03 Feb Everyone should start a business! Wait-hear me out!
Oh, I know. There are many valid reasons to not even consider starting a business.
I already have my career.
Business is risky. Don’t 90% of people fail, or something horrific like that? I don’t want to set myself up for a failure.
I don’t have a business degree or any business experience.
I have zero extra time to do any of that.
I don’t have the money.
I don’t know where to start.
There’s too much competition.
I don’t have the support I’d need to be successful.
Even if this sounds like I just read your mind, will you please suspend your thoughts for a hot five minutes and read on? Let me tell you why you should at least consider starting a business:
In my experience and humble opinion, there are few things in life so chock full of universally applicable lessons than the process of starting and running a business. We go to school for however many years to learn the basics first and then the specifics for what we plan to “do” in life. Yet the actual “life” portion and the lessons we glean from all those hard knocks is left to chance.
The skills you are forced to develop and grow in the process of starting and running a business apply to all areas of adult life. Dare I say, the process of starting a business is like going to graduate school for life and will enhance each area and endeavor you are involved in moving forward.
By embarking on an entrepreneurial path, I will learn valuable lessons to enhance my life. There is also an added potential bonus that I will create financial success (and reach millionaire status/*financial freedom* much faster).
Life Lessons Learned in Entrepreneurship
Financial Literacy. These are YOUR numbers—what it costs to produce what you do, what someone will pay you for it, and the difference that then goes in your pocket. This is not a bunch of hypothetical shit in a textbook. Numbers are the blood of business and working with real life numbers tied to a personal outcome is a fantastic way to understand—in a personal and emotionally charged way how money works.
Human skills. Customer, vendor, employee, and contractor relationships are king. You are only as successful as the contentedness of your people. If you communicate poorly, do not bring adequate value, or otherwise wrong any of the people you are engaged with, your results and bottom line will reflect it rather quickly. You are now the toughest boss you’ve ever had. You will be put in a position to evaluate your actions and suffer or celebrate the results of them based on the people around you.
Strength and skill optimization. You have stuff you are amazing at! People pay other people to solve their problems. Even if that problem is seemingly shallow or trivial, if people will pay for something, there is a market. When these two things intersect (what you do well and what people pay for), this is the business (and life) sweet spot. By doing what you like to do and are good at, that elusive “never work a day in your life” thing starts happening. And you naturally continually strive to be the best version of you that you can be.
Building the self-discipline muscle. Sitting still is kind of like death in business (and life!). Safety and predictable outcomes are hardwired within us for good reason. Early man relied on these mechanisms to stay alive. When we opt to walk in the direction of a less defined path that requires focus and new forms of action, a few things begin to happen. This focus allows us to see opportunities we were previously blind to. Those opportunities give us chances to practice new modes of thinking and acting such as: connecting your ideas in new ways, asking for help from new people, Googling terms you’d previously never heard of that help you understand concepts with more depth, or diving into something unfamiliar yet pertinent to your end goal. Additionally, your forward moving steps build an internal reputation that you are a person who completes tasks, takes calculated risks, seeks new opportunities, speaks up for herself and believes she is worthy of all the things.
Adversity exposure and failure resilience training. Humans are hard-wired to avoid failure at all costs. Failure = embarrassment, loss, or shame. Nobody wants to lose at anything or risk pissing people off. What if we endeavor to rework that wiring? What if we instead consider risk of failure as an absolute given as well as the means to a richer, smarter, more interesting existence? What if we welcome each opportunity as a golden lesson? Failure (but only possibly) is the price you pay to succeed.
Resource discovery process. You are blazing a new path! It’s exhilarating and also exhausting. The resources (people, goods, training, and hidden gold nuggets) needed for you to do your business need to be discovered. Unless you are purchasing a franchise (where they’ve already done all of this), you will need to figure your stuff out and start creating an operations manual (tangible or in your head—tangible is preferable).
Pivot mindset training. Business, life, and relationships are all things that rarely go exactly as planned. But what if we planned on exactly that? What if we lay out our initial framework for how we think it’ll all play out, then plan on some pivots as things clarify, appear, and crystalize in your brain and on the path of action? With this mindset in place, perhaps you’ll even be able to look forward to pivot opportunities, as it means there is growth and progress happening. Lost a customer? Figure out why and pivot. Product bombed? Figure out why and make it better. Slapped with a fine for non-compliance? Learn why and use that pain to fortify other potentially vulnerable areas of the business.
Strategic thinking and planning. If you are in a new foreign city, how do you figure out how to get to your destination? A map, of course. In business, your business plan is your map. You can always decide to veer off into wild and unchartered territory, but the investment and forethought into thinking things through upfront is invaluable. It saves vast amounts of time, energy, heartbreak, and loss of momentum in your business (and life, too).
Convinced? Let’s start at the beginning. First, what COULD you do for a business? If you have no idea, have fun with the little exercise below to start drawing out your zones of genius.
GASP! If all this sounds scary, then you really need the rush of spending an hour-ish learning about all the amazing you have going on that may be currently in hibernation and then feeling the triumph of hitting send on something bold to show yourself what the F you.are.made.of. Click here to get started. Please drop me a line or comment below and report back! Hugs <3
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