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This is the first of 12 blogs on how to Build Your Own Business. To busy to read? I have a solution, listen to my matching podcast on the same topic click here - #BYOB podcast.

After working with hundreds of Corporate Escapees who want to leave their day jobs and build their own business, two thing separates those that succeed and those that give up: focus & persistence.


But how do you choose what to focus on when you have soooo many great ideas!? I get it. I'm a super creative entrepreneur too. I have new ideas every time I shower or go for a run (or a few beers...). But without a focus on a single idea, none of them will develop into a sustainable business because you will not persist.

For those new to my work, the definition of a 'business' is that you are selling something and delivering it for cash. If you are not making money, sorry buddy, it's a hobby.


The way we help clients focus on one idea in their business is to align this idea (product, target market, campaign) with their highest core values. Then you will naturally focus as it's what you really want to do.

When we talk about values we are not discussing right and wrong, like the 10 commandments style. It's how we prioritise our limited resources of time, money and energy. Thanks for Dr John Demartini for the inspiration for my values work.

The seven areas we review (in no particular order) are:

  1. Business, 2. Money, 3. Family, 4. Friends, 5. Health, 6. Education, 7. Spirituality

Of course, all of these values are important, but only the top 3 will drive our behaviour and choices. If your business isn't a top value it will be tough to develop a work rate sufficient to build a strong business as your other values will get in the way.

For example; let's say Family, Friends and Health are your top values and business number 4. It's time to do those proactive sales calls or write your blog for the week. But you have to pick up the kids from school, then you are invited to a friend for a drink and you wanted to squeeze in a run too.

What do you do? Do you put your kids in after-school care, say no to your friend and do your run or do you get your work done? When it's your own business you can choose how you spend your time as you are your own boss, but that is a double edge sword as you lack accountability.

If your highest value was Business you would choose to do the work, perhaps not all the time, but enough to make your business thrive. If you prioritise other areas of your life most of the time, you will not have sufficient time to fun a sustainable business.

Once you know your highest values, ask yourself how this particular idea supports all of your values. Try to come up with 20 ways this particular business model, product, target market or campaign support your health, family, friends etc. Once you start matching your core values to your work, it's far easier to say yes to work and no to distractions.


It takes 10-12 hours a day 5 days a week to run a strong business generating an income to match a corporate job.

That level of effort requires persistence. Persistence comes from matching your Why to your business. When you truly believe that your business will meet your long-term goals and values, you will have the inspiration to continue in the face of setbacks and challenges.

If you know that your business serves others, believe that it can make money to support you and confidence that you can do it. You will persist.

Unfortunately, many people, lack the strategy of how to build their own business, the process to build a successful marketing and sales campaign to get clients and motivation to do the work required scale a business that is sustainable. Thus, they give up and chase another business model, create a new product or choose a different target market. But the underlying issue is they really haven't spent the time to figure out their Why and understand their values to choose what to focus on and the reason to be persistent.

Most of the time the problem isn't in the business. All businesses have problems. The goal is to find the problems you enjoy solving. That takes internal work to discover your Why and values.



My advice on how to resolve this issue, after going through it myself many times and coaching many clients through the same process, is to do a Values workshop. We do them at Social Star or find a good Demartini Facilitator to help you through the process.

By getting clear on these two areas will significantly increase your chances of success in your business, because the only real way to fail in your business is to give up.

Check out this video here for more details - Demartini talks Values

Talk to Andrew regarding a Values workshop - Chat to Andrew

Andrew Ford

Marketing expert Andrew Ford, the founder of Social Star, has discovered the secret of ‘Powerful Branding’. With a fire for unleashing people’s inner brand and developing business models to generate profit from an individual’s passions, Andrew leverages ground-breaking digital and social media marketing techniques to create digital strategies for clients to attract maximum opportunities. Having established a strong name for himself in the field, Andrew blends traditional business techniques with now-necessary tools for entrepreneurs to achieve scale, quality, and influence in their niche. Andrew’s comprehensive business background and qualifications consist of a Bachelor of Business (Marketing) (RMIT 2003), a Graduate Certificate in Management (MBA Executive Program, University of Sydney 2005), and a Masters of Entrepreneurship and Innovation (Swinburne University 2011). Continually on the cutting edge of his own education, Andrew has tested his marketing theories in forums such as the BCG Business Strategy Competition, which he won in 2005 against all Victorian MBA schools, and the Venture Cup Business Plan Competition (Swinburne University 2003), which he won in the Masters category. With experience working at Hewlett-Packard, Sensis (Telstra) and IBM, Andrew also has mentored dozens of junior staffs to help them achieve their professional goals. Meeting and influencing high-profile public figures helped Andrew to realise just how many professionals require more understanding and control of their public brands or appearance, and need help with the skills to use the many amazing free tools at their disposal to generate success. At Social Star, Andrew consults with clients to uncover their personal brand – both where it is today and where it can be tomorrow – and refine and define how that should be displayed in social media in order to attract their perfect target audience. Andrew mentors his clients to rapidly grow their business’ audiences, resulting in larger potential client bases and higher revenue. Applying formulas that integrate over twenty years of Andrew’s business experience and fifteen years of formal business education, Social Star specialises in building clarity and velocity for clients’ brands using the ‘Understand, Build and Leverage’ methodology. ‘Having a Personal Business enables people to have an authentic, congruent connection with their valued clients and partners, using their brand as the bridge,’ says Andrew. ‘I’m highly driven to work with the new breed of entrepreneurs and small business owners – people who have a passion for making the world a better place. Traditional business models are stepping aside as people follow their innermost dreams and my role is to see them operate within their values while creating wealth. Some people think you have to sacrifice what you love to be successful in your business, yet it is actually the opposite. Follow your passion and success will come.’ Lecturing at Swinburne University from 2009 to 2011 on brand dynamics and digital marketing, presenting at numerous conferences, and consulting to hundreds of clients, Andrew has seen his philosophy work that if you follow your unique path, based on your skills, experience, values and goals, you will automatically attract the opportunities you desire and achieve the success you deserve. Living his mantra, Andrew has created a successful business and attracts high-profile clients including musicians, athletes, authors, models, entrepreneurs, professionals and small business owners, helping them find their ‘why’ in their business and fulfilment in their lives. Business for Andrew is more than work, it’s personal. Running a personal business means that he is able to fulfil all of his values rather than separating his life from work. It supports his two boys while providing social opportunities, educational development, fitness opportunities, spiritual fulfilment and many valuable friendships. Social Star has now become the vehicle for Andrew to crystallise his mission in the world, to help people love what they do, supporting his ‘why’, that if more people loved what they did, the world would be a better place.