In the modern world, it has never been easier to start your own business from the comfort of your own home. All the research and information that is required to get started is at your fingertips, be it a bricks and mortar type of business or an online business. But people still believe it is an uphill struggle to get a business off the ground, so let's bust some myths!
1. You need to have a unique business idea
No you do not! There are over 7 billion people in the world, and you only have to serve a fraction of them! Your business idea does not have to be original or unique to make money and provide a good standard of living for you. There were other MP3 players on the market when Steve Jobs created the iPod (even the name iPod had to be bought from someone else that owned it!). Your business idea needs to be unique to YOU! You put your own stamp on it.
Yes there will be people who are streets ahead of the game in your area (there are many in mine, but if there are people doing what you’re doing, then there is money to be made, and you can be your authentic self and provide a great product or service. So don’t worry about other people in your field doing what you want to do, it is a good thing to have people to look up to and emulate and admire, it keeps you focused and motivated to do better, so don’t envy their success, get inspired by them!
2. You need a lot of money to start your own business
Not true! There is no need in this day and age to be squirreling away money to save for running a business, some people just need a website and a laptop to do this. You don’t need a physical office anymore like in most traditional jobs, if you are a coach, consultant or event organiser, you can meet people in hotel lobbies or private meeting rooms to save on office costs. If you are selling digital products, they are uploaded to your website or hosted on an online platform. Physical products can also be sold online, but you can build up the demand for the product gradually before you need to fork out for expensive storage or warehouse capacity.
3. You need to quit your job to run a business
Wrong! You can run a side business while working out your 9 to 5 escape. It will take longer to build up our business, don’t get me wrong, however you will value your spare time more and this can help you focus on what you really want to do with your side business. A 9 to 5 job gives you the security of a regular pay cheque while building up your website, brand, ideas and products on the side before you take a leap into the unknown. Just see the 9 to 5 as your main client for now if you are in the middle of your escape plan! Coming up with a business plan and then just quitting your job is not recommended as it will only put you under more pressure to get it off the ground in a shorter space of time. Managing your time and getting consistent work done on your business ideas while working full time is a more sensible approach. It won’t be long before you can say goodbye to the 9 to 5 for real!
4. You need to do everything yourself
While you initially have to be the mastermind motivator to get the business off the ground, you do not necessarily have to do it all yourself. Identify where your strengths lie (See my workbook on Superpowers to help you figure this one out!) and concentrate on these areas. If you are a whizz at Sales but not so good at website design, hire someone from Fiverr or Upwork or People Per Hour to get the job done in less time and with less stress. You don't have to figure it all out for yourself, delegate as much as you can get the important things done in your business. using your strengths and talents. Ask a friend to do the accounts (keep all your receipts, I learned this the hard way!), ask a family member to help out with admin or website development, and call in as many favours as you can!
5. You need a lot of spare time to start your business
Not true! Sometimes having buckets of spare time can be detrimental to starting a business, the day stretches ahead and you think you have all the time in the world. However, if you know you have one half hour laser focused slot in your day to create, to write to plan, to contact potential clients etc, you will make that 30 minutes count more than 5-6 hours of floundering around with thoughts and ideas. Being organised from the night before can make a huge difference to how you run your day, and your spare time!
Parkinsons Law states "work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion", in other words if you give yourself a week to complete a three hour task, it will take a week to do it. You will build the complexity of the task up in your mind, and put off doing it until the last minute. Breaking down your business tasks into manageable bite sized chunks can often keep your momentum going rather than a project that needs a whole weekend to complete. Laser focused short amounts of productive time is better used than a whole day to do the job! And we are all busy people trying to build a side business for ourselves, we don’t often have the luxury of a whole day stretching out before us!
So now it's Action Jackson time! What is the one thing you can do today to start working on your side business, and whats the one step that can help you use your time more effectively while you plan your 9 to 5 escape? Add your thoughts to the comments below!