What is that you’re saying?”

Victor is learning Dutch, my native language. Good on him, aye?! I heard that it is one of the most difficult languages to learn.

He bought some cd’s and is repeating the sentences while driving in the car.

But sometimes one of these sentences give me the giggles.

What they are saying is proper Dutch. But they say it in a way that makes me feel being thrown into a time capsule, back to the early years of the 20thcentury.

And that sounds totally hilarious. It’s not what us Dutchies would say at all. Luckily, he has me to teach him the proper way.

It’s also a different world, from learning in the car and speaking with me, to try to follow a Dutch family conversation where people constantly skip from one topic to another.

What is your best advice for Victor and for other people who are learning a foreign language?

You’ll probably say, ‘Just do it’ and ‘practice a lot’, don’t you?

And yes, that makes total sense. It’s all about making learning fun. Do it in bite-sized chunks.

And don’t worry about making a fool of yourself. Because you won’t. People love it that you step up and show the best you can.

So then I wonder, why is this different when learning how to build a business?

Many starters are paralysed. Or they think it needs to be perfect before launching their ideas. I was one of those people once.

So for the starters among us, here are 5 tips for you. And for those who are more experienced, you might find some value in my tips as well.

Keep it simple. Business is a spiral and quick, conscious feedback loops are the way to go. You don’t start speaking a language on an advanced level when you’re just a beginner. So, go on an information diet and just build with what you already have. Complete the first cycle and add more later in the second cycle, then the third, etc.

Speak up about your business or your new product, even if you haven’t launched it yet. It’s amazing how you meet the right people at the right time on your path when you start announcing your new venture. It also gives you new ideas, ideal in the start-up phase.

Don’t do it alone. You never learn a language just by reading books. Practice with a buddy. Find a mentor. Join a mastermind group. Or do that all together.

Have dialogues with your ideal clients or customers. Maybe you don’t know exactly who they are. But just start somewhere. Often your ideal clients have the same values, world views, and beliefs as you have. So, write them down, and then ask people in your network if they know people that fit your description. It’s a win-win-win. You get to know potential clients. You’ll learn more about their needs and desires. You expand your network.

And people love talking about what’s happening for them. I once got a new client 5 years (!) after our talk, because our talk made such an impact on her and she had never forgotten me. Aaaaaawww!

Which brings me to number 5: attend networking events. Yes, even if you have not started yet. Even if you don’t have a clue what kind of business you would like to start. That doesn’t matter. When I just started my own business in the early 2000s, I thought I could only attend those meetings when I was a proper business owner. Well, the past 19 years I have met a looooot of maybe-one-day-entrepreneurs. No one thinks that’s weird. Just go for it!

Could you please give me some advice?

What is your number #1 question when starting your business, or when launching a new product or programme? Big or small, that doesn’t matter. I’d love to answer your questions – anonymously – in my articles.
Just hit reply to email to info@wayfindingentrepreneur.com.

Go for it today!

Monika de Neef – The Wayfinding Entrepreneur

Photo-credit: Romain Mathon – Unsplash