Happy with your day job? If so, you’re in the minority. 55% of Americans are not happy with their work and wish they could be doing something else, according to the latest study by The Conference Board, reflecting the highest dissatisfaction level in the 22-year history of the study. In just one year (from 2008 to 2009) [...]Continue Reading
Posts Tagged “starting a business”
Excited to share the news: ABC News Now’s Tory Johnson just highlighted select winners from the 2009 StartupNation Home-Based 100. Click on the image here to view the interview or select “Play ABC Video.” I was able to mention these winners in the quick interview: Haralee Weintraub’s Haralee.com Joe Hansen and Cristy Stewart-Harfmann’s PricelessProfiles.com, and [...]Continue Reading
A friend of mine is thinking of starting her own insurance business, but she can’t leave her full time job until she’s tested the waters and determines if she has what it takes or if there is enough demand for her offering. We talked about the kind of marketing practices she could dabble in that [...]Continue Reading
Let’s face it. The first step is always the hardest. Whether you’re trying to quit smoking, start graduate school, or learn how to play guitar. It’s that first step that leaves us feeling awkward, inadequate, and questioning our conviction. Taking that first step toward entrepreneurship is no different. We question our business skills, product performance, and financial competency. The dreaded, “what if I can’t do it?” question creeps into our daily thoughts. We start reasoning that it might be better to “just wait another year.”
These fears are extremely common and unfortunately well founded. Reports show that as much as 50% of all new start-ups fail within the first year. That is not exactly encouraging odds. However, we all have a choice when it comes to creating our destiny. We can use statistics like these to confirm our business’s certain death, or gain confidence from the fact that you could be part of the 50% that become a success. In the famous words of Zig Ziglar, you just have to eliminate your “Stinkin’ Thinkin’”.
One of the tools I use to overcome my fears is mind mapping. It’s a terrific tool that can help you isolate the source of your fears, bring much needed perspective, and help brainstorm solutions to your sticking points. There are several “mind mapping” tools out there and many are free to use. I prefer to use the tool by Wisemapping since it’s free, allows me to add notes and web links, and I can publish or share the completed map.
To demonstrate my fear mind mapping strategy, I’ve created an example below.
First, I outline my top fears associated with starting the business. I then brainstorm how I can overcome those fears. My final step will be answering those questions. My goal is to find a positive solution to each of the questions I’ve asked. For example, for the question, “Can I reduce my startup costs with outsourcing?” I would research potential manufacturing possibilities until I could answer the question with a “yes.” If I can’t find a way, I then brainstorm ways to overcome the obstacle. A “no” isn’t necessarily bad, it just means you need to tweak your business plan to compensate for this reality. Try to be as thorough and honest as possible with your mind map. The goal is to solve your sticking points on paper before you’ve invested your time and money. I use this tool regularly for many of my business decisions including product launches, partnership agreements, and even potential marketing opportunities.
It’s amazing what this simple exercise can do for your confidence level. You are no longer living in fear of the unknown. Instead, you are on a mission with a powerful road map to your business’s success.
Let’s face it. The first step is always the hardest. Whether you’re trying to quit smoking, start graduate school, or learn how to play guitar. It’s that first step that leaves us feeling awkward, inadequate, and questioning our conviction. Taking that first step toward entrepreneurship is no different. We question our business skills, product performance, [...]Continue Reading
It’s a recession. Entrepreneurs and small business owners can’t get money. Some can’t even make payroll. So why would starting a business in a recession be a great idea? Here’s why: Time to practice. Recessions are the pre-season: Do you think Kobe Bryant starts hitting the gym in October? Business, like basketball, takes preparation, training, [...]Continue Reading
It’s early in the morning, and I am answering another e-mail from a brand new entrepreneur. He “needs” a press release written ASAP. I respond to discover more information. Basically, he’s another new business owner offering a significant discount for his new product. Now, this may have involved a lot of time and work [...]Continue Reading
I just returned from a visit to Detroit. My Aunt Margaret died unexpectedly, and I wanted to pay my respects to this wonderful woman who touched the lives of everyone she met. It just goes to show you that things can happen when you least expect it…whether you are ready or not. With this in [...]Continue Reading
To coin a phrase, everything old is cool again, and it took a woodworker who thought just like that to come up with our cool company of the day. Tom Bashara started his Colorado Springs-based e-tail business, Turn Your Head, in 2004 after thinking up a unique way to preserve his little girls’ faces as [...]Continue Reading
We love red wine – a lot. It’s partly the flavor, partly the infinite variety and nuances of taste, partly knowing the work and thinking that goes into that taste, partly the history and concept of it, and partly it’s that it’s supposedly healthy for you in good measure. But remembering your favorites, storing the [...]Continue Reading
My mom died exactly 4 years ago today. She is the sweetest lady I have ever known. Now, after four years, I can think about her and not remember so much the 4-year cancer battle or the way her body failed her those last months. I remember her vibrant, smiling, lovely countenance. My mom, the [...]Continue Reading
I blogged about this 10 days ago but something caught my eye this afternoon that caused me to revisit, even perseverate a bit on, the issue again. There is a tendency for first-time entrepreneurs to go with the “it’s never been done before in the history of humankind” excitement & strategy when starting a small [...]Continue Reading
When Dale Begg-Smith (who grew up in Canada but raced the moguls for Australia) won the gold medal, they kept referring to him as a millionaire. I heard he started an online company at 13 or 14 and was purportedly worth 40 million dollars today– at 21!. I wanted to know what kind of business [...]Continue Reading