • The number of customers you will do business with the first year
  • How fast your spa will grow
  • What ideas do you have for expansion – locally, nationally, internationally
  • The number of employees you will have on staff

Freedom to do what you Love. Entrepreneurship is about freedom – the freedom to work how you want, when you want; the freedom to create your life from scratch and make it truly enjoyable and rewarding; the freedom to do what you love. As an entrepreneur you create your own schedule, one that meets your client’s needs; you create your own opportunities; and you create a work environment that reflects your values, not those of someone else.

Coming up with a Strategic Idea. Success starts with ideas, new or repackaged. To be an entrepreneur, you don’t have to come up with a new invention or product. It is necessary though, to provide a product or service that fills a consumer need. Entrepreneurship is about connecting your business ideas to the needs of your market. Entrepreneurs are constantly discovering new markets and trying to figure out how to supply those markets efficiently and make a profit.

Willingness to Learn. Starting and running a spa involves continuous learning. A lot of learning occurs from mistakes that you make along the way and vow never to repeat. Other learning comes from interactions you have with customers, fellow business owners, and friends who lead you towards success. Have the humility to accept advice. The faster you can adapt and adopt, the quicker your business will meet your goals. Make all the mistakes that you can while you still have your day job, before you venture on your own.

Traits of a Successful Entrepreneur

1. The Power of a Positive Attitude - No matter how many entrepreneurial characteristics you have or develop, they won’t do any good unless you combine them with a positive attitude. Entrepreneurs are optimists – they have to be, in order to see opportunities where others only see problems.

2. Discipline – the ability to stay focused and stick to schedules and deadlines

3. Risk Taking – the courage to expose oneself to possible losses; treading unknown waters

4. Motivation – must have the ability to motivate others and one’s self

5. Vision – the ability to see the end results of your goals while working to achieve them

6. Confidence – the belief that you can do what you set out to do

7. Perseverance – the refusal to quit; the willingness to keep goals in sight and work toward them, despite obstacles

8. Drive – the desire to work hard to accomplish one’s goals, not giving up

9. Honesty – the commitment to tell the truth and deal with people fairly

10. Adaptability – the ability to cope with new situations and find creative solutions to problems

11. Competitiveness – the willingness to compete with others

12. Organization – the ability to structure one’s life and keep tasks and information in order

13. Persuasiveness – the knack for convincing people to see your point of view and interest them in your ideas

14. Understanding – the ability to listen and empathize with other people

15. Dream – the drive to achieve a dream that others thought was impossible

16. Practice effective time management – must be able to manage time wisely and efficiently

17. Stress management – must be able to manage stress well

18. Hard worker – must have a strong work ethic

19. Comfortable with change – must be able to go with the flow of things and be willing to change

20. Vision - Have a clear vision of business and personal goals and be able to balance the two

Spiritual Tips of Successful Entrepreneurship

Believe in Yourself
Believing in yourself is a critical part of running any successful business, not only spas. After all, if you lack the confidence in what you do, how can you expect others to believe in you? When you believe in yourself and invest the hard work required to making your dreams come true, these positive traits enhance your self esteem and confidence, which subconsciously translate into the day-to-day handling of spa operations. Your employees respect you more, customers trust you more, and your business will thrive more.
Associate with people who affirm your goodness and not those who try to bring you down. Those who see that inner radiance in you feel secure about themselves while others who exude negativity feel insecure about themselves. Cultivate relationships with people who offer sincere advice and not those who would like to see you settle down to mediocrity. The former group will serve as stepping stones, while the latter will subconsciously stunt your inner potential of becoming a successful entrepreneur.

Stoic Resilience to Rejection
Rejection comes with the territory of becoming a spa owner. Use rejection to your advantage as they bring you closer to running a successful spa business. A rejection needs to be taken as a sign of strength and hope, and not a reason to harbor vengeance. Use the word “no” to your advantage and transform it to “yes I can.”
When you are running a spa, you are likely to get rejected in different areas of the business – rejection from the local county, customers, landlords, neighbors, and bank officers. Initially, rejections can be disappointing. The important thing is to not get discouraged by rejection.
Don’t be discouraged by setbacks. You will have many no’s before uncovering the few yes’ that are right for your business. The main thing is to not give up. Keep planting new seeds every day. Diversify your marketing efforts rather than concentrating only on one thing. Target many groups of people from all walks of life. It may take time for people to start noticing your work, but if you keep toiling at it, the rewards will await you. Never let rejections turn your dreams to dust. Try hard and you will succeed.

Trappings of Success
Nothing breeds business interest faster than the smell of money. They all love you when you are successful and avoid you like the plague when you are fallen. Your business success makes you a desirable business partner, speaker for public events, dinner dates, and a financial planning client. You will soon appear on everybody’s mailing list; party invitations will pour in; sweet songs will pour into your ears from all corners; and your whole world will smile at you. All this is great and you should enjoy the fruits of your labor. Remember, however, that you can become an unknown again as quickly as you became a success. Running a spa business can be filled with numerous ups and downs.
Success breeds success, but it also brings out opportunists who try to benefit from all your hard work and offer nothing in return. Determine early in your business relationships whether someone is trying to offer help, take help, or use you – and respond wisely.
Never forget who helped you when you first started. Were there many colleagues and advisors or just a few when you were down? Some of you may have been alone during your years of struggle to becoming a successful spa owner. Many people who know you when you’re becoming successful probably did not know you back when things were tough. Sometimes it may be difficult to figure out who is sincere and who is not. Similarly, with time you will learn to penetrate beyond the outer image of people who come into your inner circle of trust and determine those who are sincere and those who are opportunists. Your fair weather friends will remain loyal to you so long as you have a fat checking account. Your faithful friends will get you through the dark times and allow you to prosper when it is light again. Handle the trappings of success tactfully.

Preethi Burkholder is an author and President of an online company, www.giftedhandswriting.com. She works closely with spa owners, consultants, and professional individuals in the spa industry to promote their businesses through writing. She can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. She is also the author of the book "Start your own Spa."

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