Starting an online business can be super exciting but also super overwhelming and it is true that the ones who go onto create successful businesses are the ones who face their fears and work out how to move through them.
Whatever you’re feeling I bet we’ve all pondered the same things so I recently asked some of the Business Jump Family for their thoughts and pieces of wisdom on what they would say to someone who hasn’t quite managed to take the jump yet.
What would you say to someone who hasn’t started a business because they are worried about failing?
Claudia: The fear of failing was a big one for me. I always wanted to be perfect and that is something that my business has taught me, there’s no such thing as failure. Everything is learning. When the fear of failing gets the best of me I think of this quote: “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” – Edison. Only by failing we will reach success, whatever it does look for you.
Ali: We are all scared of failing but understanding that that is normal and can be redirected to be used as fuel is powerful.
Louise: Yes, you might fail, but you might also succeed. Your brain will always be scared by things that are unfamiliar and new. That’s just how it was designed. It has no evidence that you can do this (because you’ve never done it before) so it doesn’t know any better and it’s trying to protect you. You need to create the proof that you can do this in incremental steps. Do your research, be willing to learn, ask for help and get out of your comfort zone to try things. Lastly, consider how you would feel in 12 months time, if you hadn’t tried and your life was exactly the same as it is now.
Lowenna: The process of setting up your business and putting all the parts in place is so fun! There is so much to learn. Every day I have learned something new and that is so valuable in itself.
What would you say to someone who hasn’t started a business because they are worried they don’t have enough time?
Claudia: We all have time, money and enough resources. It is just a matter to find a time and commit to it. We are a creature of habit, so the minute you jump in, you’ll find a time and place for everything.
Ali: Motherhood gives us an understanding of “time” that nothing else does. If you can take the time to really examine HOW you use your time (sometimes it’s not pretty) then it can become a superpower. It starts by being very honest though.
Louise: We all have the same amount of time and there is enough time for the things that are important. When I changed my mindset around time, I became much less overwhelmed, and was able to accomplish so much more. I’ve had to get really clear on my priorities, so that I can dedicate the majority of my attention to these, and let go of the things that don’t matter so much. What are you doing that is important to others but not so important to you? What can you outsource or delegate? Where can you create routines and systems to make some tasks easier? What standards can you lower (to a still acceptable level), to give yourself space to grow a business? What do you need to say no to? What help can you ask for? What boundaries do you need to set? The key is using your time wisely, rather than creating more time (which is impossible).
Lowenna: We tend to find time for things that we enjoy. If you are motivated to set up your business, and passionate about your area, you will make the time. For me, working on my business is a little “treat” to myself.
What would you say to someone who hasn’t started a business because they want to do ‘more research’?
Claudia: Research is good but you won’t find the answers you are looking for anywhere else than in yourself. For every statement you will find pro and against arguments. So look inside you. Everyone has different opinions, experiences and ways to see life. Something that was very useful for me was asking myself: Are you looking to validate your idea or validate yourself? What if you ask everyone and all they say it is a crazy idea, would you still do it? Everyone told Freddy Mercury that no radio will play a 6-minute song and Bohemian Rhapsody was a hit. JK Rowling was told she’ll never make money writing, and she was the first author to make the Forbes billionaires list. Netflix has a similar story and I can go on. So my advice is: build enough confidence in yourself so you can back yourself up.
Ali: It’s ok to do your research, in fact its important but the problem arises when the researching takes over the doing when you have all the information you need to at least make a start!
Louise: I understand this, because I love to research, but I actually started my business because it felt right. Some research is wise as long as there is a point where you actually can make a decision. Needing to research more and more can be a form of procrastination, which usually stems from fear of not being able to complete the task perfectly. But research won’t give you certainty about whether your business will succeed. You have to take action to figure that out, and you’ll never learn everything you need to know upfront. Starting and running a business is a continual process of learning and adjusting. Figure out what you really need to know, find some reliable sources to get your answers and also tune into what feels right for you.
Lowenna: I have learned the most by getting stuck in and “doing”. I wasn’t really sure where I was heading when I started. I had a rough idea. Over time my offerings are becoming more refined as I discover my strengths and my audience’s needs and wants. I am amazed at where I am now compared to when I started.
What would you say to someone who wants to DIY their own website?
Claudia: You can totally DIY your website. There are plenty of free resources everywhere however you need to be open with yourself on how much time are you willing to invest in it. Remember, time is money. The sooner you have your website, the sooner you will have the platform to start selling whatever you want to sell.
Ali: You can absolutely DIY with you website BUT you have to factor in your skill set and what areas you are prepared to do yourself and the areas where having some help will be best.
Louise: It’s completely possible to DIY your own website but it will likely take much longer and be much more frustrating. It’s a personal choice, and for me, I didn’t want to have to start from scratch and figure it all out. I wanted to get started on the things that I loved and that played to my strengths (website design is definitely not one of those things!). I really appreciated having someone who could ask the right questions, figure out what I needed in a website and make it happen.
Lowenna: Running a business if so much more than just the website. If your strength is in design and using WordPress and plugins then go for it! But if you are not an expert in this area then I would recommend getting the website set up professionally so that you can spend your time on what you are passionate about (ie the offering that you have for your audience).
What would you say to someone who hasn’t started their online business because they are waiting for the ‘right time’?
Claudia: The right time is just an illusion, the right time is now.
Ali: Before starting business while also juggling motherhood I think it really helps to work out your values and where your focus is in this season of life. I don’t believe there is a “right time” to start a business but you have to be honest about how much time you have to give it and be ok with that. Right now I have 10-15 hours a week for my business because my daughters are at home and young and they are also my priority but I am very aware that my 10-15 hours are the equivalent of a 40 hour week for some. It’s knowing your strengths.
Louise: When will be the right time? What are the conditions you are waiting for? It’s likely that these conditions will never all happen at the same time, or by the time they do, there will be more conditions that you want to have in place. There is rarely a perfect time to start things. There is only the time you choose to start them. If it’s important to you, you’ll make it work. Having said that, there may be some things that you need to do to make space for a new business, like finishing your studies, releasing yourself from some obligations, or saving some money to help with start up (you probably need less than you think). If there is, do you have a clear action plan in place to make sure you accomplish these? Are you intentionally moving towards your goal of starting a business or are you procrastinating? You may be able to get started anyway, in a slightly different way than you were expecting. How would you feel if you were working in your own online business now?
Lowenna: Jump in and go with the flow. You might be surprised at how fun it is to be out of your comfort zone and flying by the seat of your pants!