So, you are thinking of starting a business, right? Awesome. I feel honored to be one of the people you trust to help you get there. I know that starting your business can feel like trying to drink from a firehose (thanks to my client who gave me that great analogy) so I am here to give you your step 1
Here are the first questions you should ask yourself before you officially hit the launch button on your new business.
1. Do I want a business or do I want fame?
It gets a little hairy, doesn’t it? Along the way, business ownership became something glamorous. Having a business = speaking events, workshops, and all of that jazz. That just isn’t the case. Most of the big names you love were not profitable at first. They gave a lot for free for a long time before they even got to the place where making money was possible. We see it all the time with Instagram and Youtube celebrities. They have lots of followers but still have to provide a donate button to their audience.
And sure, don’t get me wrong. You absolutely CAN have both. Lots of people do. Eventually.
Platform building takes a lot of work and effort and hustle. You have to speak a lot. You have to give a lot. For free. Trying to be profitable right away at the same time while you are trying to write books or speak at events can be exhausting.
So why torture yourself? If that is what you know you want, consider staying at your day job a little longer and not putting the extra pressure on yourself. Your desire to be seen coupled with your obligation to keep yourself fed will make for a very negative business building experience.
So really check in, my friend. Do you want to be known or do you want to be a business owner because you want that life?
The way you go about either will be totally different.
2. Is it love or lifestyle?
I talked about this in a previous blog post and I’ll mention it here too. Knowing if you are doing this for the love of things or for the lifestyle is pretty much the most important information you need before you get started.
If it is love…you know what you are doing because you love it
If you think it’s love but it is really lifestyle, you’ll spend months (maybe even years) trying to figure out your “thing” when really you don’t have a thing. You just have amazing skills you can use to help live the life you want.
This is super important, especially in the beginning because you will drive yourself nuts if you are one trying to be the other.
3. What is my relationship to external validation?
Unfortunately, (especially in the beginning) there isn’t going to be anyone who will pat you on the back and tell you how well you are doing. This is something new for a lot of us, especially those who come from job environments.
Do a good job? You get a raise! A bonus! You get called out in the weekly newsletter.
Do a good job in business? You are pretty much going to be the only one that cares. And it sucks for everyone but it ESPECIALLY sucks if you need that validation to stay motivated.
There is nothing wrong with this, by the way. No shade. I am just saying that you need to put structures in place to keep yourself feeling good without the external motivation EARLY. This business thing is a LONG ROAD. It is not just about making that first sale, it is about having the energy to keep going and going.
I have a friend who has a poster with different benchmarks and rewards for herself as she does cool things.
Reach 100 subscribers? You get that Coach bag you’ve been wanting!
10th client served? Time for a staycation!
It does wonders for her sanity and pulling yourself back from the ledge is something you’ll do often while building your business.
4. What is my learning style?
How self-motivated are you? Are you a DIYer? Do you need lots of instruction? Do you need specific times to get things done?
This one will just save you a lot of money. If you know you are the type of person who always put off homework growing up unless your mom made you do it, the complete DIY route might not be good.
If you are the type who always finished your damn homework so you could watch Gilmore Girls or go make out with your neighbor, DIY might work.
Just to be clear: It doesn’t matter what you buy, it only matters what you do with the things you buy.
When it comes to business, you don’t get a medal just for showing up. You have to do stuff. — Tweet this!
So be really honest with yourself about this.
Here are the levels:
Lots of support: You don’t do well doing anything on your own, you really need someone to tell you what to do.
DIY/Little support: You can do a lot on your own, but you might need to check in every once in a while to make sure you are on the right track.
Complete DIY: If someone tells you what to do, you can pretty much figure it out.
In addition, you should also know your learning style:
I am a DIYer and I recently bought a program that was mostly audios. 2 ½ hours each (yikes) and I could never finish it which sucks because I want the material, but it doesn’t fit the way I learn.
On the other hand, I subscribed to a paid nutrition/food newsletter and it is the perfect bite-sized format to make sure I get it done.
I won’t sit down and watch a 20-minute video, but I like 5-6 minute audios. Even if I loveee the marketing for a thing and want to buy it, if it is in a format that doesn’t work for me, I can’t do it. I can’t tell you how many video trainings I didn’t finish.
You will be learning a LOT when it comes time to start your business. Getting clear about how you learn and what pace you learn is so key to getting your expectations in check.
5. Is this the right time? Really?
Most people start their businesses in the worst possible times and this makes the process way slower. Business building is pretty life sucking at the beginning and if you have a lot of other things going on, kick the tires for a little longer before you fully commit to starting your business.
Businesses are often created out of desperation. Something happens and you think “ok, I’ll start my own business” but as you most likely already know, there is WAY more to it than that.
So, is this a good time?
• It is a good time if there aren’t many major events going on.
• It is a good time if work isn’t completely batshit so you have time to actually work.
• It is a good time if you have an idea for a business already and you feel ready to jump on it now.
• It is a good time if you have some money already saved up to invest.
Of course you don’t need all these but it helps.
It isn’t a good time if you just lost your job, guys. It just is NOT. I suggest finding a bridge job and slowly transitioning over. It takes a while to get really profitable in your business and pressure is a big deal. If you feel a huge amount of pressure, it is hard to make things happen.
6. What are my triggers?
This one is HUGE. So much of business has nothing to do with what we do but our mindset behind it. Everyone has their own unique thing going on in their heads and knowing how you’ll react to specific things is really important.
Let me explain what I mean.
Are you prone to compare and despair? Then you should most likely stop following people in your industry.
Do you have shiny object syndrome? You most likely need a really deadline-oriented schedule.
Are you prone to random emotional breakdowns in life? Well, homie. That is gonna carry over into your business so how can you best prepare yourself?
Not sure what yours are yet? No worries. I have a quiz that will show you what your triggers are based off of your brand chemistry type. I call it the Emotional timeline and it lays out your ups and downs you can expect in business. You can take the quiz here and get the download.
So those are 6 things you should ask yourself before you start your business.
Before you go, I have a little gift for you. It is a business planner you can use to take this information and actually apply it to your business. It is the 1st of 3 workbooks the participants of my Business Awesome challenge will be getting next week.
Grab the workbook here:
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