Kelsey Ramsden is a Canadian entrepreneur. She is the founder of kelseyramsden.com, a business services firm and SparkPlay, a children’s subscription company. In 2005, she founded Belvedere Place Development, a construction firm and Tallus Ridge Development, a residential project management company both located in Kelowna, British Columbia.
Profit Magazine named her Canada’s Top Female Entrepreneur 2 years in a row (2012 & 2013). Featured in best-selling books and magazines from Forbes to Canadian Business as well as via various media outlets, she is sought after as a keynote speaker and for comment due to her unique and candid perspective on current events in business, leadership, management and entrepreneurship.
Let’s read the 8 simple tips from Kelsey Ramsden
1. Don’t Start A Business Just For The Money
Ramsden sees plenty of entrepreneurs jump in the game of business ownership for one reason only big dollar signs. But she warns it’s a “misguided and dangerous principle.” And I would agree with her. If you’re in the game solely for the money, you will end up disappointed. Yes — money is a way to keep score and it’s an important factor. But as Ramsden points out; “most seasoned entrepreneurs will tell you money is usually the last thing to come.”
2. Know Where To Focus Your Time And Energy
Chasing multiple rabbits (opportunities) breeds dysfunction. When you have too much to do (as we all can attest), not having a crystal clear picture of where to focus your time and energy will slow you to a snail’s pace. Because Ramsden owns four companies, she struggled with the same thing recently. In my private conversation with her, I simply asked this: “If you were guaranteed success no matter what big opportunity you chased, which would you choose?” Light shone from above to show her exactly where to focus. The question can do the same for you.
3. Aim To Fix The Weakest Link First
Ramsden said “failure to consistently work on your weakest link will bring you down.” So here’s how it works first identify your weakest link, make changes so it’s not the weakest link anymore, pop the cork on a small bottle of champagne, but then identify your new weakest link and get back to work. In my experience, the most common weak links are: not addressing amonetizable pain in the market (key word is monetizable), lack of a strong value proposition (as long as you’re curing a monetizable pain) and poor messaging (monetizable pain and strong value propositions must exist first).
4. Hold Yourself Accountable By Pursuing Accountability
Dr. Kjell Nordstrom, noted author and business expert, said; “we live in an alone-together society.” When entrepreneurs suffer from loneliness and separation (which we all do), Ramsden feels the structure of accountability is of “paramount importance.” Having mentors, advisers and other peer entrepreneurs who we are accountable to is a must. Matters not if it’s face-to-face or a virtual connection from a thousand miles away accountability works.
5. Establish Systems To Mesh With Your Goals
Smart entrepreneurs not only set goals they build systems to support those goals. Ramsden admitted she started out doing it “totally wrong.” Most of us determine what we want to accomplish, establish the time frame to get it done, and then work backwards to spread out the workload. But what’s missing is our system (a defined set of time set aside with the necessary tools to work toward the goal). It’s like wanting to lose 30 pounds (goal) by summer (time frame) and signing up for the gym membership (a tool); but not scheduling the one-hour daily appointment (your system) to do the workouts.
6. Avoid People Problems By Hiring Right And Setting Expectations
Ramsden said one roadblock of entrepreneurship which consistently rears it’s ugly head is “managing people.” But you and I both grasp the importance of taming this monster. Build the right team with the right people, you set the foundation for success. But the wrong team with the wrong people equals disaster. Ramsden’s solution? “Hire based on culture and core values fit the intangibles not shown on their resume then be very clear about your expectations and leadership weaknesses up front.”
7. Look In The Mirror And Be Brutally Honest With Yourself
Want to know the number one factor to your success or failure? Look in the mirror. Yes you’re the factor. Wise entrepreneurs have the ability to look at themselves with unbiased judgement. When they see warts and shortcomings, they make a move to improve themselves. Ramsden agreed; “Be honest with yourself in a way where you’re very realistic about what you’re capable of.”
8. Ask For Help When You Need It
Ramsden battled cancer and won. “Cancer cells are cancer cells and they will go on reproducing whether you acknowledge their existence or not. Same in your business. Cancer is there regardless so keeping a business healthy means you have to get over yourself and ask for help to eliminate it.” The best entrepreneurs surround themselves with those smarter than themselves — and then aren’t afraid to ask for help when they need it.