Starting a business is easier to talk about than to actually do, trust me… I have been through the startup mill on more than one occasion. We have all been guiltily of this but most people find themselves dreaming about being rich but never actually doing anything about it. A combination of procrastination and ‘what if’ syndrome can cripple your creative spirit and might mean your idea will never become a reality.
Steve Jobs once said “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” Through actions, we achieve results and you need to believe in what you do and see it through.
For example, you could think about learning Spanish for months, imagining the holidays you will take and the people you will communicate with. You can dream forever but accomplish nothing unless you actually make the effort to start taking lessons.
Much like the martial arts approach – the idea is to take action immediately and avoid over analyzing the situation.
So What Does It Take To Really Start Your Own Business?
Do you want to start your own business but are afraid of what kinds of things can go wrong? What if your initial investment doesn’t pay off? There are millions of things that could go wrong but likewise there are many things that can go right! Fear can be paralysing. When thinking about starting a business particularly if you keep waiting for the right time. There will never be a perfect time. It’s now or never when it comes to starting your own business.
Overcoming your fear is a step by step process
- Do you have a clear idea of what kind of business you want to start? A clear plan will help keep your worries at bay.
- Do you have access to the resources you will need? This includes the necessary start up cash as well as anything else you will need.
- Do you have access to clients or do you know enough about marketing basics to ensure you will have enough interest in what you are offering?
Just like anything you do in life- taking action is the most important part. Make an itemised list of what you feel needs to be done in order for you to start that business you always dreamed of.
Prioritising your list will help too. Don’t wait for all your ducks to be in a proverbial row before you begin but make sure you have all the basics covered. Don’t wait for that ‘perfect someday’. Make an imperfect start.
Don’t over think everything. Sometimes the best approach is to just jump into the deep end. Don’t wait to start discovering your own entrepreneurial spirit. Take action today!
Studies have shown that successful entrepreneurs possess these characteristics:
This is that magical power of having confidence in oneself and in one’s powers and abilities.
2. Achievement Oriented
Results are gained by focused and sustained effort. They concentrate on achieving a specific goal, not just accomplishing a string of unrelated tasks.
3. Risk Taker
They realize that there is a chance of loss inherent in achieving their goals, yet they have the confidence necessary to take calculated risks to achieve their goals.
Entrepreneurs are people who will make decisions, take action, and think that they can control their own destinies. They are often motivated by a spirit of independence which leads them to believe that their success depends on raw effort and hard work, not luck.
So which of these three main characteristics is the most important? Believe it or not, it has to be self-confidence. Without self-confidence, nothing else is possible. If you don’t believe in your abilities, then the first challenge that arises may knock you off the path to achieving your goals. Here are a few things to keep in mind for maintaining a higher level of self-confidence.
Well, it all starts with a positive attitude, doesn’t it? Believing that something good will happen is the first step. Negative thinking simply is not allowed. You must truly believe that there are no circumstances strong enough to deter you from reaching your goals. Remember too, that positive thinking can be contagious. When positive thinking spreads, it can open doors to new ideas, customers, friends, etc.
Now all of the positive thinking and believing in the world is useless if it is not applied towards a goal. You have to take action, no excuses are allowed. This action must also be persistent. Trying once and then giving up is not going to be enough. Keep at it one step at a time. If you can’t get by a certain step, then find a creative way to try again or just go around it.
Earlier in this article we identified a few traits that are common among successful entrepreneurs. You should be able to look ahead and see yourself where you want to be. Now just maintain a strong belief in yourself and your skills, stick with it, and don’t give up. If you can do that, you’re already half way there!
Millions of people are desperate to escape the 9 to 5 grind. One popular alternative is to look for a business opportunity that turns you from an employee into a self-employed entrepreneur running your own business.
There are many good reasons why this can be a wise move. Being your own boss means you can set your own hours. This can be very important if you have small children, or simply want to spend more time at home. Working from home can also save valuable time, if the alternative is spending two or three hours every day commuting back and forth to your work place. And of course, working for yourself also gives you the opportunity to make a whole lot more money.
In other words, being your own boss gives you that valuable commodity called freedom. It sets you free from the limitations of being someone else’s paid employee, and in return makes you responsible for your own future. As a self-employed entrepreneur you are free to set your own hours, establish your own work habits, choose what work you will do or will not do, create your own products, drum up your own customers, and do what you have to do to make those customers happy.
And perhaps most importantly, when you are self-employed you are free to set your own prices and make as much or as little income as you are able. You will not have to answer to anyone other than yourself, your suppliers, and of course, the ever-present taxman, after you become successful.
How to get started
There are two obvious ways you can go about starting your own business. The first way is to quit your day job and launch head on into your new business. We’ll call this the “All or Nothing Approach”. The second way is to continue on with your current employment and develop a business on the side, in your spare time. We’ll call this the “Spare Time Approach”.
Depending on your point of view, taking the All or Nothing Approach can be either an act of bravery or just plain recklessness. Unless you are independently wealthy, planning and timing are very important with this approach. That’s because once you leave your previous employment your source of income will be gone and you will have a limited amount of time to make your business work. It is “sink or swim”. And you can sink pretty quickly without a source of income.
So that means you should plan the changeover to self-employment very carefully. Every situation will be different. An acquaintance of mine was able to step from his quasi-government job into a private consulting business because he spent the last few months of his employment developing leads and contacts within his industry. When he went on his own he had customers waiting in the wings and was able to more than double his income in his very first year.
But most of us are not so lucky. We do not have the quality leads or the specialised skills. Nor do most of us have the opportunity to use our present employment to build a launching pad of potential customers before we take off into the wild blue yonder of startups and self-employment. Most of us are starting from scratch with a few vague ideas, a questionable set of yet-to-be-defined skills, and severely limited income. So our venture into self-employment had better take off within a few months or we’re likely to crash and burn.
That is why the Spare Time Approach is best for most new self-employed entrepreneurs. The Spare Time Approach lets you test your ideas, develop your skills, and build your business slowly. If you are unsure about the products or services you intend to sell, the Spare Time Approach lets you try out different product lines and see how well they fit in with your overall objectives. Often new entrepreneurs find that their first ideas are not realistic, or there is no market for the services they want to provide. Or they find they cannot charge enough to make any money providing the products or services they have chosen.
Before you get started here is a list of things to consider
1. Take time to brainstorm
2. Create a business plan
3. Collate your required resources
4. Test your ideas and MVP
5. Set up your marketing plan and brand-awareness campaigns.
6. Get the finances in shape
7. Create a maintenance list
8. Set future goals
Choose your product or service carefully
Like all new entrepreneurs, whether you take the “all or nothing approach” or the “spare time approach” you should be very tight-fisted with your limited resources. That means do not invest any serious money in a product or business idea until you have checked it out thoroughly.
The analysis is based on about 180 companies that closed their doors in 2013 out of a pool of 1100 companies.
The best way to “check it out” is to:
- Talk to people who are already selling the product or service or something similar to your shiny new business idea.
- Does your business, service or product solve a problem, is it in demand?
- Establish the viability of your business idea, by surveying and testing your MVP early on
- Make sure you will be able to provide on-going support your customers
- Make sure there are no hidden or unexpected costs that will eat away your profits
This applies whether you are looking at an online or tech product, or a more traditional product or service aimed only at local customers.
As any successful entrepreneur will tell you, your choice of business must have a viable market which is crucial to your success or failure. Many startups are simply bogus ideas with no hope of working. And many others are designed out of passion over function. So no matter how hard you work, or how committed you are to being successful, if you choose to create the wrong product you will be operating with a millstone around your neck.
These days individuals are increasingly seeking out their own opportunities, and are actively creating value, rather than faithfully follow rules and routines set by others.
In particular, today’s young people need to learn to be enterprising, both when working for others and when setting up their own businesses. Being enterprising involves taking responsibility for decision making, becoming increasingly self reliant, pioneering, adventurous, daring, dynamic, progressive, opportunist, ambitious and holding your values, as well as being able to initiate ideas and see them through into action.
Whatever business you decide to peruse remember to plan carefully and seize the opportunity all it takes is one successful idea!