I feel like I am as slow as a snail at the moment. My first post, CEO Me, is like an abandoned door, which someone opened, but never stepped in.
But today I want to take the leap over the threshold and enter into my new habits after some time of reflection of my bad habits.
Before writing this post I really questioned myself:
Am I an entrepreneur?
Did you grow up like a maker and doer? I certainly didn’t. My husband and I continuously have discussions on how we were raised on a diet of:
- low-risk taking in the morning via
- that already exist over lunch to
- that doesn’t make any money for dinner.
Mmmmhhh, parents really can be supportive!
I guess the discouragement came from a good place, but created a shell of scariness in terms of wanting to start a business.
- I am scared that all the above is true (1.-3. of course 😉 ).
- I am scared that I fail.
- I am scared that I will lose money.
- I guess, I am scared for being scared – I hope that makes sense.
I envy people who just can do it either because of their environment growing up or because they just have it in them.
Now as an adult it is very hard to step out of this mold and great my own path.
Without sounding to philosophic, this upbringing resulted in being scared to start a business on my own. It took me almost 10 years to understand that:
- I don’t need any ones permission and
- I don’t need a loan or a financier to start a business with the right idea.
I live in the greater Boston area. Here is a big start-up scene. But those start-ups mainly need big bugs to take off. So it is very easy to fall into the trap of believing that I need a business loan, that I need an investor.
I had a little mid-30 crisis, as I was upset with myself, as I didn’t make anything out of myself despite a good education. So my husband gave me 2 books to read in the hopes that would inspire me and it did.
Curious what those books are?
At the end of both books I felt compelled and inspired.
Those books are very different in their approach. And I don’t agree or liked 100% of the books’ contents either, but it made me realize, that:
- Everyone can start a business!
- No big bugs necessarily needed!
- Every business is different!
- Every success story is different!
- Keep your books in order!
- Review your business periodically!
- In the words of Nike: “Just do it”!
(PS: I believe both books are available in your local library, at least in mine they are.)
A degree in life
I wondered for a long time, if I should add another degree to my education to further my steps into entrepreneurship, maybe a fancy MBA or even a degree in entrepreneurship.
It is not up to me value those paths of education, but life has me taught one thing: A degree doesn’t solve one damn thing if you don’ put work behind it. So it is on me to overcome myself and push me in the right direction.
All of the above points are valid though, unless my best friend comes to stay. She is called Procrastination.
She is a very supportive friend as she helps me to accomplish: NOTHING. No work, no chores around the house, no productivity in any way.
Why is that? As I had a brilliant plan to achieve my goals in starting an e-commerce site!
- My older son is at home for the summer!
- My husband is traveling a lot!
- I hate household chores!
So how should I go about to minimize the excuse strategy of my BFF procrastination!
After some soul searching, I realized that I lost track of my plan. I didn’t write anything timeline or list down.
So how to stop procrastination, keeping track of my goals and simply have fun with what I am doing?
Here is my list to overcome my own set barriers and enjoying myself while becoming successful:
1. A business plan
You probably heard about that one if you ever thought about starting a business! Why not write one for the blog, the e-commerce site, my life?
Some things she wrote about I never considered, other I added.
Plus, I started writing about details I am excited about. That helped me write two business plans within a couple of days.
In addition, those business plans are my personal private documents not meant to be shared with a bank for example. That means I don’t write some useless stuff, which I find in some of samples, which you can find online.
As my business plan is a route map for my personal success I printed them out to have it handy if I wanted to check on something.
2. A schedule
How easy would it have been to write down a schedule, hey? Of course I didn’t think about it when I started mapping out my blog in my head.
My husband and I talked about what we want out of our life and when it should happen.
So I marbled about that and realized that I am running around like a headless chicken most of the days as I am cleaning up after everyone at home, organize activities for the kiddos and family and do day-to-day tasks at hand.
I not only prepared my entry topics in a folder, I started mapping out my work tasks as well to get me focused.
While I am at it:
3. Join an accountability group
Have you heard about it?
A friend of a friend asked me about something like this the other day and I loved the idea.
It’s about getting together in a pre-scheduled and regular fashion online or off to hold yourself accountable for your actions to achieve your goals.
You can start your own!
Ask around for one, maybe someone knows about one!
Or take it online with:
Plus, I am social and working from home can be very lonely. That is why I love the idea of meeting with some people and talk business.
4. Sleep more
One of my biggest downfalls is that I don’t sleep enough. I go to bed too late wasting my time on useless activities, which help neither my business ethic or my household. I am so tired in the evening, that I waste my time instead of going to bed.
I recently just noticed that bad habit after I planned to do something, but lost track completely while getting lost in some mindless tv show where my brain just shut down. I did that for a week with the same task.
From today on, I promise myself to either go to bed or be productive.
Productivity for me means:
- Spending time with my husband!
- Plan activities for my kiddos or other family related tasks!
- Clean-up the house so that I am happy next morning!
- Do something for my business!
5. Create a routine
I personally can’t stand routines. They make life boring in my eyes. Obviously getting up in the morning and to bed in the evening is a routing in itself, but in-between a set routine is key to success.
Because I have children, they force me in a routine so that they and us alike stay sane, that gives me a blueprint to work with.
However, normally my kids go to daycare and pre-school. That means the time I have for myself need to be spend productive.
I want to add sports and work routines in my daily life; hence the above schedule is already a big step in the right direction.
However, having a routine is very hard for me. Most of the time if I try to implement a new routine it feels like I broke the new habit before it actually started if the routine is not imposed on me due to outside circumstances.
Changing habits is hard.
I am hoping with the above steps I manage to settle in to new work habits in my home office.
So my question to you: Have you been scared to start a new venture from scratch to a level that it would prohibit you to begin a business? If yes, did you overcome this barrier?