Launching a business is scary, and it’s tempting to allow yourself to believe that all of the right things need to be in place before you can get started. Waiting for optimal circumstances, while logical, is actually crazy – it will hold you back and limit your success.
There are a few exceptions to this, of course. For example, if you’re trying to break into oil refining, you’ll need to be more discerning about the location and might want to wait until you’ve got a windfall of cash to overcome the barriers to enter that market. (I suspect wannabe-oil magnates search for startup advice from other sources, so I’ll move on from ‘exceptions’ at this point…)
For almost everyone else looking to start their own gig, here’s the truth: there’s is no better time or place to get started than where you are, right this minute. Here are a few of the reasons why:
Challenges come with the territory
As you grow your business, you’re almost guaranteed to run into obstacles along the way. Learning how to overcome them, work around them, and succeed in spite of them is a chapter in the story of almost every business every created. Holding on to a belief that your path will be charmed and perfect is going to set you back. Apologies for the cliché, but if it were easy wouldn’t everyone be doing it?
Instead of trying to figure out the perfect time or place to launch, just get moving. Trust that you’ll accept the challenges along the way and commit to learning to do what it takes to resolve them.
Taking action is the only way to turn goals into results
Pretty much everyone has goals, but I’m not a big believer in pie-in-the-sky dreams because they are really just figments of your imagination. I spent a really long time sitting on my hands daydreaming about becoming a freelance writer instead of using those hands to actually write something. It wasn’t until I actually put together a detailed plan for how to turn my goals into results and started taking action that my reality began to change for the better.
It’s great to have big plans, but to accomplish anything you have to be taking steps forward.
Just one small win will get you past the fear
My biggest fear about starting my self-created side job as a freelance writer was what everyone else would think. I was scared that people would think that I was dumb for thinking I could do it. I thought they would read what I wrote and judge it to be stupid and me as untalented, overconfident, and entitled. And you know what? All of that happened. I wrote stupid, cheesy articles. A lot of people judged me, gave me a hard time, made fun of me behind my back, and maybe even hoped that I would fail miserably. Over time, I’ve realized that everyone who has ever put themselves out there has had to deal with that kind of fear and negativity. Accepting it is the price we pay in order to get to that one small win needed to overcome it for good.
For me, that first small win was when an editor from a well-respected, popular website responded to my request to write for her, for free, for three months. After that, I no longer feared being judged. I knew that I could accomplish my goal. My path has been slow and filled with cheesy articles and blog posts that others certainly found humiliating on my behalf, but I no longer care.
While you’re small and still learning, you’re going to be pretty bad and others will judge you and make fun of you for it. Forget them, and work towards your first small win. You’ll recognize it when it comes, and it will give you the fuel needed for the rest of the journey.
If you or someone you know has started a business, we’d love to hear about those first small wins in the comments below!