I’d say for the last three or so years I had made up in my mind that I wanted to start my own business — maybe earlier than that. I always knew that I wanted to create my own path to success. As a part time worker in retail, I had my share of doing what other people wanted. I’m opinionated yet creative and felt like I had some great ideas.
I would often tell friends of my ideas and what I wanted to do and it would end right there. I had been freelancing with graphic design for a while but it never really gave the results I desired, nor did I give it the type of attention it needed. I never really ‘started’ a business, but I talked a pretty good game.
Then June came and I decided to take a leap. I changed my mentality and my desire to succeed. I WANTED to have my own business, but I changed my mentality to NEEDING to have my own business. It just clicked for me and since then things have been working on all cylinders for me.
This list I’ve put together isn’t just some stuff I’ve used from other blogs, this is coming straight from my experience. My hope is that you will realize some of these traits in yourself and decide that it’s time to start following your dreams.
Is this you?
1. Self Validation and Self Defeat
There’s a common idea out there that you have to have it all together before you do something big like start a business or follow a dream. I believed that I had to have all my ducks in a row the way I saw fit before I could even think about business. I needed to have a good camera, good computer, good whatever until I could move forward.
For you it may be different. I’ve got friends and family members who feel like they need more education or more money or whatever before they move along. What’s the issue with this way of thinking? It’s always something. Once you get the camera, then you’re going to be stuck on getting a good tripod. And once you get the tripod, then you’re going to decide that you have to learn Adobe After Effects before you move along. Your desire to validate yourself and the idea of your business just continues to snowball because you’re enthralled with the wrong things.
The human mind can really make you or break you and if you’re not careful can really hinder what is a great idea for you. I think that we have SUCH great ideas that we can’t wrap our own minds around what we are saying so we push them to the side, in self-defeat. Why? You haven’t even given yourself a chance yet. There’s nothing anywhere that says you have to be the smartest person to start a business or the most well-prepared person to start.
2. You’re Scared
This goes along with the previous point, where we require self validation. I’ve start my business and I’m still scared. The idea of failure and defeat is not something that sits too well with me. I mean, who wants to ‘waste’ time doing something that isn’t going to be fruitful for them…right? This is probably why I desire that validation and that preparedness, because I feel less apt to fail.
Embracing the fear or ignoring it all together is the key. Once you figure out you just have to go for it, you understand things won’t work out quite as you had imagined. The good part, however, is that if you’re working and being diligent there’s kind of no way you can really fail. When things don’t go as planned, it’s on you to figure out if you let it defeat you or if you make a lesson it from it and move forward.
Trust me — it’s common to be scared. You’ve got the wrong idea if you think Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg aren’t scared about something right now. It’s all in how you handle it. I like to use my fear to prove myself wrong. I try out that task I’m scared of and if I get any result, there’s this great feeling associated with the fact that I even tried — and now I have a lesson to build from.
3. Your Goals Are Too Big
If we take a look at what all these points have in common, we can determine that your confidence needs building. No matter how many times people on my time told me my work was good, it never really meant anything to me. Why is that? Because I typically lacked the confidence to believe in myself. After all, they’re my team so they have to tell me I’m doing a great job, right? Well, hopefully you don’t have any ‘yes men’, but I had to learn to at least listen to what they were saying.
Confidence is key. One way I learned to build my confidence was to set ATTAINABLE goals. I think we set this huge goals for ourselves and allow ourselves to get defeated once we fail. I used to guest blog a lot had many other obligations, but I always wanted to write 10 posts a month. Yes it sounds easy, but in the grand scheme of things, it was a bit much and I could never really hit the goal. Eventually, I cut it down to 6 posts a month and consistently hit that goal. That made me feel like I could do something and made me realize I had the power to do what I wanted.
I also have/had a problem with procrastination. No matter how you try to flip it (oh, you work better under stress?), procrastination is no good. If I have a week to do a task, I break it up into small, little tasks to make it go by. For example, the six posts I wanted to write a month — I didn’t write each six individually. I outlined them and each week wrote two sections for each. It worked for my attention span and my work ethic and I usually ended up finish two articles a week.
4. Comparing Yourself
Why can’t I get the results he or she gets? How does that person do what they’re doing? It’s really easy to get lost in comparing yourself to others. If you get caught up in what other people are doing and how they are doing it, you will always fail. I had to realize that other people are in different positions and understand things differently. How do you compare two things that are unalike?
Don’t waste a ton of time here. Use people as an influence and learn from them. Also, get that competitiveness out your mind — no one has a monopoly on people. Do what you do to the best of your abilities. You’ll be fine.
5. You’re doing it wrong
Why do you want to start your business? What is it that you want to do? How are you going to handle these tasks? What’s next?
Like I said, I was always a freelance, but I never gave it the attention or seriousness it deserved. I was typically ill-prepared when talking to clients and I was really just interested in making a quick buck. I created no value for clients and little to no relationship past the project. Then I wondered why they wouldn’t refer me or why the deal had gone sour. That’s not the way to do business.
If you have started and you’re unhappy so far, definitely re-evaluate your business techniques as well as your mindset. Your mindset and how you go forth with your tasks really makes a difference in how much you achieve. It also says a lot about your brand and what you stand for. So what do you want to represent?
How to start your business right now
Just do it. Change your mentality and do it. Accept the trial and the error. Accept that you aren’t going to be perfect in your first month or even your first year. But you’ve got to put yourself in motion. If you need some confidence in yourself, start small. Think of 3-5 tasks you can complete today to get started. There’s no reason you should hold on to your wonderful idea or your great talent. You’ve got everything you need to start right now and that’s yourself.