21. Start small. You don't need to start your business with a big bang. Be realistic and ask yourself, "What do I really need to start a business?" Then start. One client came to me thinking he needed a $25,000 loan to start. He left realizing he could start his business without any loan at all.
22. Say no when you mean no and yes when you mean yes. Next time you're asked to do something, say yes or no depending on what you really want to do. If you haven't decided yet, say, "I'll have to get back to you." One of my clients practiced this exercise, and it expanded her sense of self-worth, resulting in her raising her consulting fees.
23. Resist self-judgment. If you hear yourself saying things like "That's a stupid idea," gently remind yourself that you're choosing to accept yourself as you start and grow your business. My clients often find that as they become more accepting of themselves, new and creative ideas come to them to help grow their businesses.
24. Stay out of overwhelm. Next time you feel overwhelmed, write down what situation, thought or feeling prompted you to feel overwhelmed. Do this each time you are overwhelmed until you see patterns develop, and then decide what action you need to take to stay out of overwhelm. One client realized that paying bills was overwhelming, and he constantly paid bills late. The actions he took included meeting with an accountant, paying bills on a schedule and getting accounting software.
25. Expect resistance. You can expect to feel resistance within yourself as well as from those around you. Work through resistance by acknowledging it and doing what you need to do anyway. I remember feeling excited about facilitating a planning session, something I had never done before. The night before the session, the excitement turned to resistance and fear. I felt the resistance, got through it, and have been facilitating planning sessions for three years now.
26. Answer your "what ifs." What if it doesn't work out? What if I don't make any money? Use your journal to write down your what ifs, and answer them. For example, to answer "What if I don't make any money?" you may respond, "I can get a part-time job while building my business."
27. Practice patience. Next time you're in a traffic jam or waiting in a line, practice patience. One client discovered that by practicing patience, he became more patient with himself and the process of entrepreneurship.
28. Overcome the "not good enough" syndrome. I've seen clients miss opportunities when they turned down or did not pursue projects because they thought they didn't have the right selling skills, the right brochure or the right product. The next time you feel compelled to turn down an opportunity, figure out what would be necessary for you to accept it. Realize that you know enough to grab that opportunity today.
29. Ask for help. When you're most challenged and least likely to ask for help, reach out and ask. That's the time you need it most. My clients and I can attest to the power and clarity that comes from asking for help when we least want to ask for it.
30. Trust your instincts. Others may tell you that you're crazy for giving up a good job or for starting a business. But no one knows you as well as you. Trust what you know, and take action accordingly. The more you act on your instincts, the more instinctive you will become. Trusting my instincts led me to become the entrepreneur that I am today.
31. Treat yourself with tlc. Seek to meet your mental, physical, spiritual and emotional needs by finding balance in all you do. My clients have found that they have more creative energy and can accomplish tasks in less time when they take good care of themselves.
Enjoy the journey!
Books that can help you on your personal entrepreneurial journey include:
- Do What You Love and the Money Will Follow: Discovering Your Right Livelihood by Marsha Sinetar: Provides techniques for self-discovery
- Entrepreneur or Employee: Should You Get Out or Stay In Your Current Job? by Ken Chane: Shares common pitfalls when making major career decisions
- The Highest Goal: The Secret That Sustains You in Every Moment by Michael Ray: Combines practical business advice with spiritual motivation and creative insights
- I Could Do Anything If Only I Knew What It Was: How to Discover What You Really Want and How to Get It by Barbara Sher: Helps you recapture long-lost goals and overcome the blocks that inhibit your success
- The Intuitive Way: A Guide to Living From Inner Wisdom by Penney Peirce: Helps you learn to listen to your intuitive wisdom
- Making a Living Without a Job: Winning Ways for Creating Work That You Love by Barbara Winter: Offers insight-provoking self-evaluations, charts and checklists
- The McGraw-Hill Guide to Starting Your Own Business: A Step-By-Step Blueprint For the First-Time Entrepreneur by Stephen C. Harper: A helpful, step-by-step tool for new entrepreneurs
- The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success: A Practical Guide to the Fulfillment of Your Dreams (Based on Creating Affluence) by Deepak Chopra: Helpful for dealing with uncertainty and the unknown
- Success@Life: A Zentrepreneur's Guide--How to Catch and Live Your Dream by Ron Rubin and Stuart Avery Gold: Combines ancient wisdom with sound business practices
- Successful Business Planning in 30 Days by Peter J. Patsula: Shares the essentials for writing a business plan