Here's to the makers, the innovators, the ...

HERE'S to the Makers, the Innovators, the Creatives, those who see things differently, those who refuse to conform to the standards, the square pegs who won't fit into the round holes and those who challenge the accepted, to push the boundaries of brilliance.

The above quote is my take on the Apple 1996 advertising campaign "Think Different". This brilliant campaign took the work of what IBM produced for their campaign "Think" and simply added the word Different. How about I add the letters ly and create "Think Differently"? ...Does that make me a challenger?

Today I'm not going to write about the marketing techniques of the genius'. I instead want to share my experience of a networking event, just 14 hours ago.

There are brilliant people out there full of creative and innovative ideas, however they struggle with the business side. They struggle to transform their ideas from concept or hobby to business. Living in Aberdeen we have suffered over the last few years, as our strong and steady arm of the Oil Industry has been rocked from the price crash. Now, we could have taken the option to hold our heads in shame, to bow down and cower into the shadows. But when the price crashed and the jobs went, those fat cats in the ivory towers forgot one thing, we are the Scots. we've been through tougher times than this. We're not going to let a little bump in the road stop us and boy did we not. We have a booming Gin industry, emerging Rum, the Craft Beers and our bread and butter the Whisky. While the chain restaurants began to close and leave town, new local producers gathered together and fought strong. Sadly we did lose some brilliant local business' too, however, again these are strong people, fighters and after 2 weeks of wallowing in the shadows, they kicked the dust off and came back fighting stronger to make the point WE WILL NOT BE BEATEN!

We are lucky to have brilliant support enterprises around, who can and will help us find the desired information on just about anything. So where is my frustration from last nights event?

I was chatting with a "gentleman" who had a conceptional idea. It wasn't too far off the old Apple/IBM Marketing concept, however after a discussion on the topics of IP Ownership on conceptional developments, he moved to the lack of support he had found when trying to develop his idea to business. The Event was held in The Hub offices over at Bridge of Don. It is the base of Elevator who provide the Business Gateway Service and the Chamber of Commerce. This is my church, this is my place where I go and know that I have all the advice and support in the world. This "gentleman" was actually standing in their office drinking their free drinks, eating their food, enjoying their hospitality and loudly spouting off that they had no idea of business, they were unqualified to provide advice and it was basically a waste of time and money to provide the service. Wrong thing to say to me, so I challenged him on his experiences........ Heres a few short points that he really should have grasped.

1. Set Your Expectations.

Before approaching any organisation for assistance in business, you should at least have notes on what you want to achieve, where your struggles are and how you expect to find the advice you need.

2. Prepare to do the Work.

There are free courses available, you might think you know it all however if you did you'd be a success already and why are you knocking down their door for help? It's your business at the end of the day, they are there to guide you and point you in the right direction.

3. Research is Key.

Watch YouTube Videos, network, research, reach out to other people, knowledge is power. There is a level of liability on supplier and service recommendations due to this anyone will be cautious to name a business to provide services. What they will do is give you the tools and advice on where to go so you can make an informed choice on your preferred supplier or service providor.

4. You Won't Get Everything for Free.

Where as the advice is free and there are grants available how you utilize these are down to you. Knowing what you want to achieve each step of the way is paramount if you want to make the best of each scenario. Don't be afraid to say this is not what expected or want. No-one is a mind reader and if you don't say you could miss out on an opportunity to actually receive what you want. Be realistic though, you're not going to get a free Lawyer or Accountant! What you will get the analysis, and tools to empower you to develop your business.

5. Noone becomes a millionaire without doing the work

This is my frustration when I speak to others looking to go into business, they are surprised to learn I work on my business from 7am- 830am every day before doing a full-time job (pays the mortgage) I spend my lunch hour in meetings and my evenings and weekend also involve work. I am fortunate I can afford this time as I don't have a family to care for however, I make sacrifices in other ways. I do however balance my life, I go to a fitness group in the park, I see friends and I date. Lifes about balance however in business you will only get out what you're willing to put in.