The most common obstacles to setting yourself up in business are around choosing an idea that’s right for you. Do any of these sound familiar to you?
You don’t have a clear business idea.
Have too many business ideas and don’t know which one’s right for you.
You have a vague idea but don’t know where to start.
You don’t know if your idea’s any good or if it will make you any money.
You’re having difficulty finding a unique idea that someone hasn’t already done.
You don’t have to come up with unique clever ideas that have never been done before. The truth is every idea you’ll ever think up has been thought of before and will have already have been launched.
If you start with a seed of an idea it will inevitably flourish into something else and over time snowballs into something unrecognisable from what it originally began life as. So you can see it really is pointless launching an idea once it’s perfect because there’s no such thing.
The point here is to create a business that excites you, that you’ll enjoy and be good at. Once you understand that your business isn’t a baby and doesn’t have to be the business you stick with for life, then it becomes easier to choose what you do. Don’t obsess over it, just go with it and let it grow and change organically.
Write out in list form what actual tasks you’ll be doing on a daily basis within your business. For example, if your company was an online store selling vintage clothing, a typical day would possibly involve you sourcing new stock, updating the website with new stock details, fulfilling orders, planning the marketing and doing the finances. Be as specific as possible.
Now write down beside each task how much out of 10 you like doing it?
Be honest with yourself. If you don’t enjoy working at a computer but the main crux of your idea is online, you aren’t going to be happy.
What do you most like about your idea?
What don’t you like about your idea? How can you change this?
What are your strengths?
People often have difficulty listing their strengths, and tend to overlook their God given talents for something they have learnt to do. This is not a strength. Strengths aren’t something you’ve learnt to be good at but something you’re instinctively good at. For example, showing empathy, nurturing, organising, leading, writing, good with numbers, being creative, sewing, singing or baking.
For most people it’s easier to identify their weaknesses and so they focus on making them become their strengths. This isn’t what we’re looking for here; your business must incorporate your natural strengths.
List your natural God-given talents/strengths and beside each one write down whether you’ll be able to use it as a core skill in your idea and in what situation.
Ensure that you’re using your strengths every single day as part of your core tasks. This will allow you to shine by doing what comes as second nature to you and will be your key to success.
Are you doing what you want to do or what you think you should be doing?
Have you ever told yourself you can’t do something because it just doesn’t sound realistic? Perhaps you’ve convinced yourself you’re too old to start again from the bottom because you have financial responsibilities to uphold and you need something solid to go into that will maintain your status and standing in life. Sound familiar?
But what if you could re-write your life? Is this what you would be doing with your business?
Imagine a life where all your time is spent on the things you want to do.
It is so important to be authentic and honest with yourself about what it is you want to do in life. You can always tweak your idea to be more realistic but why not aim to do something you love every single day?
Remember life isn’t about the destination it’s about the journey. If you want to live an authentic, happy life you have to make sure you are doing daily tasks you really enjoy doing.
Now take a pad and pen and go sit somewhere quiet. Relax, take a few deep breaths, close your eyes and visualise your dream life. See it, what does it look like? Where are you? What are you doing? What are you wearing? What do you look like? How do you feel? Who are you with? Be as wild and as imaginative as your mind allows.
Really bask in those thoughts. Imagine you had no constraints in terms of money, responsibilities, skills or experience, and could have the life you wanted. What are you doing with your days? How are you living?
Write everything down.
Now highlight the main themes that crop up in your dream life and really drill down to identify what it is that you really love about them.
For example, do you see yourself travelling and living around the world? Why are you travelling in your ideal life? Do you love variety and adventure? Do you dream of seeing the world and learning about other cultures?
Perhaps your dream is to be a celebrated best-selling author, living by the sea in a small coastal town. What about this dream do you love? If you didn’t live in a small coastal town by the sea would your dream be incomplete? What about being an author do you love? Perhaps it’s the solitude or the creative writing process.
What do you see yourself doing day in day out?
What does you day look like?
Is it varied and different every day or do you crave a quiet and peaceful routine?
What about this do you love the most?
Why do you love it?
Do this for all of your main themes to really get an understanding of the kind of lifestyle you really authentically want.
Now take a look at the original idea that you described at the start. Does it tick all of your ‘dream life’ boxes? If you dreamt of adventure and variety in life does this idea give you that in your day to day life in some shape or form? If you dreamt of writing for a living does your idea allow you to write as your core task?
Happiness means being authentically you not some blah copycat professional version that you think the world needs.
Write down how can you incorporate your dream lifestyle into your idea?
If you like writing how can you incorporate more of it?
If you like change, variety and adventure perhaps you could move your business online and work remotely whilst travelling.
Whatever it is that floats your boat find a way to incorporate it.
Now write down what you most like about your idea.
What don’t you like about your idea? How can you change what you don’t like?
This is your opportunity to design the life you want so don’t hold back. Forget about all of the practicalities you think you should consider, just for a moment. Imagine your most authentic, amazing life. Work your responsibilities around this idea not the other way around.
If you still have a few BUTs about launching your own business then write them all down.
Now underneath each BUT write down three things you could do to overcome them. For example:
‘I want to pursue my idea but I don’t have any experience in that field.’
Your three points to challenge that could be:
1. I could gain experience by starting my business on a small scale and learning on the job.
2. I could ask someone successful in my chosen field or in a similar field to become my mentor so that I can learn from them.
3. I could read up on my chosen field or take a short course to arm myself with the knowledge and confidence I need.
Whatever your BUTs are there will always be a way around them, you simply have to want to find the solution.