I have a friend who dreams up a new business idea almost daily, but he never does anything with them. So I wrote this to help break down the walls that stop people from going for it.
I’ve run my own businesses for more than 20 years, selling everything from online services to merchandise, so I can share from firsthand experience the mental shifts needed for success.
Almost everyone imagines launching a start-up at some point. After all, we all have some passion that if “packaged” could help others and make money.
The challenge is going from thought to “package”…
If you're a person who often finds innovative ways to do things, and you have a fire in your belly for independence, running a business might be for you.
#1. You’ll need to “suck” before you can be great.
This is a hard one, and why so many people never even start.
I can look at my own experience as a writer on this platform. A year ago, I started writing, with no followers. Then, I started my own publication, also with no followers. Those first articles looked like a lonely writer writing for a dead pub.
To an observer, it might've appeared that I wasn't doing so well. How sad, they might think...
Many people can’t handle making themselves this vulnerable — but you have to become a bit vulnerable if you want to succeed!
Famous people start out as nobodies.
Self-made millionaires start from a shoe-string budget.
Olympic gold medalists first look like amateurs.
Just keep putting one foot in front of the other, taking solid steps toward your goal, and enjoy the journey. One day you'll wake up, and all that patience and focus will pay off, and the momentum may easily carry you further than you ever imagined.
As for my own writing journey, fast forward a year and I’m doing better than I would’ve thought possible, all because I was willing to “suck” for awhile…
#2. You may need to keep that day job a little longer.
Another trap people fall into is thinking they have to quit their job to truly make it on their own.
First, I think some people just make themselves believe this as an excuse to quit their job.
Second, you don't want to do this. Why? Because having no other source of income could make you desperate in your attempts to launch the business.
Do you know the outcome of desperation? Just think of romance, a person desperate for another never gets them. Never.
Keep your day job for now. Keep your security and gradually transition until you can hop from one stable ship to another.
#3. Baby steps are better than going “all in.”
I know so many people with business ideas who freeze themselves into inaction by making the stakes too high.
You might think you have to throw in your entire life savings, quit your job and even avoid your family to make it happen.
Starting your own business can be as easy as going to order a website package during your lunch hour. Then, in the evening, you start adding content to the site. If you shop carefully, your total cost so far could be around $10.
So, there you go, a secret often disregarded… You can start creating your own thing and experiment with it to discover if you really want to do this, with hardly anything riding on it!
I can't tell you how many businesses I've started only to realize there was no way in hell I wanted to do this all the time, so I jumped ship. Each time, my total loss was around $20, so it made it easy to move on to the next idea until I found the right fit.
# 4: People will only care if there’s something in it for them.
One huge psychological mistake new business owners make is thinking that everyone will care simply because they built it.
“Build it and they will come,” doesn’t always work.
Others won’t be that impressed you took the bold step of doing something yourself, until your thing actually takes off.
Otherwise, nobody really cares. When you're around others, they’ll feign interest, but don't expect them to order anything soon.
So what do to? Forget family and friends, they’re not your target audience anyway and may only hold you down. You don’t have to ignore them, just don’t blabber all day about your business, build it instead.
You’ll know you're really onto something when people you know start bugging you about your business!
When people start needing advice, or even want to get the services you offer, that’s a good sign.
And if they're rude about it, that’s an even better sign! Why? Because the rudeness means they're not trying to suck up to you or be nice, they legit want your stuff!
In the end, I found business and family don't mix too well, because they always want extra favors. It's better to just give people you know stuff as a favor and not a “service,” then they don't take too much time. As soon as family and friends pay money for something, they feel like they deserve the moon.
# 5: Be careful what you wish for, you might get it.
Are you ready to take calls for your business after hours? Are you ready for business concerns to fill your mind even when not “working?” Are you ready to know that your financial security relies on your performance without a “boss” to back you up?
If so, cool, because there's a lot of prizes for the courageous and disciplined.
You don't have to do other peoples’ ideas unless you want to. You'll be able to innovate work processes and products the way you want. You'll get your own flexible schedule and can take time off when you want.
You'll be able to choose the mood, the culture and the people that will make your business what it is.
You'll have something you can call your own to grow and network with others. You’ll have more fun than you can ever imagine, and make money too!
And even if you do finally start to get tired of your business, you can always sell it. That's how a lot of millionaires are made.
The key is whether you have the yearning to be your own agent, and the discipline to take the steps to make it happen.
Someone who lacks self-discipline and needs others to light fires under them to get moving are probably not the best fit to be an entrepreneur.
But if you're someone who wakes up with energy and ideas, and your tired of seeing your talents go toward someone else's bottom line, perhaps now is the time to launch your dream.