This article was last updated on September 5, 2017
When you decide to embark on a journey of this sort you must understand a few things. The most import of them all is your own mindset. In order to develop a solid plan on how to start your own business, you must take a moment to contemplate how you will handles challenges that come your way. How will you mentally deal with the naysayers, the unforeseen obstacles, or the economic conditions that challenge your everyday bottom line? I’m not suggesting you need to be prepared for everything, but using the following resources you currently posses will give you a solid foundation for your entrepreneurial journey.
How to start your own business is a question posed by countless and answered by few.
Start with a ‘Why’
People often have conflicting and superficial reasons as to why they want to be entrepreneurs. They don’t know the kind of services or products they want to share with the world. The hype of having a trendy profession just grabs their attention. Obtaining clarity about your startup goals, objectives and reasons for your business is critically important, however. Not only will it give you a sense of direction, but it also has the potential to help with sustaining success over the long haul.
I adore the the book by Simon Sinek, Start with Why, because he challenges us to think closely about why we are doing the things we’re doing. Asking the question ‘why’ requires time that we sometimes don’t have. But more than not, asking ‘why’ means digging deep into our souls and getting in touch with that part of ourselves that is often hard to connect with. It means getting in touch with what at makes us vulnerable.
Having an answer to that ‘why’ will help you build confidence when the negativity storms come your way. It helps you recall the passion that you brings to your business endeavor. The question also allows you to reminisce about that moment you wanted to change the world with your grand idea. Additionally, to ask why puts up a red stop sign that includes a written montage of everything that you believe. Your belief is on the stop sign because it’s your way of saying to the world, this is where the rubber meets the road. This is what I am doing and there is absolutely nothing you can do to get in my way. Go ahead and spend a moment asking yourself why you want to do this.
Graduate to Pro-Status
Let’s call a spade a spade. If your entrepreneurial endeavor is a side hobby, or something you do when your checkbook is hot mess, I hate to say this, but you’re an amateur. The best piece of advice I can give a startup creator is to realize that as a newly minted entrepreneur, you’ve got to take this stuff seriously if you’re going to be successful. More importantly, you’ve got to move out of the land of mediocrity and into the state of becoming a pro. Pros like Michael Jordan, Bill Gates, Donald Trump (yes I said it) and so many others.
In Steven Pressfield’s book, the War of Art, he challenges anyone with a new endeavor to recognize the importance of turning Pro. When one becomes a pro they step away from amateurish meanderings. Knowing how to start your business has so much to do with taking things to the next level. To become a pro requires work, dedication, commitment and time. The truth is that all of these pros share similar stories. There was a point in all of their lives when they made the mental shift to becoming a pro. If you want to know how to start your own business you must grab onto your breaking point. That’s the point when you’re willing to do any and everything that it takes on the road to success.
Put Your Oxygen Mask On First
Perhaps I am not alone when I say that safety instructions on flights drive me crazy. Listening to the stewardess tell me that my own health must be secured before that of my innocent child sounds ridiculous. To tell you the truth, if any of my children were on plane that lost cabin pressure, my first job would be to secure their masks first. But at the same time, I totally understand the concept of helping your self in order to help others. On that same note, it dawned on me how important it is to put on your mask first when it comes to entrepreneurial endeavors, not just literally but figuratively.
As an entrepreneur, the need to ‘put-on-your-mask-first’ will be vital to the stability of your business. It won’t be easy to prioritize as an entrepreneur if you’re constantly saying yes to people, things and distractions. So the next time a distraction comes along as yourself it it is time to put on your mask first.
How to Start Your Own Business 101: Plan to Fail
I’m here to set the record straight about planning in the land of entrepreneurship. The journey toward success is full of moments when you will feel like a complete and utter failure. All the planning in the world won’t prevent the collision of time, space and reality, or what will seem like failure to the umpth degree. Don’t fret, as failure is one of life’s greatest teachers. A setback is nothing more but an opportunity to succeed. Failing and getting back up instills a sense of inner strength that can’t be learned in any other way.
Embracing those times when things don’t go as planned can mean success in the long run. Planning to fail builds endurance and helps you be more proactive. Failure is momentary, it’s not permanent, nor is it any indication of things to come. To fail is just a four letter word. It is not the end but the beginning of something really amazing.
Online Social Media Presence is the New Business Card
Maybe I’m an odd duckling, but I am very apprehensive about business that don’t have a website. So much so that when I moved back to my hometown in 2005, I wouldn’t submit resumes to companies that didn’t have a website. It’s 2017 and whether consciously or not, many people will look to the internet before referring to the yellow pages (do they still have them?). For entrepreneurs it is more than vital to have a social media presence in this day and age. Even more importantly, don’t forget to make sure that your online footprint is mobile friendly and easily accessible for smartphone users.
Show Don’t Tell
There is something mystical about being an entrepreneur or a writer. Both are endeavors that require a singular strength of will. But much like writing where one is instructed to show instead of tell, entrepreneurship requires a bit of discretion as well. Output is far more important than running off at the mouth about what one is going to do.
Over the years I’ve come to experience entrepreneurship as the act of showing up. It’s about showing the world what can be done and putting one foot in front of the other. However, for all of these accomplishments, there are no words because at the end of the day, what is shown to the world is worth more words than we could ever utter.
Everything Ain’t for Everybody
Everybody and their mama has an opinion on what being an entrepreneur is all about. They think they know exactly what is needed to start your business. Add some more sugar to the cake (be that influences, business coaches or consultants) and it may lead somewhere. As you’re being bombarded with all of these options, just remember that not everything is for everyone. You must constantly weigh the pro’s and con’s of new gadgets, concepts and strategies.
The way I deal with being bombarded with a slew of information is to initially ask myself if the information needs to be obtained right away. If the answer is no, I skip it. However, if I need for later I simply set myself a calendar reminder. Also keep in mind that just because a given idea or tool was good for some, it won’t needlessly get the job done of you. Needs are always strictly individual.
Slow and Steady Wins the Race
I’m an ultra runner in the sports world and IRL. What it means is that I do running events in the woods or on trails that have a distance longer than your typical marathon. Distances like 32 miles, 50 miles, 62 miles, 100 miles are my typical marathons. Ultra running has taught me an invaluable lesson about taking things slow. I learned that if I ran at a moderately fast pace with intermittent slow speeds I would eventually reach the finish line.
Running your business can be done so in a similar manner. Although you may want to speed up and make more money, a higher revenue will result in a higher cost of production and resources. A growth spur can be a double-edged sword. Too much growth can bring down a promising enterprise and no one wants that to happen. The goal is to plan for varying growth speeds depending on the infrastructure needs of the business and to remember that slowing down can be just as invaluable to your business. In the end, we all want to get to the finish line and achieve a milestone for our business.
As an entrepreneur you’ve got to be able to do a couple of things. One of which is knowing when to admit that you don’t know something. The other is having the courage to ask or help. Perhaps you are wondering what ego strength even has to do with these skills. It’s easy to think you know everything, but it requires real mental stamina to be honest and admit your limited knowledge.
It will require a type of internal strength to live with the understanding that your potential and understandings can be limed. Letting someone in on that secret makes you extremely vulnerable. You may even fear that this information will be used against you. Consider for a moment, however, that no one cares? Focus on obtaining the lacking knowledge and running your successful business. What you currently don’t know is no different to the things you didn’t know when you were born into this world. It simply a learning curve. No biggie.
K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Superstar)
Entrepreneurs are some of the most over-thinking and overly-complicated people on this planet. The problem with complicated stuff is that it takes time. Sometimes that time is unproductive and it can honestly be borderline miserable. However, there is this spiritual concept in the law of attraction that speaks to going down-stream versus going up-stream. When you go up-stream it requires hard work, it feels fruitless at times, it’s exhausting and it feels as if you’re getting farther and farther from your genuine destination. On the other hand, to allow actions to fall into the category of going down-stream, things will be easy, and free flowing and you’ll be moving at a speed that builds confidence in the fact that you’re getting closer and closer to your goals, dreams, objectives or desired outcomes.
Needless to say we live in a world that supports the idea of ‘no pain, no gain.’ However I’m inviting you to consider something radical; I want you to realize that it doesn’t have to be overly complicated or painful. Starting your own business can be simple, free flowing and carefree. It’s about working smarter, not harder.
I remind myself constantly to keep it simple. The moment I start to go in that antagonistic direction I know it will suck the life out of me, it won’t feel good, and most of all it won’t help my growing business. How to start your own businesses is a questioned answering by believing in yourself and using simplicity and persistence.