Stop Dreaming-Start Your New Business Now

Ready to get your head out of the clouds and make that business dream a reality? Find your inspiration, focus on the goal and take it one step at a time.

Beginnings have a unique way of infusing us with inspiration. New babies, an engagement ring and, of course, a brand new year! During these times, we leave our past struggles behind and look positively toward our future. We may make new promises to achieve our dreams or create something that will change the world in which we live.

These events all have one thing in common: They directly access the most powerful aspect of ourselves-our human spirit. It empowers us to put our heart and mind toward our goal to make it a reality.

Starting a new business happily taps into our spirit as well, because the process enlivens our heart and fuels our imagination-the linchpins of our existence. As an entrepreneur, your work is an expression of yourself. Without your ideas, beliefs, fortitude, skills and sense of adventure, your business cannot succeed.

In 2003, to create a business you will truly love, be human and get back to the basics. First, promise yourself that you will make 2003 your year to take action. In addition, you should:

  1. Believe in yourself. The only barrier to achieving your goal is your attitude. Beginnings are not the time to judge or doubt yourself, because it's self-confidence that wins people over. Stop worrying about the "what-ifs" and know that you will make the right decisions. It's OK if you don't have all the answers right now. Write the questions down and investigate. Belief influences reality, and the real energy you create will attract others who will provide the information you need to succeed.
  2. Buy yourself time. If you're just getting started, be sure to pick a specific time each week in which the only thing you do is work on your idea. Nothing will distract you-this is your time to do what needs to be done. Even if it is only a few hours per week, your own progress will inspire you to continually move forward.
  3. Uncover what inspires you most about your business. Write down your passion. Don't worry about being an accomplished writer or even about grammar or punctuation. What you're after is your intent-what starting your business will accomplish for your life, for your customers, for the economy and for your community. Your intent connects you to what truly makes your vision unique. Define your dream, connect with others and open a world of wonderful possibilities.

How to Make an Impact

People connect with benefit. An "instant impact" is a message that specifies how your business benefits others. Not just what the business is (a flower shop or a consulting firm), but the positive impact you will have. It helps you become known in the industry, so people can refer business contacts to you or become your customers. To create your own unique instant impact:

  • Write down your external intent. List how your business will benefit others. Write down any words or phrases that come to mind. Do not edit or delete any words yet. You can start by finishing the following statement: "My business will help people to."
  • Circle key descriptive words. These are words that resonate with your heart. Circle the words that appeal to you.
  • Create your message. Write one or two sentences using the circled key words. Then say each sentence aloud as though you were telling someone about your business at a cocktail party. Rewrite the sentences until you feel that others will easily understand your business and its benefits.
  • Test your instant impact on friends, family and colleagues. Tell people your message and ask if they understand your intent. Consider their input and revise your instant impact accordingly.
  • Use it all the time. When someone asks how your business is doing, start with your instant impact. Let people know about the unique benefit your business offers by putting your message on everything: your business cards, brochures, Web site and even voice-mail greeting. The more that people hear about your business, the more they can help grow it.
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This article was originally published in the December 2002 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Stop Dreaming-Start Your New Business Now.

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