Starting Your Own Business – Obstacles and Solutions

Initially you are excited about starting your own business and then the obstacles to self employment begin to emerge.  If you are planning a seasonal or weekend business, some of these obstacles will apply but they may be far more relevant for the potential entrepreneur who is starting out part-time with the hope of pursuing their entrepreneurial venture on a full time basis.

Erroneous Advice and Lack of Support

Avoid Negative People

Avoid Negative People

The erroneous advice is most likely to come from people that you care about and people who care about you.  You may get a litany of “90 percent of all businesses fail.”   “Remember your uncle who did Amway and was left with a garage full of soap.”   “You’ll never be able to afford health insurance or save for retirement.”  “If you’re no longer making enough money, tighten your belt, downsize your house, move to an area of the country where the economy is better.”   “You don’t have enough experience or knowledge to start a business.”  “You’ll never find the time.”

Chances are these people want what is best for you and what is best is, at least, for them is SECURITY.  It is quite likely that they are afraid of trying new things and therefore you should be afraid, too.  These family members, relatives, and friends can throw a wet blanket on your plans and dreams.  If you have any fears or doubts about starting a business they may make your anxieties even worse.

Solutions

Surround Yourself with Entrepreneurs

Surround Yourself with Entrepreneurs

Do not “go public” with your idea too early.  Do your preliminary research and surround yourself with people who have started businesses and believe in you and your business.  Begin to seek out people who you may need to consult with about skill sets you lack such as web design or accounting.  Although a business plan may not be necessary for a small, self-funded business, having a plan may make you more confident when you have to deal with the naysayers.  If one of the chief naysayers is your partner or spouse be direct in your communication.  Be clear on why you need to pursue this dream and don’t set your relationship up for future resentment.

Lack of Confidence, Fear of Failure

You realize there are new things to learn, skills that you may lack, or that you may fail.  If you lack support, your forward movement may be paralyzed and this may set off a vicious cycle of self-fulfilling prophecy

Solutions

Meditat

Meditate

Pay attention to your thoughts and engage in practices to help you detach from them: meditation, journaling, yoga.  Thoughts are powerful and if you become obsessed with the possible problems and obstacles to your success, you will not launch any of your plans into action. Thus you create the self-fulfilling prophecy.

Again, surround yourself with other who are entrepreneurial and who believe in you and your business.  They probably have experience with fear and failure as well as with success.

Lack of Finances and Time

If you are starting a part-time business and keeping your full-time or regular job, you need to finance your business but you do not face the financial anxiety of being totally self-supporting.   We cannot create more time!  To find the time to start and run your business, you probably will have to make some sacrifices.

Solutions

If you goal is to be a full-time business owner, take time to transition into this role by starting part-time.

time wastingTIME – Skip TV viewing and cut down on your computer time, especially FaceBook and surfing the web.  Use your weekends for your business.  Depending on the type of business, get up earlier in the morning,  to work on your information product , write your blogs, or your ezines, or your book before the family gets up.   Sacrifice but don’t be a martyr!  Take time to rest and recharge; take vacations.  No breaks from work often decreases productivity.

Have a Yard Sale

Have a Yard Sale

– raise some money by selling what you don’t need.  Reduce some living expenses, if possible, like what you are paying for telephone and cable TV.  Cut back on fast food, eating out, and entertainment.  When starting your business, keep your overhead low.  Work from home, or a coffee shop, or an office co-op, or sublease your office space.  Start off with a website that you can do yourself or with minimum assistance.  Weebly and WordPress are fairly easy to use. (I use both – one for my blog and one for my website).  Vista or moo.com  are sources of inexpensive business cards.  Use PayPal or Square with your mobile device to accept credit cards and do your marketing on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Yelp.

Self-Sabotage

Self-Sabotage can come from many things: perfectionism, unrealistic attitudes, attitudes about money, lacking a clear business plan, or not thinking like an entrepreneur.

PERFECTIONISM – Don’t wait for things to be perfect.  The website, the blog, the information product just has to be good enough.

 Solution:  Strive for excellence but not perfection.

Easy Money

Easy Money

UNREALISTIC ATTITUDES – If we are looking at self-employment –related websites on the Internet, we are bombarded by sites telling us we can earn a six-figure income and only work four hours a week, just purchase whatever it is that they are offering.   It takes time to grow a business.   Unrealistic attitudes may also take the form of overestimating your market.

Solutions:  Research – Talk to people who in similar businesses to yours or to the one you want to start.  Read magazines and journals written about this business.

Invest in Yourself

Invest in Yourself

ATTITUDES ABOUT MONEY  – Do you have issues with money?  Have you been told that it is the root of all evil?  Is it more noble to be poor?  Does having money mean your selfish?  Does starting a business mean that there is no money to invest in yourself?  Not charging what your service is worth is another problem that will bring your business down.  Finally, back to finances and on to business planning , you must be willing to work on how you will manage your income and expenditures.

Solutions:  Daily mindfulness – become aware of what you are telling yourself about money.  Get coaching on this issue.  Invest in yourself as well as in your business.

LACKING A CLEAR BUSINESS PLAN – Do not begin your business until you are sure what you are in business to do.  A lack of focus and vagueness as to who your business will serve is a recipe for disaster.

Solutions:  Assess your passions, interests, strengths, talents, and skill sets.  What can you offer to a specific niche?  Research similar businesses online, what are their strengths and weaknesses. What do they offer.  Join a local Chamber of Commerce or meet-up group to develop a professional network of people who share a similar interest.  Dream/imagine what you want your business to look like.  Creating a vision board might be helpful.  Set short and long term goals for your business or use business plan software that will help you develop your ideas.

Learn to Think Like an  Entrepreneur

Learn to Think Like an Entrepreneur

NOT THINKING LIKE AN ENTREPRENEUR   – You are an entrepreneur, even if only a seasonal or weekend entrepreneur.  Thinking like an entrepreneur may mean that you will need to give up something called entitlement thinking.  No this does not mean that you need to become right-wing and against Social Security and Medicare.

Solutions:   According to Barbara Winter, author of Making a Living Without a Job there are a number of differences between how an entrepreneur thinks and the entitlement thinking common to many who work in corporate/state-funded  positions.                                                                                                       Entrepreneurial Thinking                                    Entitlement Thinking

How much can I give?                                                How much can I get?

Embrace problem-solving                                         Others should fix my problems

I am responsible                                                          It’s not my fault

Instigates                                                                        Waits

I can create my own benefits                                     I deserve lots of benefits

Let me stretch                                                                Let me stay in my comfort zone

Work is endless discovery                                           Work is predictably routine

Most people are trustworthy                                      I don’t trust anyone

Flexible                                                                            Ideas set in concrete

Welcomes change                                                        Fears change

Forward-thinking                                                           Clings to the status quo

Capacity to shift gears quickly, not                           Resentful and complaining during         driven by economic ups and downs                         economic downturns

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