Starting Out on Your Own
My Start-My-Own-Business-clients come to me because they want to know the steps to follow to launch their business – but in reality, consciously, or unconsciously, what most of them are looking for, is security. Not just of doing all the right steps, but to ease their fears.
Working with someone who has done it herself, as well as with a number of clients, does give one the security, that they are not leaving out some important step. It also helps in the preparation of a complete and detailed plan, and having someone to bounce it off with.
All the above helps to alleviate our doubts and anxieties. However, the real fears, in starting on your own, are often others.
Often these new businesses are either creative in nature, such as writing, art or photography; or based on the client’s expertise, such as consultancy, coaching or even energy healing.
This creates additional fears about our credibility, skills, and talents.
Some real fears are:
How do I get the courage to go out there and say I am an artist, a coach, a motivational speaker or others?
How do I attract my customers?
Who would pay for my services?
Who will trust me when I am just starting?
Won’t my collogues and friends think I am crazy?
Will my family support me? Will I be letting them down?
What if I make a mistake with a client?
Won’t I lose face if it never takes off?
There are actually various tools to help us manage our fears.
Note that I said manage, not eliminate our fears. The life of an entrepreneur is an ever-evolving journey, full of challenges. After you launch you may face unexpected client situations, criticism, new products or services you need to consider and/or re-study for, new competition, etc.
Fear will always be there. The aim is not to eliminate it, but to transform it into courage and motivation; or at the very least manage it, so it does not cripple you.
“I accept my fear, and it will be in the car with me, but it will not be in the driving seat.”Lisa Nichols
Fear may sometimes be useful. It may help us see and prepare for dangers we were not aware of. It also helps us remain humble and authentic. Knowing what you know and do not know, and being ready to accept it, will distinguish you from others and earn you trust.
On the other hand, overwhelming fear will keep you from presenting yourself and your service confidently, taking on that big client, or worse, from starting at all.
Practical Tips to Overcome Fear
Here I will give some practical ways to assuage the fear, in this particular situation. Besides these practical methods, in my Start-Your-Own-Business-Coaching, I also use other exercises that help address the feeling of fear directly.
Get Your Hands Dirty
The idea here is to start working on your project, without making it official. It is like easing into it, and for most of my clients, this helps alleviate the fear.
Getting your hands dirty will help in making it more real in your head. The idea will start to attract momentum, to get more crystallised. Now that you are doing something about it, you will feel more comfortable talking about it. You will start to see any existing gaps in your plan or questions you want to clarify before you launch.
For those that believe in the law of attraction, you will be acting “as if its already here”, and therefore attracting it more. One day without knowing you will be doing it for real.
Here are some ways you can do this:
- Offer your service for free to NGOs, friends or family.
- Offer free consultancy, ideas or services to charity organisations, or NGOs, etc. And why not send an email with a business or improvement idea to a private organisation? In his book Choose Yourself – Be Happy, Make Millions, Live the Dream, James Altucher suggests to write down 10 new ideas about one subject each day; as a means of increasing our creativity; and to share them with those who can benefit from them.
- Do without selling. Artists are probably already producing art whether they are selling or not, and posting them on social media. Find ways you can apply this concept to your business idea. For example, if you want to be a life coach, you can start designing a plan of how you can coach a particular friend, through his or her current life situation. I suggest you keep this to yourself though, coaching only works when the coachee is ready to participate.
- Visualise or role-play. I cannot emphasise enough the importance and effectiveness of this exercise. The effectiveness on mental practice, on improving performance was proven in a famous basket ball test.
- Start a blog about the subject, or create a facebook page. No need to publish these yet. You may or may not use them later on. Probably you will.
- Start designing your website.
- Talk about your ideas and dreams with people who would listen, or even better with self-employed people, who will have gone through it.
Aaron Doughty, now a famous YouTuber, with over 750, 000 subscribers, started by doing a daily video, while he was still working full-time. He started attracting followers and earning money, until one day, he could leave his 9 to 5 job and become a full-time video blogger and online coach.
Practice Your Elevator Pitch
The Elevator Pitch is a short description of an idea, product or company that explains the concept in a way such that any listener can understand it in a short period of time.
After drawing a powerful Elevator Pitch together, I suggest to my clients to practice it on their own, in front of the mirror, with their friends and family, and finally with the next new encounter that asks “What do you do?”
This exercise makes it more real, and slowly, slowly, you start overcoming the fear of saying “I am a painter/life coach/author”.
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