I love launch events. The pretty invites, the building excitement, the fun night out to celebrate new things in this world.
I also love going past an empty shop front while it transforms into a new place. Guessing what it will sell, watching the fit-out come together and seeing the “open” sign and basking in its newness.
But what if you don’t have a shop front? Or can’t invest in a large launch event. When are you officially open for business? And how do you go from the mindset of “I’m starting my own business” to “I am a business owner”?
For over a year I said I was starting my own business. If you follow me on Facebook, you’ll know that I recently left the Waiting Place and I will proclaim in this Census season that I am a Small Business Owner.
Somehow you’ll escape all that waiting and staying. You’ll find the bright places where Boom Bands are playing
Dr Seuss, Oh The Places You’ll Go
How did I get out of the Waiting Place? I tried many things and they all helped in their own way. Maybe one or all might help you escape too.
Start. Just start
Remember in Frozen Ana is at the door of the Ice Castle, with Christoff, Sven and Olaf watching? Ana waits, scared of what she’ll find, not knowing how to fix the freeze. Olaf is encouraging: “Knock. Just knock. Why isn’t she knocking?”
We can always find many reasons not to knock, not to start. But in the end, you either want to do it or you don’t. And if you do want to do it, start. Just start.
I have mentioned my love of handwritten lists on FB. I find they focus me when I write them and exciting to tick off. (Can you even tick off online?)
Lists are essential to flexible working as a reminder of what you need to focus on. It also stops the monkey brain jumping into work mode when you aren’t supposed to be working. Just add the thought to the list, and forget about it until your next work day.
Related to lists are routines. Take note of when you are better able to conquer harder and easier tasks. Write down all your standing appointments and break your days into blocks. (For more on that, check out this podcast).
If you know Mondays are for filing errands, for example, you can make your appointments for Mondays and jump straight in every Monday. This saves you from wondering where to start every Monday morning.
There were so many questions I had no idea how to answer: who could help with my insurance? Where would I buy a domain name and what was hosting? I tend to move on to another task if I don’t know the answer, but that is not an option if you want to be an entrepreneur. So I talked to everyone I knew and what knowledge they all had to share! A friend in marketing gave me the name of an IT expert, my life coach pointed me to 99Designs to get a logo, a FB forum lead me to a great legal firm.
The biggest roadblock, of course, can be confidence and/or a tendency towards perfectionism. See point one on just starting.
Deadlines/book stuff in
Ben Angel in Flee 9 to 5 told all his social media followers that he was going to complete his book in 30 days. Deadlines work. Accountability works.
I started an accountability group with some business owner friends of mine. I hope to use this group to keep me on track and to offer the same to my friends.
Other ideas might be to book in advertising, trade fairs and workshops. Or even plan a holiday that has to be paid for by a sales milestone.
Have I missed anything? I would love to hear your ideas for kick starting your projects.