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Important steps before you start your own business

There are many Blogs and articles out there on the steps you need to take to start your own business. There are very definite steps to take and many professionals who will be but too willing to help. You can easily get help from finding the right location, how to attract your clients, how to keep stock under control, how to balance the financial books. BUT, still we do not start. Why?

The single biggest reason most people do not start with their own business, and this can be anything from a one man show to a small 3 employee business with the potential to grow into something bigger, is that we talk ourselves out of it.

  • Am I good enough – do I have enough knowledge?

  • Who will support me?

  • I do not have the finances

  • It is going to cost too much

  • I do not have the time right now

  • I lack the motivation and procrastinate

  • What will people say if I leave my job and follow my dream?

  • Do I have the skills?

  • I am scared, doubtful

  • How do I do this

Eventually you are so paralyzed that your whole dream fades away like the bubbles of your bubble bath where you lie back every so often and dream about your future.

Why then do so many dreams fade?

1. We talk ourselves out of it even before we start.

Life has given us many ups and downs and with it came many lessons. Truth is, most lessons came with the downs. And that is why we have the negative talk.

We do not take the lesson out of the negative and apply it correctly. If you had failed at anything in your past, do you remember the failure or do you remember the lesson – what not to do next time? How not to do it next time? When not to do it next time? We remember the failure and throw the lesson out the door. There is in fact, no failure. There is only feedback on how to tackle things differently next time. What we should have been taught was to sit down after a so called failure, analyse the whole thing and then note what did work and what did not. When we “fail” at something, not everything was wrong. There would have been many things that were right, only some things we did were not right for that situation – or that we did not fully know how to do or apply yet.

That is where our negative talk starts. We look at the big picture – the “FAILURE” and we do not break it down.

Old story, but we know that Edison tested the light bulb more than 3000 times before he got it right. I do not want you to try 3000 businesses before you find the right one, but you have had more than 3000 past experiences that will guide you in the right direction. What would have happened to modern day life had Edison decided to look at the failure instead of the lessons? He did not throw the whole concept out the window – no he kept what worked and improved or changed what did not work.

But we, we throw the whole concept out and start telling ourselves all kinds of stories and beliefs about our abilities and how other people perceive us. And it is exactly that, other people perceive us, they do not really know us. And they perceive us from their frame of reference. They perceive us from their failures and successes. They perceive us from their fears. Why would you allow yourself to be stopped by what other people fear?

Why would you throw the whole candy away when only the corner is broken? That is what negative talk is. It is that corner of the candy that is stopping us.

List all your good qualities and the bad ones. We all have talents – natural and learned. Know them. Believe in them. Let them guide you.

2. Make sure, what you want is really what you want.

You can call it lack of motivation, procrastination, no persistence, low self-esteem anything you want, but if what you are dreaming about does not align with your true desire, you will not see it through.

But I am dreaming about it, it must be my real desire?!

The fact is that we all have some things we like more than other things. Hiking, swimming, movies, family, work, etc. Not any person value all these things at the same value. We are individuals, we have different life experiences and expectations. Thank heavens we do, otherwise life would have been a real drag.

Before you jump into your own business, take the time to find out what is important to you in your life and how much you enjoy it. What are you prepared to invest time and money in for your joy and pleasure?

For a week, two would be better, note everything you do – take out the rubbish, solve an accounting problem at work, go for a jog, tackle the house finances, help the kids with their homework, etc. At the end of the day, list every activity. Then rate each activity out of 10. 1 being bottom of the scale 10 being what you really like doing. At the end of this exercise, have a look at the ones with a 6 and up. If you start doing more of the things you like, how will your life look then? For the next 2 weeks, re-organise your life and bring in more of those things graded 6 and above.

We cannot escape our daily duties and responsibilities. But, we might find that we are doing a whole lot of “nothings”, wasted time in front of the TV or on social media and we do not even like it that much. It is just a numbing of the mind that does not like being where we are. More often than not, we are only trying to escape our mundane life, our routine – not necessarily starting a new business. By changing things in your life and bringing in more of what you like, your life will already be very different.

After 2 weeks, look at your dream of having your own business again. Does what you enjoy fall in with what you want as a business? Or will a shift in yourself make your current situation more attractive?

If your business is not going to be something you are passionate about, then do not start. It is going to be an 8 to 5 very soon and it might this time around not be so easy to escape it. Find the kind of business that aligns with the things you like to do, that comes naturally to you.

If the business you are looking at going into is something that comes naturally to you, something you like to read up about, something your friends ask your help with as the go to person, then you are more likely to have the motivation, the determination, the problem solving, etc. This is when you will realise that what you want is really what you want.

It takes a lot of determination, dedication and belief in yourself to see your dream as an entrepreneur grow and become successful.

You owe it to yourself to be sure that you stand the best possible chance to achieve that dream. Even when you do what you love you will encounter challenges, but facing those challenges when you like what you do, compared to what you do like, makes it a whole lot easier.

This is step one onto your dream of owning your own business. Once the foundation is right, you can start following all the other steps of actually building the business. Remember you are the business, you will have to motivate all other employees, you have to sell your business not only to the public. If you cannot get excited about your business, if your business does not feed you, if you are going to fall down every time something goes wrong (and it will), then do not start.

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