Have you ever pondered and wondered why it is, you are unable to move forward on your dream or hang in long enough to see it to fruition?
About 10 years ago, I realized it was my mindset and perception of failure that kept me back. See I had seen my fair share of failures in business both personally and around me, so this fear of failing kept me constrained.
I come from an entrepreneurial family and have seen the good, the bad and the ugly, so my perceptions about ‘owning your business’ was formed from an early age. Either way, I knew I wouldn’t have it any other way. You can say it runs in the blood.
As I matured and began to grasp a handle on the roller coaster rides of the entrepreneurial journey, I realized that those times of fear and uncertainty have made me who I am today and given me the confidence to know that even when you hit rock bottom and mix in a healthy dose of faith, the only way to go is up. And by the way, this also means you have to define what success is for you.
Before you give up on your dream, do me and yourself a favor by reviewing the following 5 questions; however, before you start, do get pen and paper, so you can write your answers out and you may be surprised at your findings.
By the way, I did not learn these from Mark Zuckerberg.
What is My ‘Why’?
Basically what you’re asking yourself here is ~ what is my purpose? What is the motivating factor for wanting to start my side hustle? Answering this one basic question will thrust you further faster on this journey.
Chances are you had an experience (a problem) and came up with a better way to handle (solution) and like any budding entrepreneur you’re running with this idea and have hit a road block. Now, what to do?
You should ask yourself, if I continue and succeed was it worth it? If you answered yes, then you know you’re still on track and you will most definitely benefit from being plugged into a startup community.
There are vibrant communities, where you can learn from others (entrepreneurs) who have gone past the stage you’re at and the feedback and encouragement from these individuals are priceless and when you’re feeling flat there’s always someone to push you through and you could even find yourself encouraging a newbie. It’s cyclical. The LolaSal community is taking off and I’ll encourage you to sign up, so we can lift each other up (shameless plug, but so worth it).
What is my S.M.A.R.T. goal?
Yes, here’s that word again. Frankly, I don’t believe, you can honestly plan to do a task without a written down goal.
I won’t say too much about this. Here’s a link to a blog I’ve written about writing S.M.A.R.T. goals. Know this, without a written goal, you’re setting yourself up for failure and that business idea only becomes a dream that never comes to life and may sadly go with you to the grave.
Am I In a State of Analysis Paralysis?
When I started one of my many businesses in my twenties, the ‘B’ word was the buzzword for the time and it still is as you’re told without this, you would not succeed and I believed it. Yes, I call the Business Plan a ‘B’ word because it evokes many emotions for me personally.
I spent countless hours and months analyzing / researching this new business; got all my vendors lined up; samples made for marketing presentations to the retailers I had approached, by the way I already had contacts with the Buyers for the line of product, so I wasn’t just throwing darts at the wall hoping to land somewhere out of nowhere, but after weeks spent on the financial statements, I just flat out got paralyzed. Believe me all that overload of information took its toll on me and yes, I was overwhelmed and paralyzed with fear. Needless to say, I never moved forward with that business. Yup, all that investment of time and money went down the drain. It took a lot of strength and faith to get me back on my entrepreneurial journey.
Don’t get me wrong, analyzing and going over the numbers are important, but too much of anything we all know is bad for us. I’ll recommend handling the business plan in chunks. If you’re team, divvy up responsibilities and don’t take it all on. If there are areas that aren’t your strongest suit don’t do it, know enough about it, but DELEGATE!
Don’t stagnate if you have to Pivot, do so, don’t stop working on your hustle.
What Are the Consequences if I Fail?
Are you afraid you will be ridiculed by friends and family? As an entrepreneur there are times when you will indeed lose the people that are closest to you because they don’t believe in you and quite frankly no longer belong in your present and/or future. Don’t be sad; mourn those relationship(s) and move forward.
The converse ~ What if you succeed? Those same people will either have been there all the time and be genuinely happy for you or worse still not be around because now they’re jealous or envious.
Your call, which would you take. Don’t sell yourself short to please people. Always aim for the top. You only become stronger and wiser on the journey and at the same time you might make new friends.
What Would You Tell Someone Just Starting Out?
Would you tell them to give up or encourage them to continue with their passion? More than likely as a good friend, you would encourage him/her to follow her dream.
Why not encourage yourself? The bible references King David, who encouraged himself when he was down, so also, I say to you today, stay positive and be encouraged. There’s so much to explore to give up too soon.
It is okay to take a break when you feel overwhelmed, but it’s not okay to quit too soon because you feel fear or doubt. It’s human nature. It may be the time to engage a business coach to work with you towards your success.
Dealing with fear is a part of this journey and how you handle this can make or break you. There are going to be times when you’ll have discussions with yourself and some of that banter is going to scare you, but that’s all a part of our human nature.
In dealing with this issue for me, I read many books one in particular I purchased for its title by Susan Jeffers called “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway” and of course the Bible, which is full of scriptures that deal with fear and how to overcome. Do acknowledge that fear is a part of the entrepreneurial journey as a matter of fact, fear helps us think things through and come up with better solutions as you try to address the areas of fear or concern.
There is a popular acronym for FEAR, I’ve seen everywhere and I truly believe that F.E.A.R. is False Evidence Appearing Real ‘nuf said.
The Bottom Line
The questions above are not exhaustive, but it’s a good place to start, so, if you’ve gone through and asked yourself all the right questions and answered truthfully you’ll either come out convinced to drop this business idea or convinced to move forward.
Perseverance is the key and if you keep at it long enough, you’ll see the results of your efforts. Thomas Edison kept at it till he became successful. He could have given up after attempt number 10, but he kept at it failing over a 1000 times. What do you think his state of mind was? Lesson ~ Don’t give up ~ there is indeed light at the end of the tunnel and you’re closer than you think.
Stay focused; keep your eye on the ball and keep your faith in God, He’ll see you through.
Till next time!