At one time or another, we have all thought about that moment when we take the plunge and go out on our own. We dream about being are our own boss, we are master of our own universe, we spend our days working on something we love so much that it doesn’t even feel like work.
So, you’ve decided to take that leap into the unknown? You are ready. You have the best idea since sliced bread and you know that you are going to be the biggest success the business world has ever seen. Watch out Bezos. And that’s when the inspiration and motivation literally melt out of you like coconut oil left next to a radiator. That first step. The big get going moment. It’s harder than anyone who hasn’t made that leap can realise. Let’s break it down.
I’ve said it before but I’ll knock on that same door again, just START!! Do something. Anything. Make a list, do some research, write an email or talk to friend. Commit to an action that marks the start of this journey.
A lesson you will soon learn is that you will not make monumental progress in the early days, so try not to put that kind of pressure for results on yourself. Instead focus on attainable “goals” of just moving in the right direction. Get started. Do something that means you can say “ I’ve started my own company”
Most people will let their fear of failure hold them back from doing even this early stage part. So if you can motivate yourself past that and just do SOMETHING, you are already ahead of most.
2. Take it seriously – this isn’t easy
Now that you have got started, commit. The only way that you will fail at this point is if you stop. This isn’t going to be easy (otherwise we would all be doing it) You will be up at night, forgoing your social life, and a lot of the time having to somehow manage your new self motivated responsibilities around your day job. its hard work!
If you don’t prioritise this dream it will soon turn into a nightmare that’s just easier to walk away from. Be structured and organised to make the most of your time and maximise efficiencies. Though you set out to start a business so you could do something you love, never forget that it is a business and not a hobby, so you will have to treat this as work.
3. Get help
No man is an island right? And nobody knows all the answers. Get other people on your bus and share the responsibilities. Complement your strengths and skill up as much as possible. Invest in courses, books, watch online videos and hold conversations that will develop your understanding. Great business owners do this for their entire careers, it’s a good practice to get into early doors!
4. Have a strong business plan
Without a plan what are you really doing? What’s the old saying? Fail to plan or plan to fail. Well its true. I don’t mean you need some elaborate 70 page manifesto but having an early stage plan jotted down gives you direction. It gives you the mission laid out in black and white and the steps you need to take in order to get there.
Of course your business plan is likely to change, and it should! If it doesn’t then you might be sticking stubbornly to your original vision at the cost of your success, your business will always tell you what it needs, learn to listen.
5. Prepare to love what you hate and hate what you love
This is no joke. Starting a business will test you in ways you would never expect. It will test your patience, your ability, your understanding and capacity to learn. It will test you physical and mental strength. That original dream at times will be such a drain on every part of you that you will quite literally hate what you once loved.
You’ll get to the point that you cringe upon hearing the name of your own company. You’ll start to despise the responsibility, stress, and sleepless nights. However, you will also have days when you learn something amazing and new about yourself–a new strength you didn’t realize you had.
If you are resilient, though, you will achieve something you never thought possible. You’ll conquer the cold call or win the biggest deal of your life. That’s when you will realise how much you have learned. You’ll realise that you achieved what you once thought impossible and you’ll come to love those things you once despised. The key, and this is fundamental to achieving success, is to never give up. Never!