As I was brainstorming content for this year last month, the one topic that kept coming to mind was the question that I’m asked THE most about business, websites, and branding: “How do I get started?”
I see this question everywhere and I don’t think it’s that people don’t know how to get started, I think people are afraid to get started. Starting a business is one of the most exciting and yet scary and exhausting things you can imagine. But there are specific reasons why you might not be starting yours and in this post we’re going to identify and come up with a plan to get over them.
Are you ready? Good! Let’s go!
There are many reasons why people don’t start businesses, but the very first and the most powerful one holding many back is FEAR!
Fear is powerful and intimidating. It whispers all sorts of horrible stuff into your ear and it makes you feel like you really shouldn’t be starting a business. It makes you feel like you’re insignificant and you should either look for a 9-5 or stay at your current one. It takes a lot to overcome fear and ultimately, you have to do battle with it yourself as it lies in your mind.
However, there are steps you can take when you’re tackling fear, to lessen its power and make overpowering it much more attainable.
Have a plan
This almost seems obvious, of course you have a plan. You’ve thought of your business and how you want it to work, what you’re going to sell, how you’re going to market it, etc. But I’m not talking about a plan for your business, I’m talking about a plan for YOU.
The reason you’re afraid, is because you need money to support yourself while you’re trying your idea out. You need this whether you’re trying it out full time or part time while you’re working a 9-5.
The plan you need to have is for where you’re getting the money you need to live on a monthly basis.
Now this can look many different ways, any of them involve you knowing your numbers. Do you know how much you actually need to survive each month? If you don’t, then you need to figure that out. If you do, then you need to come up with a way to make that money month to month.
You might come up with a plan to do this on a monthly basis or you might feel safer saving up for 6 months to a year so that you don’t have to worry each month.
The point is, come up with a plan so that your expenses are covered. Not your business expenses, YOUR expenses. Make it so that you don’t have to worry AT ALL about where your money is coming from to cover rent or a mortgage, health insurance, food, car payments, etc.
When you do that, this lessens the power of fear because you have a safety net and you can focus on establishing and growing your business.
Another big hold that FEAR has over you is failure.
Of course no one wants to fail, BUT failure is part of growth. How many times does your little baby fall before they’re actually able to take steps on their own? Before that, they’re crawling, they walk holding on to a table or a walker. Even when they do start walking, they’re wobbly and unstable. No one just gets up and starts walking.
So what does this have to do with your business? Everything.
Don’t expect to get up and start walking. Expect to start out and fail. Embrace your failures as learning experiences and don’t associate them with negative thoughts. If you learn to #failsogood then the power that fear has over you will instantly go away.
When you learn that failure is actually a positive experience it changes the way you look at yourself and your business. You’ll be able to breeze past hurdles that many people get stuck on for a long time. You will profit from not losing this valuable time and your business will too.
When you learn to fail, you’ll learn to try new things and find the things that work for you and your business much quicker. And that’ll make you successful faster!
Another reason you haven’t gotten started yet is one that I’m VERY guilty of.
It’s very easy to hide behind wanting things to be “just right”. Why wouldn’t you want things to be just right or perfect. That’s the mark of someone that’s dedicated to their work right?
Yes and no.
You should definitely put your best out there. But if things are beautiful and you keep finding reasons why they’re not perfect and you delay, then you’ve got a problem.
This is a common problem, specially among creative people. We have the ability to make things beautiful and we do. Sometimes though, we turn this into an obsession that can cripple us.
It’s much more comfortable to hide behind “working on our business” instead of actually launching it. Launching it is scary. So we come up with excuses.
My logo isn’t perfect yet.
My site is terrible right now.
I don’t have a well-designed opt-in yet so I can’t open my doors.
Change your mindset
Don’t get me wrong, if you follow me at all, you know I think these are important parts of your business that you should be designing with care. BUT, you shouldn’t let them stop you.
If you don’t believe me, check out this post where I tell you all about how I launched this site in 3 weeks. Believe me, the site wasn’t perfect and it certainly wasn’t everything I wanted it to be, but it was a start. It allowed me to launch into the world.
It allowed me to take an idea into reality and start making money from it. Now that I have the time, I’m rebranding! Because here’s a very big truth, your brand will NEVER be done!
Your brand is just like you, a living, breathing creation. It will grow with you and it will change directions, just like you do. When you build your brand with a good, strong foundation, that will make it so that it CAN grow with you and adapt and change to your dreams and desires as they change.
So stop trying to start with the perfect color palette or the perfect logo. They might change over time. The things that shouldn’t change are your values and how you serve people. The level of commitment that you offer your clients. Your integrity and the talent that you bring to the table. Those things should only get better with time and your branding will continue to grow as you do.
This is a big problem in our socially connected society.
While it’s great to be exposed to so many amazing people and see the wonderful things they’re doing, it’s also opened the door to comparison.
We can’t help it, we’re human. We want to be just as good, if not better than our peers. So when you go to instagram and see that incredibly feed it can do one (or possibly more) of several things:
- It be incredibly inspiring and fuel you to really get to work. This really could be a catalyst for you to start something amazing and be successful. This is a wonderful result!
- It can be inspiring at first but when you start working on your own business you start to feel like you’re not as good and it can stunt your growth because you feel inferior. Not what we want.
- It can just piss you off! Why are they so good? Why can’t I be like that? This will just halt you completely as you feel sorry for yourself. Not good at all!
- It can cause you to feel so bad about yourself that you completely give up on your dream. This is terrible, we don’t want this.
Learn from Experience
Living in this time is incredible. The opportunities that we have today would not be possible without the internet. But with these opportunities come things like Comparison. We have to be prepared to take the good with the bad and know how to handle the bad.
Comparison doesn’t have to be a bad thing. It can be constructive.
We can learn from someone who’s further in their journey than we are. We can learn from the mistakes they made so we don’t repeat them. We can emulate things that have worked for them and see if they work for us. We can take all the lessons they have to teach from their experience and apply them to our own business.
It’s all in our mindset. We can’t let things like fear, perfection, and comparison take a hold and prevent us from action. It’s sometimes hard to understand when all we think we see are people doing the same thing. But we all do things differently and there really is space for all of us.
Work on your mindset so you can get past these barriers that keep a lot of people from getting started. Give yourself a pep-talk and get past it all so you can launch that successful business that’s inside you!