Why do you put on clothes? How come you eat food?
Of all the questions human beings have asked through the ages, the single question of "why" may be the most important. Following directly on the heels of that single-word question is the other big one: "how?"
There isn`t a single action anyone ever takes that doesn`t have a "why" at the root of that action. It may not even be a conscious action, but it still rests on a "why." For example, you may fall over unconscious one afternoon. Why?
And yet, people want to start a business all the time. Why? Few people know. It`s a mystery.
Let`s say you want to start a business in the coming months. You`d like to sell a service, something you know how to do well. You`re worried that you may lose your job with an employer, so you want to go out on your own and be the master of your own destiny.
Now let`s change that scenario just a tiny little bit.
Let`s now say that you come home one afternoon to discover your family and children are gone. In their place are four very big, ugly, mean, scary dudes with guns and explosives. They tell you that unless you start a business and get it running within 4 weeks, they`ll kill you, your spouse, and your children.
How important is your intention at any given time? What will you give up in order to put into action your intent? You say you "intend" to write a business plan. Okay, that`s fine. Which is more important...going to work tomorrow or writing the business plan?
You say you want to start a business. Which is more important, having food to eat tomorrow night or starting the business?
How clear is your vision of what it is you intend to do? If you were asked to do a speech about it, could you speak for 1 hour in front of 100 people? Would you hold their interest?
Suppose you had to do a photo essay on what you hope to accomplish. You`re allowed to take pictures on your own, or use pictures you find anywhere else in the world. The requirement is that you have 30 pages of photographs that graphically explain exactly what you want to accomplish. Could you do it?
We only act on those things that we take seriously. To deliberate means to think carefully about something. It does NOT mean a whimsical fancy, dreamed up in a slap-dash fashion one morning while drinking coffee.
Inspiration can come instantly, already formed, in that moment while we`re taking a sip of coffee. But inspiration isn`t at all the same thing as deliberation.
The key to the 10 Steps of starting a business, written about by the Sloan brothers, here on Startup Nation, is the Life Plan. It doesn`t have to be an actual plan! What mattes is that you have a vision of exactly what you`ll look like at a point in the future.
People in job interviews like to ask where you see yourself in 5 years. Well, where DO you see yourself in 5 years? More importantly, how clearly do you see yourself? What kind of house are you living in? What sort of car are you driving? What model? What color? Where are you driving to?
Focus! That`s the point of all this. You say you "need" to pay off your bills, right? Okay...fine. Now suppose someone hold a gun to your wife`s head and tells you that unless you pay off those bills, she`ll be killed. Now how important is paying off those bills?
Figure out what`s different between what you need, and what you want. Then figure out what`s different about what you want, and what you wish you could have. Until and unless your intention is something you *need* to have, you likely won`t do it.