So, you’ve decided to take the plunge and start your own business… Congratulations! Deciding to start a business – whether you’re doing so to earn money to supplement your income or you’re trying to build a business empire – is a huge decision, one that you may have spent months agonizing over. However, now that you’ve decided to give it a go, you may be feeling a mix of emotions and thoughts, from excitement to utter fear. This is all totally normal! Most new business owners (heck, even seasoned business owners, from time to time) feel this way, and while excitement is the one feeling that may dominate all the others, you may also feel the tug of self-doubt. In fact, self-doubt may be the silver bullet that kills many new businesses before they launch off the ground.
Self-doubt often takes the form of that voice – you know the one – that you hear from time to time that loudly voices its criticism, whether you want to hear it or not. It diminishes your confidence and makes you feel less-than; it plants the seed of doubt and makes you feel that maybe you can’t do this, maybe this is the wrong time, maybe you won’t achieve success. All of this is wrong, and deep-down we may know that; however, as the voice continues to shout, it feeds the seed of doubt, until it grows roots and leaves and becomes difficult to evict from your mind.
As the seed of doubt threatens to flower, we may begin to listen more intently to it, becoming convinced that it’s right and then many of us throw in the towel and shut up shop, regardless of whether we’ve been in business for 10 years or 10 minutes.
But, it doesn’t have to be that way…
There are three doubts that run rampant among business owners, especially when they’re first starting out. However, these thoughts often have a resurgence right around the time the business owner begins to think about growing the business. Here are the most common doubts and how to shut them down.
“I’m not sure this is a good time.”
Maybe you’re already working full-time in a job you’re less than excited about and you dream of working for yourself. Or perhaps you’re a stay-at-home-parent who’d like to add to the household coffers and want the flexibility of working around your children’s schedule. Starting your own network marketing business ticks all the boxes you need to build a great income while working for yourself.
But, then the doubt sets in. “You can’t quit your full-time job,” it says, “you need the steady income, benefits, 401(k), etc. and just don’t have the time to fit it into your day.” or “Running a business is a full-time job, silly. Between shuttling the kids to school, managing the household and running the kids around to all of their activities after school and on the weekends, you’re foolish to think you actually have any time for a business.”
Worse yet, this doubt often leads you to falsely believe that some point in the future will be a better time to start a business.
The truth is this: there is no perfect time to start a business. Just like there’s no such thing as the perfect time to get married or the perfect time to have kids, there’s also no perfect time to start a business. The only time that comes close is the present.
Many of us are so afraid of uncertainty that we let it hold us back, and in the process, we don’t reach our potential for success. Instead of worrying about starting at the perfect time, focus on creating a solid foundation for your business by developing relationships with your current and potential customers, prospects, and distributors. Once that is shored up, anytime becomes the perfect time.
“Embrace uncertainty. Some of the most beautiful chapters in our lives won’t have a title until much later.” – Bob Goff
“I’m not qualified to start a business.”
Think you need a college degree to start a business? Tell that to Mark Zuckerberg or Bill Gates. Think you need years of sales experience and a clever story about selling lemons door-to-door as a precocious 7-year-old to lead a successful business? Think again. Many of us think we need some sort of special qualifications to start a business, and this thought is often reinforced by our near worship of popular celebrity entrepreneurs. We look at Oprah and Elon Musk and think, “they have a natural gift; one that I don’t have. I’ll never be successful.” Well, that’s just hogwash. Many of us aren’t aware of all the natural gifts and abilities that we possess. We take them for granted, not understanding that our gift for listening, our intuition, our drive, etc. are all critical to any business.
“You must either modify your dreams or magnify your skills.” – Jim Rohn
This doesn’t mean that you have to toss your dreams aside like a stinky sock stuck in your son’s football cleats; instead, adjust them.
Break your dream down into smaller pieces and then work on one piece at a time.
Then as you grow, grow your skills to match the weight and scale of your dreams and goals.
- Take stock of what you know. Take some time to review your life and the gifts and abilities you have. You can think about work and volunteer positions you’ve held to pinpoint where you excel, for example. Write them down.
- Commit to training. Once you’ve identified your skills, think of ways you can improve them. One way is to enroll in training to help you sharpen your skills and learn new tips and strategies to continue to improve them.
- Commit to self-improvement. Another way to improve your skills is through self-improvement. This means listening to podcasts, reading, etc. Sometimes the best way to sharpen our own skills is to learn from the experiences of others.
“I’m not a businessperson. People will see I’m an imposter.”
Ah, imposter syndrome; the all-too-common affliction in which we become absolutely convinced that we’re just not worthy of success, wealth, to achieve our dreams, etc. Here’s a little secret: even the most successful people suffer from imposter syndrome at some point in their careers. Even after they’re reached fortune and fame they may still become paralyzed at the thought that someone will find out they’re fakes, that their fame was an accident or a big mistake and the rightful owner of their fame and fortune will come out of the woodwork to claim it. Or they constantly compare themselves to others and grow more and more depressed that they’re not achieving their goals fast enough or earning as much money as they should be.
Of course, none of this is based in reality.
It’s all based on the awful fears we all harbor from time to time. The fears tell us that we’re not good enough or smart enough; that we’re foolish to want more and to aspire to more than what we’ve earned so far. Is any of this true? No. If our best friends were spouting this nonsense about themselves, would we quickly try to refocus them on all of their positive attributes? Of course. But, for some reason, when it’s ourselves in this situation, we often give into that horrible internal voice that tells us we’re giant imposters.
Focusing Beyond Yourself
So, how can you stop feeling like an imposter? Live with purpose. When you’ve found your purpose, you’re less likely to compare yourself to others – you don’t need to; you’re on your own path. Your purpose helps you focus beyond yourself so that you can do the things you need to do to succeed without falling prey to the excuses that keep you from getting there. Your purpose becomes what drives you to cope with setbacks, rally to do your activities every day and stay the course until you reach success.
3 essential purpose-driven questions
- What’s your purpose?
- How can your purpose help you build and grow a thriving business?
- What can you do to help you stay true to your purpose and keep doubt and imposter syndrome away?
One way to stay true to your purpose and build a successful business is to commit to a system like Teamzy. Teamzy is more than a CRM – it’s an effective way to create a strong business built on your relationships. The more you strengthen and build your relationships with your current and potential customers, prospects, and distributors, the stronger the foundation of your business will be. Your relationships will be the biggest drivers of your business, both through the business they do with you and in the recommendations, they make to the people they know. What better way to squelch imposter syndrome than with the adoring adulations of your strongest advocates?
Teamzy is a powerful tool to have, whether you’re just launching your business or you’re an experienced professional. Visit Teamzy.com to learn more.