From the June 2009 issue of Startups

"When do I begin?" This question halts budding entrepreneurs in their tracks, as their fears mount and self-doubt sets in. "I don't have enough time right now." "I'm looking for the million-dollar idea." "I should wait for the economy to improve." Those are some of the most common excuses I've heard people use to explain why they haven't started their own business.

The fact that you're even thinking about starting a business means you've already begun. You've taken the first step by asking for help and searching for answers. There will always be challenges, no matter when you decide to start your business. To succeed, your goal is simple: Define your business concept to the best of your ability, test it out and adjust it as you discover what will work.

The greatest aspect of being an entrepreneur is that there are no rules to follow. You don't need more experience or money to start; you can go for your dream right now. To help you get going, here are four tips:

  1. Define your passion in writing. If you keep an idea in your mind, that's as far as it can develop. Writing down your concept helps you focus on how to make it a business. By clearly defining your idea, your imagination, heart and intellect can begin to work together to make it a reality.
  2. Keep an open mind and trust your instincts. This is not the time to judge your abilities or your experience. Tell yourself that you can and will discover how to make your dream business a reality. Find people who can help. Small-business owners usually enjoy sharing their experiences. Listen to them and get real-life direction, knowledge and tools that will move you forward faster.
  3. Buy yourself time. Pick a specific time each week when the only thing you do is work on developing your business. Don't let anything distract you; this is your special time to go for your dream.
  4. Test out your idea and be willing to adjust it. You will be successful if you take action and make adjustments to your idea by analyzing the information you receive. Allow your business concept to be shaped and molded by your research, friendly suggestions and other information you gather along the way.

By simply having a dream, you have already taken the first step to achieving your goals; now, get ready for the ride of your life. Drop all of the excuses, jump in with both feet and trust your instincts. You will uncover the resources, people and strategies you need to succeed.

Speaker and consultant Romanus Wolter, aka "The Kick Start Guy," is the author of Kick Start Your Dream Business. Write to him atromanus@kickstartguy.com.