Top Tips to becoming a Millionaire: Simon Dolan

"When I wrote 'How to make Millions without a Degree' it was actually written out of frustration!"

The government has spent the last twenty years encouraging children to go to University on the promise that if they get a degree then they’ll come out with a great job, yet they still want to send MORE children to University even through everybody knows, including the government, that having a degree in all but a few vocations is more of a hindrance than a help in getting a job. I wanted to explode the myth that starting up your own business is all about appearing on Dragons Den, raising loads of capital and moving into swanky new offices.

I would encourage students, fresh from leaving school to:

  1. Get a job somewhere
  2. Learn how to sell and...
  3. when you've learn't the ropes - set up on your own!

Few people realise that a number of the country’s richest entrepreneurs who did not go to university include Virgin tycoon Richard Branson who left school at 16 with one O-level, in 2010 he was estimated to be worth £3 Billion – Although he had already started two businesses; Graham Kirkham, the founder of the DFS furniture empire, now a peer of mine, left at the same age having failed all his O-levels; and John Caudwell, the mobile phone boss who gave up on A-levels after being bullied at school.

Making money from your own business, does not mean you have to struggle on your own. There is a massive amount of information and resources out there. For example, there must be around 10,000 different books on entrepreneurship on Amazon. And also, a lot of entrepreneurs like me are very approachable people and if you ask them questions you are more than likely to get a response. But if you want government support or funding then I think that’s the complete antithesis to being an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs get up and do it themselves – they don’t rely on other people to fund them. Move away from the notion that you need tens of thousands of pounds to start your own business because you don’t.

Determination and focus is key to a successful business, millions can’t be made in a day and if I was to summarise ten key tips to running your business I would offer the following advice:

  1. Develop ability in sales - everything in business, and indeed life, comes from sales. Whether you're pitching for a bit of business or chatting someone up, you are selling yourself. A sale also enhances your numeracy and broadens your confidence.
  2. Avoid the big wide gate, look for the chink. Avoid overly saturated markets and concentrate on the niche and unoriginal which always more often than not, EFFECTIVE.
  3. Duplicate. When you sell your time, which is ultimately what any person that starts out in business does, then there's a limit to how much you can earn. The limit being the hours in the day. If all of a sudden there were two of you, you could earn twice as much. If it there were 200 of you, you could earn 200 times as much, and so on. Short of rapid advancements in genetic engineering, the only way to duplicate yourself is to hire staff. Start engineering your business so that it can be replicated…and run by individuals who follow the system.
  4. Your business plan should be five words long: "Get and keep more customers!" Without customers you haven't got a business, and by customers, I mean people who spend money.
  5. Know when to quit - if you've tried everything and it's not getting any better, cut your losses and move on.
  6. Self-belief is an entrepreneur's most precious commodity.
  7. Never, ever spend a penny more than you need to. You don't need a PA, receptionist, junior, nice furniture, an office, a company car or a photocopier - get the picture? And definitely don't spend money on advertising. All you need to do is create a web page.
  8. Realise that you have to sell. Yes, you will have to pick up the phone and ask for business, If you can't do this, don't start a business.
  9. Realise that the only purpose your business has is to make money. Save the World once you've made some, in the meantime, leave "social enterprises" to charities and government.
  10. Read everything you can about people who have started businesses from nothing - preferably biographies and autobiographies - everything you need to know is contained within those pages."

For further advice 'Making your Millions', click here to buy Simon Dolan's book, for further hints and tips.

Quotes from the Book

"Luck is preparation multiplied by opportunity"

"..there's a good reason millionaires don't detail their rise from thousands to millions. It's because the story is boring. Businesses grow little by little, year by year...most millionaires grow their fortune bit by bit."

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