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Paul Hardingham - entrepreneur (see also, PaulHardingham.com)

From a very early age I can remember always wanting to "run my own business". As a very small child, I used to make "note pads" from scraps of paper stapled together and added my own "business name".

Even in primary school I was developing my "entrepreneurial skills", even though I didn't realise it at the time! There was a girl in my class called Jackie (we were only 7 at the time) who wanted a favour. My barter was simple - I would help her, if she was willing to give me her tiny blue stapler and 5p. 5p wasn't much then either but it was the principle of trading assets that I was learning.

Football stickers were all the rage back in the 1970's and rather than buying my own, I used to ask the other kids if they had any they didn't want (in particular "low value" ones such as the goalies of 3rd division sides). When I'd collected enough, I'd swap a group of them for a higher value sticker and then trade that one for more. And so on. Very similar to the guy in the States who traded one red paperclip for a house - (see the video....)

 

IWhen the 80's arrived, I was very excited by the arrival of my first ever computer - a ZX Spectrum - with a massive 16K memory.

This started my passion for computers and I saw older kids (16 year olds) becoming millionaires from selling really pretty awful games in the computer magazines such as "Your Computer" and "Sinclair User".

I taught myself how to programme in ZX BASIC and started producing my own games and applications and sold one game to a friend at school. I called it Aardsville (to make sure it was listed at the top of the games lists in the magazines as they were all listed alphabetically). It was all about running your own tourist steam railway business. You had to work out how much to spend on advertising, how much train track to lay, and how much to charge for tickets. I guess a similar version today is "Railway tycoon".

I also sold a computer programme which was published in "Popular Computing Weekly". Even that programme was business based as it calculated the return on your savings, taking into account compound interest.

At the time of the explosion in the home computing industry, I was just a couple of years too young to be legally able to start selling my own software or other people's software, though I did collect all the "sales information" from the companies at the time such as "imagine software" and visited some computer fairs in London.

I wanted to leave school at 16, but didn't know what to do so I ended up stayed on, and went to university.

In the late '80's I started trading shares. It was the late Thatcher years and I had bought some British Gas shares. My first real trade though was, totally unresearched, buying shares in Burtons clothing group. My thinking at the time was simple - "winter's coming - sales of jumpers are going to go up!". I got out of the trade pretty quickly as I soon realised I didn't have a clue what I was doing, but at least I had found out how to trade shares whilst at work.

Later on I subscribed to a publication called "TechInvest" and made some very good money trading technology based shares in the first dot com boom of the late '90's. I bought shares in a company called "Tadpole technology" and they rose so fast, at one point I thought I was going to be able to retire before 30!

I also entered a fantasy share trading competition in Investors Chronicle and ended up 14th out of 10,000's who entered. I remember the winner, who was a pharmacist at the time, went on to start his own investment fund and managed millions for others. I wonder what he's doing today though? I think I prefer working from home and not having the hassle of office politics.

In the mid to late 1990's I spotted an article by Alan Cane in the Financial Times talking about the internet. I was determined NOT to let THIS opportunity pass me by, even though my boss at the time considered the "internet" was "probably just another passing fad like CB radio" (those were his exact words - last I knew he was still working in his office 15 hours a day and on Christmas day too!).

I worked out how to get my PC linked up to the internet and started learning as much as I could about it. All totally self taught. There was no one to learn from back then.

In late 2000 I was getting totally stressed at work - I was no longer enjoying working 9-5 even though I was only spending 1 day a week in the offce (I was a sales rep at this stage and so could pretty much set my week how I wanted it, visiting customers up and down the country) and the company I was working for obviously did not value the work I was doing for them for reasons I won't go into here.

So, in late 2000 I decided I had had enough - and QUIT! I didn't have another job to go to. I had a well paid, comfortable job with various "perks" such as a company car, private pension etc. so it was a brave decision considering just a few days earlier we found out were were expecting our first baby! I guess you need to be a risk taker if you are an entpreneur.

My first venture as a self employed person was selling advertising space on a website I had created called "Process Index.com". However, I soon realised I needed to generate more income and so I also decided to start selling mobile phones and landlines from a company called Telecom plus PLC I had researched about 12 months earlier. (now know under the brand of "Utility Warehouse").

That was a breakthrough moment!

Telecom plus is an network marketing company and a lot of people are mistakenly scared of network markering companies which is a shame because as long as you do your diligence it's pretty easy to spot the genuine opportunities from the pyramid scams. Quite simply, as long as the products are competitively priced and in big demand you're safe.

A network marketing company is a great way to start your own business for VERY low financial risk. Typically about £200 gets you set up and started. Considering some franchises cost well over £200,000 and don't necessarily make you any more money, it's a very good return on investment.

See "Paul in the press" to see how the local paper reported my success.

I've not looked back since I quit my job in 2000 and I highly recommend if you are considering doing the same, to get in touch with me.

You should also check out my "Quit925" website which will tell you more about the sort of businesses I'm involved with today along with marketing tips and ideas.

I totally believe, if I can do it (with no training or experience) then anyone!

Start your own home based business TODAY! Click Here

 

Here's some advice:

Your harvest will come in time. Be persistent. Be patient. Think long term. Take action every day, (no matter how small) to build your business and you cannot fail.

TOP 10 SECRETS TO SUCCESS

1. Your first ultimate start must include written goals and plans. Formulate a plan of weekly activity and be persistent in following it—if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Sticking to your plan is essential for success.

2.Don't wait for everything to be exactly right to start...THERE WILL NEVER BE A "PERFECT" TIME! Start now, with whatever you have.

The things you need will come to you as you work toward your goal. You cannot become successful in anything when you're trying to do too many things at once.

3. Treat your business as a serious, full-time business, and it will become one. Think of your first six months primarily as a training period. Don't expect large earnings until after you've educated yourself.

4. Be patient. You'll work the hardest your first six months or so and get compensated the least. Big incomes never happen overnight.

They only come after you've properly shown your affiliates how to duplicate your efforts. Always be ENTHUSIASTIC!! Don't give yourself unrealistic expectations.

5. Don't complain. Realize that what you accomplish is mainly in your hands, no one else's.

Also realize that, when you see a problem, 95% of the time there are factors you are unaware of. Don't jump to conclusions. When you have a problem, present it in a concise letter as positive, constructive criticism. Offer solutions if possible, too.

Not only will this approach get you better results, but you'll be building your relationship with your upline instead of tearing it down.

6. Be organized, but don't allow the act of organizing keep you from the most important element of a successful business: MARKETING.

Market and promote your business EVERY DAY! Don't let little problems upset you. Concentrate on the many positives...and the "big picture."

7. Always remember that the only thing that will never change is that there will always be changes. Don't let changes upset you.

Know that you will have to deal with changes and other obstacles, both big and small, continually. Be prepared to be flexible.

8. Don't be a negative thinker and don't let the negative attitudes of others (even if they're family members, friends, or peers) influence you.

All the great men and women in history had to overcome the naysayers who said it couldn't be done—and then went out and did it. Think for yourself!

9. Don't be derailed by "perfection paralysis." Realize that you won't be able to do everything perfectly. Do the best job you can, then move on to the next project. Keep learning and keep moving ahead.

10. Don't quit. The only way to fail is if you give up. Winners never quit and quitters never win!