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Starting Your Own Business?

Get Out of Your Own Way!

Do you dream of running your own business? Working from home? The idea of calling all the shots has prompted millions of people to go out on their own, determined to make a living in a more meaningful, profitable, and satisfying way while also allowing them to pursue a more balanced and enjoyable life.

So what's holding you back? What are the first thoughts that come to mind when you think of starting your own business? If you've been reluctant to go out on your own, it's time to consider what may be the biggest obstacle in your path: You. You may be limiting yourself with beliefs and fears that prevent you from moving forward.

Fear is a common stopping point for many people. It's tricky, since some types of fear are good for you. If the fear is rational, it serves as a warning about real risks you may be taking. Business is inherently risky, after all. But don't let fear lead to limiting beliefs that hold you from your best shot at achieving your dream. Use fear wisely by acknowledging it, thinking it through objectively, and getting to its real source. Its real source?

A client of mine, for example, had postponed going solo as a marketing consultant because she feared being a failure. When asked what failing meant to her, she said it was running out of money (the real source of her fear). Creating a plan to build up a cushion of six months living expenses eased this fear.

Some people make the mistake of denying their fear. They make excuses, finding ways to rationalize their unwillingness to go out on their own. I hear this occasionally in my coaching practice; a client has been tuned in to the negative stuff, and has searched for reasons not to proceed with their venture. Keep in mind that whatever you focus on make your focus positive!

Here are SIX BLOCKS you may be facing if you haven't gone after your dreams. Check out the solutions for getting past the limiting beliefs and the fear. Start getting out of your own way!
  1. 'All or Nothing' Approach. Many people get stuck on the idea that they'll have to go for it ALL at once...or not at all.

    SOLUTION:  There are many ways to EASE in to a new venture. Break the big picture in to manageable steps. Consider keeping your current job at first, scaling back to part time as you moonlight. Or become a contract worker or consultant for your existing employer to get more flexibility in your schedule. Many entrepreneurs enlist their skills and talents to create multiple sources of income as they build their business. Don't wait for everything to fall perfectly in place.

  2. Not Enough Time, Money or Energy. Here's a BIG stopping point for many.

    SOLUTION:  Think about what RESERVES you'll need in order to pursue your new venture, and put a plan in action. A reserve is having more than you need of a resource. How could you simplify your life to get more time and space to think and plan creatively for your new business? Hint: Get rid of anything that drains or annoys you; clutter, unhealthy habits or relationships, social obligations...and anything left "undone" that nags you. Free your mind and your energy to go after what you really want. Also, how many months of living expenses do you need? Devise a specific plan to reduce spending and increase savings. It's easier to get over any bumps in the road with these types of RESERVES in place.

  3. My product or service might be no good. Not sure how well your idea will fly?

    SOLUTION:  conduct a Pilot Project to test the waters, get great feedback, and envision new possibilities, value-adds, etc. Ask for honest appraisals of your service, and determine what else your customers want. You don't need to be in business yet; do it for free and take orders for your projected launch date!

  4. Focusing on the Negative. Are you continually talking yourself out of your ideas?

    SOLUTION:  Quit looking for reasons NOT to do it. Avoid talking to people who don't share your enthusiasm and "can do" attitude. Seek out those who support and encourage you, and can help spread the word about your new business. Most importantly, talk to business owners about their own journey; they'll be flattered you asked.

  5. I'm not a business-savvy. Worried about not having enough expertise to be in business?

    SOLUTION:  I believe that most people are intuitively business- minded. Get any extra help you need by utilizing the many resources available to small business startups, such as the Small Business Administration, local workshops, accountants, and easy to follow software programs for writing business plans. A business plan is a must for any size operation; start with a preliminary plan and add to it as you compile information from doing pilot projects, questionnaires, and other forms of research.

  6. I'll be alone! Isolation can be a real issue, especially for work-at- home business owners.

    SOLUTION:  Replace the water-cooler socializing with your own network; schedule regular outing with friends, and set time aside to connect with other business owners. Create a network of 50 to 100 individuals that will be a great source of information, advice, referrals, and support. Also, consider partnering with someone who augments or enhances what you have to offer.
Copyright 2001
Barbra White, MBA, Personal & Business Coach

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