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Thinking of Starting a Business? Here’s What Business Owners Wished They’d Said to Themselves When They Started…
Starting a business is incredibly exciting, but it’s also a risk.
Of course, some would argue that having a job in the current market isn’t secure either, but many people do feel more stable in a permanent job.
So leaving that security and starting out on your own is a challenge – a big one! You’re risking one of the most major pillars of your primitive mind. You’re actually risking your basic needs like food and shelter when you think about it. That’s scary and your primitive brain (which still exists and wants to keep you safe) will be screaming at you not to do it.
BUT… we don’t live in caves and as people point out, you won’t die just by starting a business and failing.
Starting a business is amazing. I remember when we started ours. We quit our jobs (which was an incredibly empowering moment) and we set off on an unchartered path. We were in charge of our own destiny! It wasn’t scary from what I remember actually. We’d made a lot of changes that year (I’d even moved town and we both got divorced before it) so I don’t think it was seen as a challenge as much as a must-have next step.
But… it’s still scary running a business now and I don’t want to belittle your feelings right now if you’re wishing you could set up in business but are afraid of the unknown. I feel like Jo (my partner and business partner) and I were pushed into this. I’m glad we were, as it was a lot easier that way.
I was pondering this whole ‘setting up a business fear’ so I asked in a Facebook Group for the advice people would give to themselves if they could go back in time to when they started.
The replies were brilliant.
They all fell into a few key areas and my hope in writing this is it that will help you overcome the fear. Because seriously… it’s fucking cool running your own show!
So, the main areas of advice that I wanted to share with you come from others. I belong to a large business network in 4Networking. It’s been incredible for me (and the business) to be part of that.
I asked the question in the official Facebook Group and I’ve taken the replies and segmented them into categories below because they perfectly encapsulate the journey for me.
- Do your sums. If they work, crack on. If they don’t work, make them work and crack on!
- Don’t be scared to charge what you’re worth.
- You don’t have to discount your services.
- Always get a deposit from new clients and never allow invoices in excess of seven days overdue without taking action.
- Stop selling your time. Start selling a scalable product instead.
- Always listen to your gut and don’t work with arseholes!
- Stop caring what other people think. Come to your own conclusions with facts and research before taking advice from others.
- Stop listening to people who live on past results and who don’t work in the new tech age.
- Stop doing what other people think you should be doing. Stop being put off by people telling you it won’t work and that you’ll fail. I’ve left so many things behind.
- Follow your heart.
- Believe in yourself and just do it!
- Get your head sorted.
- Trust in your own gut – your intuition. If you listen to your own feelings and follow that process it works every time.
- Whatever you think you will achieve, you will far exceed. So don’t sweat the small stuff.
- Stop talking about it and get Just Fucking Do It (JFDI).
- It takes time but it does get better.
- Don’t wait for others to make it happen for you.
- Don’t wait 10 years to start!
- I suppose I would say stick at it. Think big and don’t listen to ‘neggie nellies’.
- Do 90 minutes every day ‘on’ the business not ‘in’ it.
- Are you thinking, “This isn’t working”? Either fix it or move on. Stop wasting your time and money.
- Pick your partners wisely, and ensure you have the same vision.
- Shortcuts can bite you on the arse somewhere further down the line.
- Be wary of distractions.
- Never give up.
Trust your instincts. Hire people smarter than yourself. Systemise. Delegate.
Listen to your gut instinct and lose some of those advisers who don’t serve you.
Hand in your resignation and start afresh because in two years’ time you’ll be made redundant, start a business with someone you considered a friend, get screwed over and you’ll have to start again, whilst doing chemo. (Life doesn’t give you a break just because you started a business ^Todd).
I saw a great interview with James Packer who quoted advice that his dad Kerry had given him when a business venture had gone wrong:
“You’re never as good as they say you are on your good days, but you’re probably not as bad as they say you are on your bad days.”
And if I had to give you (or me when I started) some advice?
I say for me (and the business) it’s get a tribe or a support network of people who really understand! Being part of a business network has hugely helped me to develop. I’ve developed friends, skills, and life lessons. The business has gained clients and long-term partners and supporters too.
If I were to give you just one piece of advice right now then it would be that.
Surround yourself with people who get you, people who accept you, and people who really are on the same mission as you.
Because if they were crazy enough to try and start a business, they’ll understand why you did too.
JFDI… (Easier said than done).
[Disclaimer] I still fear change. Even after quitting my home, town, marriage, job, and way of life in the space of six months and starting a new life and business with a girl I fell in love with from Twitter, I still find it hard.
(Bloody crazy six months that was!)
Change is a strange thing and I don’t find it any easier nowadays. I was listening to a book by Rob Moore recently that summed this up perfectly and I’m paraphrasing here as I was listening not reading, but Rob said that decisions don’t get easier as your business grows, they actually get harder. You just get more experienced at making them.
Starting a business with Jo was a huge decision and one I am grateful for every day… but I regret it sometimes too. It’s really hard to explain, but you’ll go against yourself with this business and entrepreneur route…
… but it’s the best drive ever!
I’ll leave you with my favourite quote in business ever from someone I’ve always followed and admired. Like, love, or hate Gary Vee, you can’t deny his success and determination!
“What do you want to do for the rest of your life? Do that!” – Gary Vaynerchuk.
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