Starting your own business is totally a life changing experience. You grow from being an employee to be self-employed or an employer. It’s a very powerful experience, and actually, a lot more about personal development and growth besides your company’s growth. So, what are those key obstacles that really stop you from being starting your own business?
Leo Gura, the popular speaker, and life coach at Actualized.org, shares 4 such obstacles: Motivation, Time, Capital and Research.
Motivation is important because when you start a business there is nobody else that is driving you but you yourself. You really need to start working on your motivation instead of working on your psychology. The key thing that you must ask yourself before starting a business is, ‘why do you actually want to start this?’
You should be able to find something within yourself. This should not be just about money, but about freedom a boss who assigns you work, or freedom from having to go to work and sit in meetings or just sit in your home in your robe and work on your own schedule. That’s not enough to drive your business.
Your business should be about having an impact on the world in a positive way. Business should be about something that you are deeply interested in or care about – something that is meaningful to you.
Do not just start a business that just earns you money. This is really really a big trap. Even if you structure such kind of business and are able to earn money, but will still make you feel hollow inside, and eventually, you might have to drop that business because your soul will not be able to take it. Once you do that you are back to the initial stage that is starting the next business. So really consider what is meaningful. Find something that is really you – that will make your life much easier.
Creating The Time
From starting a business, to running and especially launching it; those initial years take so much of your emotional willpower, concentration, energy and most importantly your time. It’s very difficult to start a successful business – even a small business as a one man army – it’s really difficult to start and make it big and successful. And it becomes even more difficult when you have just a couple of hours every weekend.
Many of you, might not have the financial luxury to quit the job and work on your business idea full time. While working in a 9 to 5 shift, your only option remains is your nights and weekends. But, there is a flip side of this life too. Then, you will not have time for your own, your hobbies and even for relationships. The first two years of any business suck up a lot of time.
So, the idea here is to really think long term before starting, because, if successful, after a span of 5 years, the amount of free time that you will get will be sufficient to transform your life.
If you are motivated enough that the idea is really worth it, then start creating time for it. Keep doing it on weekends as it’s not a smart way to cut off your means of support. You should keep on generating other ways to create time for your business. Maybe you could start working part-time, or take your vacation time off and use it to build your business or you can take one day off of work every week.
Just see what’s possible for you. Maybe you have got little to start with and it will take you longer to get up and running, but at least you are doing something. Don’t be a victim of the fact that you don’t have time. You have the time, you just have to shift your priorities a little bit.
For starting a business, this is one of the biggest obstacles that people face. You might have the solution for an existing problem that you want to launch, market properly a website you want to build, a sort of organisation you want to create – and you just realised that you don’t have the capital for it.
The evolution of internet has made it possible to start a business in a low-cost effective way. For instance, one can start with $2000, and then put in the profits earned gradually to grow the business – this is what called bootstrapping. So the idea here is to start to bootstrap. A lot of ideas can be bootstrapped nowadays. You have to be clever, you have to be resourceful when you start.
For bootstrapping a business, you have to look for little shortcuts, little free avenues of publicity, cheap ways to get service and product created or may be just using your own time as a chief vehicle and a chief source of capital. Because your own time can be considered free in a sense that if you have got it, you could invest it in your product and then can generate a lot of capital as long as you are investing it smartly. However, if you are not able to bootstrap a business, then you should start saving up for it, or look for investors. Look for ways to convince people to invest in you. There are platforms like Kickstarter where people contribute for the cause. All of those are options you just have to think what will work for you.
The next thing is you must start to do a lot of research. Start reading about the market segment you want to get into; how business works; marketing, specifically in those areas where you want to apply it. You should start with understanding who your potential audience is, who will be your customers. Interview them, ask them questions, try to understand their psychology, understand what they really want, what are their desires, what are their biggest frustrations, biggest problems.
When you start understanding about your audience base, you can use that to optimise your product and your services and marketing ways to target that person. Basically, find and solve that person’s problem. This will help you gain a step above rest of the competition.
The best way to compete is research. It usually does not require much money but time and critical thinking skills. Do the research, understand your audiences and then craft something unique that really fits into what they want, so that they are really interested in buying.
To start a business, it is critical to understand what is going to sell in the market, especially when you are bootstrapping, where the business starts to pay for itself. And for that to happen, you really need to put something that people can buy.
One of the keys to building a product that audience love is to do an iterative type of business model, where you are really going up there and are not creating a full-fledged business model, product or service. You are just testing the waters and see what could potentially work.
So if you have got some sort of website that you want to create, you just put some bare bound version of that website and just see if even 1 or 2 people like it. The same thing could be done with another type of business. You have to have a proof of concept with feedback as soon as possible, to understand if it is working or not, and if people would be interested in paying for it. This process of trial and error will lead you to your perfect niche.