It took me 3 years of obsessive planning and preparation before I felt ready to launch my first business and dream, Trunked Creative. What makes this even more extraordinary is the fact that I’ve helped launch dozens of businesses under the banner of my previous employer.
It wasn’t until I signed up for Marie Forleo’s BSchool (a huge investment that I could barely afford) in 2013 that I knew it was time for me to stop putting it off. Launching a business is way more about being confident than being ready – you will never, ever feel completely ready. There’s always something else you could do, but I beg you not to wait for a feeling that will never come.
What’s holding you back?
Getting over the loneliness of starting your own business is often thought to be the biggest challenge in motivating yourself to get a start-up off the ground. The long hours, mile-long project lists, it can often seem that there’s no end in sight. And to be completely honest, there probably isn’t. Not if you want to be successful anyway.
It’s like with any goal, it’s easy to get discouraged if you spend all of your time with your nose to the grindstone without letting yourself come up for air once in awhile. The trick to dealing with the pressure and anxiety of becoming an entrepreneur is to balance living your life with getting everything you need done to satisfy your business requirements. Easier said than done.
Here’s your five-part, no-BS action plan to getting that business launched.
Your action plan
1. Remember why you started
Create a list – either write it down or make it visual – with all of the reasons that you wanted to start your business in the first place. Helping people who are where you once were? More money? Location freedom? Setting your own hours? Set yourself up for success. When your motivation starts waning, look at your motivation and remind yourself of why you have to keep going.
2. Eat that elephant
I hate to use a cliche, but there’s a reason that they’re cliches. How do you eat an elephant [read: launch your dream business]? You eat [read: launch] one bite [read: project] at a time. What are your next three biggest projects that you need to complete for your business? Make a list of each step needed to complete these three projects and then assign the steps to the next seven days. If you just focus on the project or task at hand, you’ll get to the point where your business is ready to launch, even if as mentioned above, you don’t feel ready.
3. Outsource your roadblocks
Stuck on a step of one of your three focus projects? Outsource it. Use Fiverr, Elance or UpWork (or any other freelancer service) to get your problem dealt with affordably and quickly, while you move on the next item on your list. Your dream is far too important to get caught up in potholes.
4. Take care of yourself
Launching a business, especially while juggling other responsibilities (such as a full-time job or family) requires incredible stamina. If you don’t take care of yourself, there’s no way you’re going to be able to do it all for very long. Yes at times it may require short bursts of uninterrupted focus but to stay with it for the long haul, you’re going to want to be gentle with and take care of your body. The four most unignorable aspects of this are sleep, food, exercise, and hygiene. What are a couple of things in each of these categories that you can do to take care of yourself? Quit working at a reasonable so you can unwind before going to bed. Sleep for 7-8 hours every night. Go to the gym or walk the dog in the morning. Have a shower every day to feel your best.
5. Remember who you were
Think of something that you enjoyed before starting your business or something that you don’t think you have time for anymore. Schedule a block of time in this week to do it.
Looky, Looky – A handy worksheet on this very topic!
Click below to download my go-to worksheet to create a no-bs plan to launch anything (including your business)