Building Confidence & Enjoying the Journey
Even though starting a business will always be scary, there are lots of things you can do to make it a bit less scary and a bit less risky – like creating a great business plan, understanding financing and cash flow, and knowing your ideal customer. But no matter how much planning you do, the fear element will still be there.
Luckily, this fear is exactly what can drive your ultimate success as an entrepreneur.
Back in 2010, starting a business wasn’t the thing that scared me – it was the thought of NOT doing it. The thought of maybe never finding a job that was fulfilling and challenging forever. Of maybe spending so many years waiting, wishing and hoping for the right opportunity to come along, that by the time I found it I’d be ready to retire.
I was not in for a life like that. No matter what, I was going to find a way to make this entrepreneurship thing work.
As you can see, fear is an incredible motivator, but it can also hold you back if you let it. If the thought of quitting your job to start a business still terrifies you, here are a few things you can do to move from being paralyzed by fear to being driven by it:
- Acknowledge what you’re afraid of. When you feel fear, take a few minutes to compose yourself and identify exactly what’s causing the emotion. When we’re afraid of something we tend to be stressed out by the emotion instead of recognizing the cause, because even that can be a scary thing to do. But once you do it, you can come up with some actions to take to minimize that fear and allow it to motivate you instead of stall you.
- Take one daily action towards your goal. Nothing quashes fear like the thrill of accomplishment – the problem is, we get overwhelmed by all the things on our To Do lists and wind up doing none of them. Choose one single action for each day to bring you closer to your entrepreneurial dream; maybe it’s creating a shortlist of possible business names, or purchasing a .com. Many small tasks lead to big results.
- Share your fears. Talk to someone about why you’re freaked out – sometimes just airing your concerns verbally is enough to let go of them.
- Share your achievements. Shout all your small wins from the rooftops; tell everyone you can. You’ll be amazed at how much support this will generate for you, and it could uncover some incredible resources you didn’t even know you had available to you. The more people who know what you’re up to, the higher the chance they know someone who can help you.
All of this might sound a bit woo-woo, but like any major milestone in life, you’ll get the most out of it by being present with yourself and talking to others about your successes and your failures. Figuring out how to use your fear to motivate yourself is a massive step to becoming confident that you’re doing the right thing.
And once you’re confident, the journey becomes a LOT more fun.
A Few More Practical Tips
I asked my business mastermind group to tell me a few things they wish they had known before they started their businesses. Here’s what they told me:
- You won’t get rich selling a $10 e-book.
- Learn the technology. Learn to update your web site, manage your customer database, all that stuff – even if you outsource it, you need to show those people the best way to use the technology so it benefits your customers.
- You have to be totally passionate about what you’re doing if you hope to stick it out long term (but I’d add to this by saying you can always change directions if something isn’t working).
- If you’re spending your own time building your business because you don’t have any money, you have to build that time into your planning process, or risk frustration because things aren’t moving as fast as you want them to.
- Choose a business that aligns with the way you want to live your own life.
- Don’t try to hire and train people to do things you are still figuring out yourself.
Wise words indeed.
What to do Next
Alright; it’s decision time. What’s one action you can take today to get closer to becoming the amazing entrepreneur you know you are? Pick something and do it – and then share the results with me on Twitter @renegadeplanner so I can help you tell the world what a difference you’re making in it.
Whatever journey you’re on, though, never, ever, ever forget about the ideal customers you’re doing this for. There are people out there who need exactly what you’re selling, and it’s your job to make sure they can find you – that’s where business planning comes in. So keep this guide handy!
Because sizing up your customers and figuring out what they want – then delivering it with all your heart – is truly the best way to enjoy every minute of this crazy roller coaster.
So go kick some ass, and report back to me. It’s time for some Renegade Planning!