Today, we will talk about Part Two of the “Work for Yourself, Even While Working for Someone Else” article series. Part Two discusses the most common fears that are holding you back from launching your business and how to overcome these. You can find Part One: Why Everyone Needs a Business, here.
Have you thought about or talked about starting a side business for a while now? Do you have a great business idea that you know will succeed if only you had the time, the money, the support, or the energy to get it started?
Regardless of how cliché it sounds, the truth is you have everything you need within you to get started. Starting, that is what’s most important. You cannot have success without a start. Unlike what you may read or hear, success is not glamorous. Success is made up of the same small, consistent, daily steps that compound into something much larger and much greater.
If you’re reading this and you’re thinking about that business idea you’ve had for a while, you already know what steps you need to take to get it going. So lets address what might be holding you back. Below are some of the top fears that hold most people back from starting.
#1 – “I have no time!”
This is by far the number one excuse people claim when it comes to why they haven’t started that side business or launched that dream project. In fact, over 75% of people blame a lack of time for not being able to get things going in their online/side business. But here’s the reality, and you know this, we all have the same 24 hours. What matters is how we choose to spend it.Do you know the average person spends almost 2 hours a day on social media? Now, we all need down time, but what if you cut down two hours on social media to an hour? You just earned yourself an extra hour. Or maybe social media isn’t your thing, but something else is. What consumes your time? For one week, or even one day, try keeping a time log of all, and I mean ALL of your activities and assess how you are spending your day. You may be surprised by the results. And remember, you can’t buy more time, but you can make time.Once you have an idea of your time wasters, work on creating new habits and prioritizing your time. Try waking up one hour early each day. If one hour seems a bit much, start with 30 minutes. These hours really do add up. To make the best use of your time, write out beforehand your plan for what you want to accomplish that next morning. This is your time. The time you are investing in your own life and business, before you get ready for the day and go to help grow and invest in someone else’s business (aka your day job). Start paying attention to your daily habits and start creating better habits. Control your schedule. Don’t let it control you.
#2 – “I have no extra money”
This is the second most common reason people claim they have not started their side business. We all have financial commitments and it may truly seem like there is no room in your financial situation to put towards a side business, but remember just because it may seem like there is no way, doesn’t mean there isn’t a way. Inaction will get you nowhere. Is there something you can cut back on in your life? Can you save a little more each month? When you want something bad enough, I truly believe you will find a way. You just have to want it.There are many businesses you can start for free. http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/238538 Don’t believe me? Then just ask google. Do not let money be the reason you haven’t started. In fact, money is one of the best reasons to start. By creating a side business, you are creating another stream of income, and working your way to creating financial freedom.Most millionaires start businesses with little to no money. Most people today have access to a computer and an Internet connection. More and more businesses are online businesses allowing you to work from anywhere without the expenses of an office, staff, etc. It really doesn’t take much to start a business. If you have a business idea or are good at something, start a blog for FREE and generate interest. The more interest you generate can lead to ads on your blog, which can lead to ad revenue, which can lead to more money to invest back into your business. There are hundreds of ways to find resources to start your business. You just have to want to look hard enough. So start today, start small, and start with what you’ve got. It may take longer to achieve what you want, but at least you started.
#3 – “Its not ready yet”
Perfectionism kills more dreams before they have a chance to begin. For me, this is what I struggle with the most. I can’t help it. I’m a lawyer. Most lawyers are perfectionists because if we make an error on one of our cases, it can have disastrous results. But really, most of our clients expect us to have all the answers and to be right. And that’s a lot of pressure. But when it comes to starting a business, going after a goal, or launching a project, perfectionism is also used as a pretty little excuse. Most people will claim they can’t move forward with their business or project because they want to put out an excellent product, it has to be just right, and it is never quite ready enough.When I first started my blog, I almost did not want to publish it because it wasn’t perfect. But I’m so glad I did. It wasn’t complete and it’s still going through changes (some exciting changes), but what wasn’t perfect to me, was great to others. Perfectionism keeps you from taking the next crucial step. Often times, that step is just getting started.You see, being perfect has no place in launching a new venture. Failure to complete something because it isn’t quite perfect means you are unsure and distracted about what you are doing. There is fear behind the perfectionism of what others will think of what you put out in the world. So don’t wait until you feel its perfect. Give the world your gifts, get started, and perfect it as you go.
#4 – “What if it doesn’t succeed?”
A lot of people don’t take the necessary steps to start a business because they are afraid their business will fail. After all, 8 out of 10 businesses fail within the first year and half. So why would you risk it? Because, you won’t be able to outrun your fears, but you can gain enough successes to shut it up.There is a lot of fear around starting a new business. What if no one buys your products or services? You don’t have enough customers? Or make any money? What if your investment just isn’t worth the time it takes?Each of these “what-ifs” has an answer. First, you won’t know if you will make any money unless you try it. Second, there are customers out there for every type of business. Many people fear they won’t have clients or customers, so they won’t be able to sell, and therefore won’t be able to make money, and so they fail. While you and I may not pay for a particular service or product, there are people in this world that will. The world is a big place and that is why having a web presence is so important for yourself and your business. For example, you may be selling an e-book on a topic that someone in a part of the world would purchase because they don’t have access to a library or bookstore nearby to learn more about this topic, but they do have a computer and an internet connection. The world is huge and people are selling everything and anything and there are enough customers out there for all of us. Having an online business or online presence exposes your business to billions of people and you only need a very small amount of those people to have a successful business.The truth is you could fail. But failure isn’t final. Not unless you let it be. You learn by failing. Failure is only failing if you don’t learn from the experience. If you learn from it, the failure becomes a valuable lesson. Don’t regret not starting because you don’t know if your idea will succeed. Remember, winners are not people who never fail but people who never quit. Become comfortable with failure and learn to use it in a way where it catapults you to even greater success.
#5 – “I have no idea what to expect.”
The unknown is a scary thing. You have no idea how your business will perform when you first launch. But fact is, you will face uncertainty in anything you have never done before. Starting a business can be unpredictable. You won’t know how many clients you will get or how much money you will make or whether you will be able to handle the challenges that come your way. The reality is we live in a world filled with uncertainty. Your full time day job that feels secure is actually unpredictable. Is it more risky to have multiple streams of income that you create or rely on one employer who could go bankrupt, get bought out, or lay you off at any time?The one thing I am certain about is that life is uncertain and you will have to adapt in order to be successful. In fact, your business may become so successful that working becomes an option. Sometimes big dreams scare people because it makes them uncomfortable and as humans we love being comfortable. We love knowing. But do not let comfort keep you from growing.In order to minimize your risk of uncertainty, you plan. Create a plan for your business, marketing, and best of all plan by talking to those who have done it before you. Be prepared with your plans, but flexible in your execution. Uncertainly can be the most exciting part of your business. Accept that there are multiple possible outcomes for everything. You may not get the outcome you want, but doesn’t mean it was a bad outcome. So how do you overcome uncertainty? Preparation and flexibility.
Many of the reasons for not starting are reasons you already know. If you’ve had an idea for a while and you want to get started but haven’t yet, evaluate what reasons or excuses are holding you back from taking the plunge into financial and time freedom and most importantly, figure out a way to overcome it so you can get started.