Things start with a romantic idea. No, not that kind of romance – no star-crossed lovers, musicals, birds chirping and riding off into the sunset sort of things. You can’t contain your inspiration any longer. After months of deliberation, you decide to leave it all behind and stick with your guns. It feels right. It seems like the most wonderful thing ever. You pull the trigger – you start your own business. Well, at least you thought you did.
Here’s the thing: you’re not in a movie or a cancelled TV series (I’m looking at you How To Make It In America. Guys, please. You have to do another season!) where everything seems so shiny and wonderful. Starting a business on your own is a big thing. And if you’re one of those young adults who still aren’t used to adulting just yet, chances are things won’t go so well right off the bat. But what’s success without a little struggle, right?
I may be rambling but hear me out. So far, here are some things I’ve learned in 6-month long attempt in starting my own business:
Starting your own business will not be easy and it shouldn’t.
You are building your company from the ground up. You should put your back into it. Working for other people is different from working for yourself. CEOs get to sit on top of the mountain because they know how difficult the climb was. And besides, challenging times will make for great stories someday.
Stick to your guns. If your gut tells you something, go for it!
I can’t count the times that I thought to myself “I should have” and “I shouldn’t have done that.” Your instinct is there for a reason. Trust it and see what happens. It’s sure as hell better than doing nothing. Risk is and will always be an occupational hazard. Without it, how else are you going to succeed? If you want something bad enough, you need to go at it hard. Go big or go home.
Fear is both friend and foe.
It is a motivator, a teacher, a rival. Are you afraid that you won’t make it in the long run? Good, that means you’re aware of what could happen if you don’t do the things you need to do. Even when things are going great, you’d still have that sliver of fear at the back of your mind. Don’t feed your fear but do everything in the best of your ability to emerge as the victor. Let go of inhibitions, they will just drag you down.
Think things through twice, three times, four times. Focus on your goal and map out the road to your endgame. Leaving things to chance is probably not the wisest business plan out there. Once you plan things, you can keep your progress in check. Plus, you can finally put that planner of yours into good use. You did pay for it with all those Starbucks drinks you ordered last Yuletide season.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
It’s good that you want to do things on your own. DIY or die, right? But there’s also nothing wrong with getting by with a little help. Seek the counsel of your wiser peers. Consult books and do your research. The more you know, the better you’ll get at the whole business thing. Discipline is remembering what you want. Don’t let your pride get the better of you because sometimes, all you have to do is ask.
I’m still learning the ropes in this whole business thing so I’ll keep this tab open. For the meantime, I’ll have my pen and paper ready for more lessons.