When I started my business I agreed to coach a friend of mine for free.

I had known him previously from a course I had done on self development and, because I had quite a lot of spare time on my hands, I agreed to help him.

He wanted to compensate me in some way so he invited me to join him on a two day entrepreneurial seminar.

I went along, tongue in cheek, as a benevolent act in my quest to support him in his new business.

Little did I know that it was to be the best thing that ever would happen to me. I discoveredthe important and powerful part of my own career development.

Now bear in mind, I went into my own business after being in a CFO-type role for many years. I was a CA with all the skill (and limitations) that come along with an extended career in corporate.

I entered my business as an Executive Coach, quite clear that this was a real passion in my life.

Sounds good.

But I had to make a transition which took me a while to integrate. I had to shift from an executive mind-set to an entrepreneur.

And that was the game changer!

The most important thing that I learned was focus.

But it was a little bit more profound than that.  It was focusing on those things that would make the biggest difference.

And that is where I learnt the magical formula that was to transform me from a coach into an entrepreneur. And here it is:

  Start-ups are all about marketing and sales

– fear not anything else – everything will fall into place behind this.

As an accountant I was all into budgets and compliance and opening companies and bank accounts etc etc.

I learnt that this was a waste of time.

Get straight into sales and marketing and you are in on the most important part of the start up phase.

But what does a corporate executive know about all of this? Not much and certainly not enough to create a meaningful client base.

So I took courses in marketing and sales and his allowed me to shift my thinking and my behavior.

Again this made a profound difference.

So here it is:

If you’re in the start up phase in your business and you are faffing around with anything else but marketing and sales, you’re wasting precious time.

Get on it – now! It will make all the difference.

Yes, I get all that but what is marketing and what is sales?

Well in the beginning the boundaries are smudged. But in summary it is all the actions that you will take to find the customers who will buy your product.

That’s it!

Leave everything else behind – it will fall into place when the orders roll in.

Remember, as a start-upyou can outsource everything else – but your marketing and sales needs to say with you.

So get on with it and make it happen – saying you’re not a sales person is unhelpful. If you think you can’t sell (as most CA’s proclaim) then do a sales course and learn!

There is a lot more to written on this topic so watch out for future articles.