Many of my clients have great business ideas and a passionate desire to get them started, however they tell themselves damaging excuses which prevent them from taking that first crucial step. One year from now, you’ll be happy you started today, so here are some of the most common excuses I hear as well as some tips for how to overcome them. You’ve got this!
- Not Enough Time. This is certainly one of the most common excuses I hear. However, we all have the same amount of time, and it is not at all a matter of time but rather a matter of priorities. When I hear this excuse from my clients, I first ask them how important this dream or passion project is to them. Typically I hear that it is very important. I then do a time-audit on their average day and week – how much time they’re spending on what activities – and ask them how important each of those activities are to them. I almost always find that they are spending a lot of time on things that are not important to them, i,e. television and social media.. So we replace every unimportant activity with time for their side-hustle and we see that actually they have plenty of time (and no longer any excuse).
- Not Enough Money. Money is a big excuse that I often hear people tell themselves. However, for most businesses, money is actually very unimportant in the early days. Back in the day it used to cost tens of thousands of dollars to build a website of an app. Nowadays there are so many cheap and easy ways to get going, such as SquareSpace for a website or Canva for marketing material. Also remember that you don’t actually need to go into production in order to test your idea. Eric Ries has some great tools and strategies for how to start quick and cheap in his book, “The Lean Startup”
- Not Knowing How. Even with google at our disposal, this is still an excuse I hear a lot. My first piece of advice is to build a plan. Break your big ideas into milestones or “bite-sized-pieces” to help the vision feel more manageable and achievable. Then, even within each milestone, break it down again into small actionable steps so that you have a very clear and structured outline. I typically advise 1 goal, 6 milestones with 3 or 4 action steps under each milestone. Once you have your steps, do you research to help you achieve them. There are thousands of amazing resources out there on how to start and build a business. The key is to just get started!
- Fear of Failure. This is the mother of all excuses. Sometimes it is not actually verbalized as an excuse but still sits behind almost every other excuse, whether it be “not enough time” or “not enough money.” This fear is very natural and we all feel it, but the most important part is to push past it. One of the most effective ways to do this is to very deeply reflect on the worst possible thing that could happen. This might sound counter-intuitive but when we image the worst thing that can happen, and put in place a plan for us to recover, we trick our mind into feeling more certainty and therefore less fear as uncertainty is actually one of the biggest drivers of fear. Next, deeply reflect on the best possible thing that could happen. Imagine all of the things that you will learn, the people that you will meet, the ways that you will make an impact. When people do this, they often realize two things: One, that the potential downside is so incredibly minimal compared to the potential upside, and really they have nothing to lose. And two, that even if the business is not successful, the possibilities and opportunities that it opens up will make it all worthwhile regardless.
Remember that we are here to help! If you want support kickstarting your business, schedule a complimentary coaching session with me here. No time like the present!