Because I work with first-time entrepreneurs that don’t have a business management background or education, lots of the people who come to me have been thinking about entrepreneurship for years – sometimes even for decades – but they have been held back from starting to build their businesses by fear and a lack of confidence. I’m not a life coach or a motivational speaker so I’m not going to try to tell you how to squash that fear or gain confidence. However, I can appeal to the logical thinker within all of you and get you to start building your business, if you really want to, right now.
It’s not rocket science and it’s not a magical technique, but the key to not letting fear stop you is to simply start small. That’s pretty generic (a.k.a lame) advice though, so let’s get a bit more specific.
- Step 1: If you’re afraid that people will think you’re crazy or will judge you if you fail, just decide not to tell them yet. It’s as simple as that. There is a lot of work that can be done to start building your business that nobody will know about unless you tell them, so just don’t tell them. Then they can’t look at you like you’re crazy or judge you. Problem solved.
- Okay, step 2: Don’t commit to becoming an entrepreneur, just commit to exploring the option. It’s scary to leave a job you feel secure in with a paycheck that comes every two weeks to try to build your own business and not be sure what the future holds. So don’t commit to doing it just yet. Just commit to looking into it and evaluating its pros and cons as you would any other job opportunity that cane your way.
- Step 3: Do some market research. Understanding your market – who they are, where they are, what motivates them to spend – will help you feel more confident in building your business. It’s also an integral part of your planning if you do decide to become an entrepreneur. Now, remember, right now you’ve just committed to exploring the option of becoming an entrepreneur so there is no stress attached to this research. If you love researching, awesome, you can’t lose anything with this exercise. If you hate researching, the worst case scenario is that you waste a few hours (and trust me, those hours were no less productive than all of those others hours you probably spend eating, drinking, watching TV, and surfing Facebook and YouTube). After researching though, you’ll probably feel more energized by, more committed to, and less scared by the idea of building your business. Don’t know how to start doing market research? Well, lucky for you I have a video for that so stick around until the end of the video for that link.
- Step 4: Keep researching. If you’re still interested in pursuing your idea, keep the research going. Start looking into how you’d go about building your business and what it would cost you. Just start to gather some facts to put behind your ideas, this isn’t something super formal or serious yet but it will help you develop your idea.
- Step 5: Stop researching. Okay, now you’re starting to think my list of steps is getting too long, right? Well, that’s because it is. At this point, you’re cut off. You took the pressure off yourself and did some research to find out if your idea is viable. At this point, you need to decide if you’re going to pursue it or not and, if you are, you need to set the fear and self-consciousness aside because they are not helpful to entrepreneurs.
Still feeling apprehensive? That’s normal. You’ll need to have a thick skin and a real commitment to your idea to succeed but you’re human. You will be nervous and stressed and that’s okay. Just start small and take little steps towards building your business. Eventually, those little projects will have helped you build up enough momentum that you’ll keep moving forward despite your insecurities.
If you’re a Spanish speaker, check out this talk by Startup Nomad interviewee Stefy Cohen for a little inspiration: If you’re not already watching at CateCosta.com you’ll have to head over to the site to get the link for Stefy’s talk.
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