Starting a business in the mortgage industry is easy. The hard bit is making it last.
If I could tell the former 29-year-old me a few things five years ago when I started my business, I would give myself a good shake plus applause for the courage I had. Trying and failing is better than never really trying at all.
Understand the difference between being self-employed and running your own business. Being self-employed gives you time and an enhanced earning potential; running your own business takes more from you but can reward you in other ways — or at least give you a few stories to laugh about once you’ve survived.
If you want to achieve and scale a business organically, you will need to cut yourself some slack
What’s the driver?
It is important to decide on the driver for setting up your own business. If it is time, growing an organic business isn’t for you.
You need the right people in the foundation of your business before you can even consider your longer-term goals, and the hardest part in the industry is recruitment. When you have a vision, it’s up to you to surround yourself with the right people.
Don’t get pulled into social media and the ‘glam’ side of the industry. You don’t need to earn a place at someone else’s table; you have your own seats to fill.
If you are unhappy about something and you feel it in your gut, it’s telling you something. Go with your instincts and run with that
Surround yourself with people with a similar vision and attitude. You will only feel held back if you don’t. And do not apologise.
Find your reason why. If you think you have done so then make sure you feel it in your bones because there is always something more.
You will be on a journey of growth. Embrace that because the sooner you do, the better the results will be.
And don’t trust everyone you meet. There are a lot of false promises in the industry. Focus on action and not on words.
Go with your instincts
If you are unhappy about something and you feel it in your gut, it’s telling you something. Go with your instincts and run with that.
Don’t hire on experience but on attitude. Attitude wins every time and anyone with the right effort can learn anything with the right support.
Starting a business in the mortgage industry is easy. The hard bit is making it last
Experience doesn’t always solve your problems. We haven’t all had the same journey to get to where we are — someone who spent the same 10 years in the banking industry will have had completely different experiences from yours.
Give it time
One of the biggest lessons for me was realising that organic growth is very hard. Most of the larger businesses in the industry are backed by investors with deep pockets. If you want to achieve and scale a business organically, you will need to cut yourself some slack.
Have a plan, a niche and a why. And write them down!