Can you relate to this scenario? You experience a rough patch with your job. Laid off. Working in a toxic environment. And you realize this is the “do or die” moment. You NEED to launch your business now.
But you’ve got
- A TON of ideas
- NO sense of what to do first
- And an overwhelming fear that you need to get it right. The first time.
Couple that with the stress of next month’s bills? And friends and family who primarily depend on a 9 to grind and can’t understand your entrepreneurial ambitions? Well, you are probably in the middle of the greatest and worst opportunity of your life!!!
I’ve been there. It’s the most exciting AND terrifying space you can occupy. But, let me offer you one suggestion that often gets neglected. It’s the hidden nook that could uplevel your future earnings:
Embrace the idea of investing in your business
Yeah, I know you are stressed out about the bills. And how long your savings might last. That’s a legitimate concern.
But consider that if you want to grow as an entrepreneur, you’ll need to make different financial decisions than when you were an employee.
- Entrepreneurs invest in current needs AND future growth.
- Employees generally spend money on needs and what makes them happy NOW.
This is NOT a judgment call. I know that housing and lifestyle needs are crazy expensive. Talk to me about childcare and college costs. You’ll get me on the soapbox for hours.
But as you move into the entrepreneurship space, consider this new pattern.
Yes, there are a crap ton of logistics and things you’ll need to do to start your business
- Getting an EIN number
- Legal structures
- Business cards
- Clarifying what you sell
- Finding customers
When you opt to become an entrepreneur – even if it’s a side hustle for a few extra bucks – you want to consider how to launch and grow your business.
PLAN + STRATEGY + LEADERSHIP TEAM
In other words, you might be the best baker on your block. Your cakes are slamming. Like “take off my shoes and curl my toes” amazing. #canyoutastethat
But if you want a line of customers out of the door on a consistent basis, you’ll need
- A marketing plan
- A sales plan
- A financial plan that includes ideas when your customer lines are long and short
- A growth plan that considers when you need to hire and how your business will scale
- And the savvy and patience to deal with all the hurdles in between
You need a plan that keeps people coming back to your business for years. For the newly initiated, it’s often the “non shiny” stuff. The systems you set up to test your ideas. Your recordkeeeping that helps you analyze the big and small spending. The system that keeps you talking to current and future customers. The insights for how to handle things when mistakes happen.
I’ve heard dozens of stories from start-ups. I know my own story and the long list of mistakes I’ve made. It’s easy to spend money on the things that don’t necessarily get money in the door but make you feel good.
- Fancy logos that don’t convert prospects into customers
- The website that looks beautiful but doesn’t support customers purchases
- A business address that screams high end and costs too much
- The fancy events filled with people who aren’t in your target market
Don’t get me wrong! This list can be a HUGE boost later in your business lifecycle. First, do the nitty gritty and figure out :
- Why will they buy? After you tap out your friends and family network, who is going to spend money on a regular basis? What problem do you solve?
- Why from me? Yes, every business has a current or future competitor. And if you think you are bullet proof, go talk to the yellow cab drivers after the ride sharing apps hit the market.
- What skills am I lacking which will get my business to the first financial milestone?
Ouch! Did that last one hurt a bit???
The information isn’t lacking.
It’s knowing how to apply the information to your specific business model that is the challenge.
And often, you can’t see your own blind spots.
Yes, we know that there are many success stories. People who share their “pull themselves up from their bootstraps” story. They don’t highlight business coaches or mentors. But, often they had amazing people behind the scenes. Or enough finances to survive until they figured out how to make it work. If you listen to founder’s stories when they are open and transparent, you will hear a pattern. No one starts and grows a successful business on their own.
So consider shifting your patterns to
I can’t afford this
I can’t afford NOT to do this
Now, a business coach is NOT a magic bullet. There are some great ones. But if you aren’t doing the work, you won’t get results.
Nor should you sell your first born to work with someone.
But if you find the right coach or combination of coaches, it can shave years off your learning curve. You can reach your goals with less stress. .
Yes, shiny object syndrome is real. But, if you want to see real growth, find someone who will push you outside of your comfort zone.