This is the result of one my my idealistic brainstorms from a couple of years ago. I was essentially trying to come up with a summary of the KEY ideas I was attempting to convey with my “Modern Worm Farming” concept, when I started noticing a bunch of “b”s. It actually started as the “10B Principles”, but then I added one more since I thought it was important as well. Of course, there a LOTS of other important ideas that could be added here, but I think this is a good start. Also, please keep in mind that the name is just that – a name, and a pretty silly one at that. I figured it might be a way to help people to remember the principles.
One final caveat (haha) – please keep in mind that these are things I personally try to focus on, move towards, get better at etc. I am in NO way trying to imply that I’ve mastered every single one – definitely not the case. I have fallen flat on my face in a number of these areas at various times.
Ok, nuff said. lol
1) Be realistic – start with an honest “self-evaluation” – be what I refer to as a “realistic optimist” (i.e. the idea here isn’t to put yourself down or trash your dreams) – no excuses, but also no delusions.
2) Benefit from the experiences/mistakes of others – provides valuable perspective, and as already mentioned, finding and working with mentors can be one of the best ways to reduce your learning curve and help you kick-start your success – allows you to side-step a lot of the pitfalls etc that others on a similar path have faced.
3) Be Unique & Creative (Be “Remarkable”) – At the risk of sounding sappy, most of the time this just comes down to “being yourself” – that being said, you can also see what is working for others, then do the same thing with your own unique twist. The idea here is to stand out in a crowd (figuratively – although, also literally in some cases!).
4) Build Relationships – Don’t fall into the money-chasing trap. Provide REAL value & help people achieve their goals – under-promise, then “over-deliver” – become friends with your “competition” (strategic partnerships etc). As Stephen R. Covey points out, Interdependence is far superior to Independence.
5) Branding – Create a unique name/identity for yourself then aim to incorporate it into everything you do. This could be a business name or a title you have given yourself (eg “Garden Girl”, “Compost Guy”, “Garbage Guru” etc). This makes it a lot easier for people to remember you, and just generally, goes back to the idea of “standing out in a crowd”.
6) Bottom-line– if you aim is to start a business, then treat it like a REAL BUSINESS. Money coming in should be more than money going out – and don’t forget that “time is money”! There is nothing noble about being a broke “do-gooder”. Money is not “the root of all evil” – it is vitally important if you want to get your message out to as many people as possible.
7) Befriend the Web – Sue me, I couldn’t come up with a good “B” relating to the web (haha)! The sooner you get over the notion that the web is a passing “fad” or just generally something you don’t need to be concerned with the BETTER! It is not nearly as scary and painful as you think, and the benefits are phenomenal.
8 ) Be Open / Flexible – Open to new ideas and collaboration with others – don’t be “old school” (a “stick in the mud”?). The business landscape of our “modern” era” is changing at an incredibly rapid rate – if you are stubborn, and closed-minded you will end up being left behind in the dust. This one closely ties in with #4 and #7, as you might imagine.
9) Be Effective – This one was my #11 late addition after having a bit of an “aha” moment in this department not too long ago. Get into the habit of asking yourself on a regular basis “Am I being effective, or am I just being ‘busy’”. Determine what activities yield the best results (the income-generating ones should always be up there in importance) then spend more time on those, while “trimming the fat” (excess paper sorting, pencil sharpening, email checking, old fashioned light harvesting – haha).
10) Be an Ambassador – Just because you are focusing hard on improving your bottom-line doesn’t mean should forget the “big picture” importance of spreading the word about vermicomposting. Remember the importance of education – make sure you have your facts straight, and don’t promote hype and hot air (absolutely no need for this – the process and results are phenomenal enough to stand on their own). Be a “local hero”, whether this involves giving talks at schools or hiding behind your computer screen and spreading the word online. (Yeah, I had to add that last bit so I’d feel better about my own contributions! haha)
11) Be Ethical – Conduct your business activities with integrity. This one should be a “given” and undoubtedly IS for a lot of people, but given the dark history of the worm industry it is still important to mention. Not only is this the “right thing to do”, but it just makes good business sense. In this modern world, bad news travels at the speed of light (or something like that anyway)! 🙂