“Thinking will not overcome fear but action will.” W. Clement Stone
First off, I’ve been there.
I’ve read, I’ve wished for things to happen, and I’ve waited for someone to give me the permission to go for what I want in life. And nobody came.
At times I still find myself sliding back into the same mental state. I don’t think it’s all that uncommon, but it’s somewhat rare to find people who are aware of it. And if you’re self-aware, you’ve got a major advantage right there.
I was having a chat with an aspiring entrepreneur who said:
“I have deeply felt that in order to effectively read the book you have to live it.”
Bullseye! That’s precisely the right mindset and attitude to have when reading.
But the second part of the equation was: “I am cautious about starting my own business. I don’t know when I am qualified for this.”
This is a concept that people have a hard time dealing with. It’s one thing to understand what I’m about to say next, and another to feel and act on:
Nobody knows what the hell they’re doing.
What I mean by that is that no one who’s ever started a business knew for certain that they were “qualified”, “ready”, and had all the details figured out.
Nobody gave them a certificate that said: “Congratulations! You’re now qualified to start your own venture!”
And schools that give that kind of a certificate still can’t guarantee that these people are good at anything other than coming up with the “right answers” on a test. That isn’t the proper way to measure whether or not an entrepreneur/business person has got what it takes to make it.
A lot of people were betting against people like Oprah Winfrey, Richard Branson, Steve Jobs, Barbara Corcoran, Gary Vaynerchuk, Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, etc. And I can tell you from listening to and reading up on them that none of them had the complete game plan before starting.
Sure, they had a general idea of where they wanted to go, but it wasn’t a plan where each step was carefully planned out. They started working on something, took steps in the direction they wanted to go, saw what worked, what didn’t, and adjusted as they went along. Also, they failed from time to time. Sometimes having to take 10 steps back before taking one step forward.
I can’t say for sure what you should do, and I’m definitely not as successful as any of the people listed above. But some people have this need to drop everything and jump in without a safety net. That’s just how they’re wired, and they realize that unless they gamble all their chips on this one thing, they won’t do it at all.
For others, it’s better to go a safer and more “calculated” route. This is not to say that everything needs to be meticulously planned, but a rough sketch of what needs to be done in order to get things going and running semi-smoothly for the first couple of months at least.
You could work on it in the evenings and weekends, do some work in the field for free (I know, some people say you shouldn’t) to get experience and referrals.
Yes, you should read books, listen to people with experience in the field, and make preparations both financially and emotionally.
The only things I feel you shouldn’t do is to wait too long before at least starting on your business.
No amount of books or preparation is going to give you as much valuable information as putting something out in the world and getting direct feedback from the “market”.
If you can start at a small scale during your free time to see if your business has a shot at working, then that’s far better than to save up $10.000, quit your job, only to realize that you burned all your cash after 6 months and failed.
However, that’s also a valuable experience so if you’re one of those people who’s got the mindset to go for it, then it might be beneficial in the long term.
Start by asking yourself what the “minimum viable product” is in your case. The most basic “proof of concept” you can put out there.
There more of your ideas you put out there, the more people you’ll attract who you can help, and who in turn can help you.
There’s nothing more attractive than someone who actually creates.
My point is this: Don’t just read about it and wish for it, go out there and live it.
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Have a kick-ass ₢eative day!