Start My Own Business? What Was I Thinking!
By Carole Nicolaides
This is a story that many of entrepreneurs can relate to. It also provides a checklist (or a reality check) for future entrepreneurs. Here's the tale of how I began...
I knew that one day I wanted to start and run my own business. I knew it from the bottom of my heart and I also knew that by starting my own business I was going to be able to work on my passion. I had already earned an MBA and was tired of working for "Corporate America".
A lot of mentors and friends warned me not to quit my corporate job before getting a few part-time contracts. Well, after following their advice, I realized that I would never dive into the entrepreneurial world simply because there was not enough time while juggling these two jobs. Working as a corporate consultant you simply do not have time for starting a new business - Reality check number one.
I am not saying that people cannot start their own business while working at their permanent jobs; however, it is more difficult to do this if you have a demanding job with long hours. I would also not recommend it for you because you may not be giving your best to your employer simply due to other priorities. Give your best at your "day job". After you start your business they will become important contributors to your promotional strategy, therefore it is very important to leave with the best impressions.
Well, as I realized that there was simply not time to prepare for the launch of the business, I had to make a decision to either work in a corporation or quit my job. My desire for starting my business was so strong that after calculating my finances and seeing that I had enough reserves to live on I went ahead. Oh boy, if I only knew then.
Confident that I already knew enough about business, from a solid education accompanied with my corporate world experience, I was absolutely sure that I did not have to learn many things. Ha! I was wrong!
Below are few reality checks about starting your business along with some advantages many women have in this area.
Ask for HELP even with a tight budget
It does not matter if you graduated from the best business schools and served the most successful companies. Running your own business asks for a different skill-set; one that you are most likely not accustomed to. You will need to wear different hats Marketing, Public Relations, Accounting, Budgeting and others that you probably were not used to. You will have to do a lot of administrative things on your own and these tasks can be very time-consuming. Hire an assistant. Consider virtual assistants who are less expensive than actual employees. The hours they save you will make so much difference.
Kill the loneliness-Connect
As an entrepreneur, you will very often feel lonely and at times unmotivated or discouraged. After all, you work so hard in growing your business that sometimes you do not even track your working hours. What you thought of as working freedom very soon will just seem an illusion. Doubts come to your mind and you are not so sure if you've chosen the right direction. Surround yourself with friends and other entrepreneurs. Do not allow yourself to have negative thoughts - and believe me if you are alone for a longer time you will start getting negative feelings. You need to connect and socialize with other fellows.
Feel comfortable being small
Very often I see entrepreneurs, especially the ones that worked for too many years in large companies, wanting to impress by being bigger than what they are. Well, that is absurd and can only harm you. Being small has a lot of advantages and trying to be someone that you are not will cost you your position and image. Project who you are and design your business according to your needs.
Stop searching for your perfect clients
Yes, too often entrepreneurs are wasting time in nailing down their perfect clients. Instead of following this strategy it is better to have the perfect clients come to you. Do you wonder how you can do this? Just concentrate all your efforts on what you do best. Become an expert in your field. Get visible to a target audience that needs your services or products.
Balance your life
This may seem very difficult for someone that is starting his or her business, yet the benefits will amaze you. Set it as a priority in your life and block time out for you. Not only you are going to recuperate but you will gain so much energy momentum to move ahead. Meet people as you are having fun and notice opportunities that surround you.
As you see these little things can really help you in launching your business. Start using these strategies at the moment you commit in starting your business. Do not wait to long to ask for help, connect with people, identify your target audience and attract the people that need you and most importantly balance a life of laughter, fun and self-care.
By Carole Nicolaides ã Copyright 2000
More details at www.intentionalsuccess.com
Carole Nicolaides is President of Intentional Success Coaching offering Personal Success Coaching, Marketing, Business Planning and Internet Success Consulting to small businesses & large organizations. Subscribe to Carole's FREE EZine at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her at http://www.intentionalsuccess.com to book your FREE coaching session