23 May Poke the box!
Soon is not as good as now. ~ Seth Godin
Now is the perfect time to start your own business! Or anything new, for that matter. Seth Godin makes this very clear in his book ‘Poke the Box’.
When was your last time you thought about starting something new… and then you didn’t?
Why not? Was it not the right time?
In 2009, at the peak of the US Financial crisis, 2 brothers were meeting in New York and decided to quit their job. They wanted to start their own business, in a field they knew nothing about. Shortly after they launched. First they struggled. And almost failed. Almost! Today, in 2013, they ship their stylish products all over the world. They work with partners at the other side of the globe. Their manifesto video has been watched more than 6 million times. People rave about it and keep translating it in many different languages. Mike Radparvar, one of the 3 co-founders, stated bluntly in our interview that starting something in crisis times has many advantages. It is easier to get office space and co-workers are easier to find. This is the story of Holstee. And it is not an exception! Many business cornerstones have been laid in difficult times and eventually grew into thriving corporates.
Here are the questions that make all the difference: what is stopping you to start your own business? And what can you do about it?
Forget about killer phrases like ‘It is not the right time’! Of course, there are some wrong moments in your live when you should better wait with turning your idea into a new business. But mostly, your stop sign has nothing to do with time!
So, what is it that holds us back?
The first barrier is that you do not see the benefits. Your business idea, the picture of your life as business owner, and the potential gains are just not pulling you enough to take action. If that is the case, just be honest. It is okay! But instead of sitting on your sofa not being happy with your life… get up! Go out there and search for the business idea that is pulling you. Do everything you can to find out what business you want to build. Get that fire burning inside you, that fire that would keep you working the whole night if your husband or wife would not drag you into bed. (I am sure my husband will show up soon while I am writing this 😉
The second barrier is self-blame. Often people say about themself, I am just not disciplined enough. Bull..it! People say discipline is pushing yourself to do something you don’t want to do. Instead of pushing yourself to do something you do not enjoy doing, again, get up and find what it is you want to do. I promise, once you start doing what you love to do, discipline will not be an issue any longer.
You do not believe you can… start and run a successful business. This is another barrier and an entirely different ball game! The biggest stop signs always sit between our ears. Have you ever heard this nasty voice inside your head that wispered: You are not good enough! You are not experienced, young, rich, renowned, …, whatever else. enough!. I know the sound of these words. This voice comes back, again and again. Even to world champions. And, as many arguments we find to sabbotage ourselfs, the many proven methods are out there to master these voices. There are NLP, positive thinking, hypnosis, Emotional Freedom Techniques, affirmations, meditation, success journaling and many more. Dive into some of them and find out which ones work for you, if you like. I have my own favourites that I use. And there are two more I like to mention. They normally work for me.
The first one is simply asking the question: What if…? What if it would work? What if I succeeded? And then start to imagine what your business and your life would look like if you succeeded. Often that ignites your fire to take the first step. And then the next.
Another secret way to master my self-doubt is asking myself: When I started driving a car, did I know for sure I would become a good driver? Never! It took me a pretty long while to learn and to practice until I drove a car for longer than a week without bumping into anything. But eventually I learned and today I am mostly driving without even thinking about it. So, when I learned to drive a car, can I not also learn to run a successful business? I can! You might say learning to drive is very different to starting a business. But it is not! We need to understand how it works, theoretically. And then we need to practise. And practise. And practise! The question is, are you willing to take the risk of bumping into some things along the way, and maybe even crashing once or twice? You will most likely survive, and reach your goals much faster.
The last, and still one of our top stop signs preventing us to launch our own business is that we simply do not know how to start. We do not know what first steps to take. Even when we read some startup books, we go to some training sessions or join a weekend course on how to write a business plan, we still do not know what steps to take in real life to rocket our idea into enterprise. We need someone by our side that tells us what to do. And how to do it. We need help to get out of our comfort zone and to change the habits that brought us to where we are today. We need to have someone by our side that gives us feedback. Someone holds us accountable. And someone that gives us a tap on our shoulder and some fresh ideas when we get stuck. We also learn best in a secure space where we can try out things and practice. This is a space I open up in the 3-months Biz Launch Power Program. I bring together a group of people that are keen to learn, to experience and to practise together within intense 3 months, turning their idea into a real business. They will be actively supported by experienced entrepreneurs from around the globe and by their program peers. It is a way to offer close guidance in the first critical phase, so that you do not have excuses anymore like ‘I do not know how to start’.
From now on… do not allow anyone, not even yourself, to tell you ‘Now is not the right time to get your business started’, or to start anything else that brings you closer to your life goals! You know how to deal with the most important stop signs. Enjoy poking the box! And rest assured… the box will never poke you back. It will rather offer you opportunities you never thought possible.