Many people wait years before they start a business. There are many things that can hold you back from finding the motivation necessary to get started.
When I first started my business at 24, I definitely had hundreds of reasons why I wasn’t ready. At the end of the day, I really had to question my own self-limiting beliefs to find the motivation necessary to start a business for the first time.
Some of these blockers are psychological, such as a fear of failure or what others will think. Other blockers are more practical, like not having a clue about what to sell or how to build a sales funnel.
This post is going to help you find the motivation to push past some of these barriers.
Find the motivation to start a business by understanding your abilities
The biggest excuse people use to put off starting their business is that they don’t feel ready. What people fail to realize is a lot of life happens when you are not ready for it.
A lot of people get promotions before they have all the skills necessary to do the job! Most new parents can probably tell you how unprepared they felt to take care of another living, breathing being.
Another excuse is that you may not know what kind of business you have the ability to start. Even that can be easily solved by checking out a list of small business ideas! In 2022, the internet makes it super easy to learn new skills and start new businesses.
Here are some ways you can feel more confident in your ability to start a business:
I purposely left this category broad because there are so many different ways to accomplish this. You can do things the more traditional way and go to a university or you can teach yourself.
Did you know that if you google “MBA reading list” you will find exactly the kinds of books that people pay $30,000+ a year to read at a university?
Sure, part of the learning experience comes from interacting with others. However, I’d think that practical application of what you are learning in real-time would be a good substitute!
You can even take online courses through Coursera that give you a more structured learning environment. For example, I am currently taking the Google Project Management Certificate Program because so many of these skills can be applied to my business. So not only am I learning new things, but I will have something to add to my resume to show the work I’ve put in!.
Identify your weaknesses and strengths
A lot of people aren’t honest with themselves. It takes a lot of strength to look yourself in the mirror and acknowledge when you’ve messed up on something or have no idea what you are doing.
If you get comfortable with being realistic (not mean!) about your abilities then you will be able to better prioritize your tasks.
As funny as it sounds, your business isn’t about you! It is about your clients, the value you can provide, and the important processes that will help you get there.
Addressing business weaknesses
For weaknesses, decide how it is best to tackle them. Make sure you think about how much time the task is taking you, if you could be making more money handling other aspects of your business, and if it makes sense for you to invest time in learning the skill.
Thinking about the business impact versus just the dollar amount can help you make better decisions. This is what it is like to start thinking like a CEO!
Then, you need to decide on the course of action to remove the weakness. You can deprioritize these tasks in favor of optimizing your strengths, which may lead to a quicker ROI.
You can find ways to improve through educating yourself, which may be a great long-term choice if the task is complementary to your existing skills. Or you can outsource to someone with experience who can make a higher quality product in a fraction of the time it would have taken yourself.
Capitalizing on business strengths
For strengths, figure out how you can speed up your process. Since you are already an expert, it should be easier for you to find ways to obtain the same result faster. This gives you more time to improve your weaknesses or increase your volume of activities!
Keep in mind that just because you are really good at something doesn’t mean that you should be doing it all the time. For example, running a social media account is great if you are good at engaging and increasing your following.
If you end up spending so much time on this activity that it starts to impact your revenue, then there is something that needs to be done (like automation!). At the end of the day, you must keep revenue-producing activities as your north star or you will get caught up doing “busy work“.
Find the motivation to start a business for the first time by changing your mindset
It’s funny, but as I sit here editing this article at 6:30 am, I see a relevant quote from my web browser extension.
This is one of the things that people do not understand when they see successful people. Behind every successful person is a story that probably includes many times where they either flat out failed or almost gave up completely.
Finding success isn’t about not failing. It’s about persevering despite your obstacles. Actually, a lot of times I use my obstacles to fuel my motivation!
You will find the motivation to start a business when you start thinking about your problems as obstacles that can be overcome
If you think you are too young, find a mentor.
Don’t have enough money? Build a side income that can help you put money into the business.
Do you lack the time? Then do it on your lunch break. Wake up one hour earlier. Outsource if it makes financial sense to do so!
Do the math
Instead of thinking about what it costs you to get started (time, money, etc.), think about how much it would cost you to not do it now!
To use blogs as an example, most posts take about 8 months to rank on page one of Google and you’ll need about 100 posts to start seeing any significant traffic. How many years will it take you to get there if you only write 2 a month?
If you are looking for a bit more motivation on this topic, check out my post, Don’t wait for opportunity, create it!
Look for other motivated people
The old saying that you are the sum of your 5 closest friends is true. It is really hard to keep motivated if you are hanging out with the kind of people who only want to party every weekend.
Maybe it’s a bit nerdy, but my fiance and I have always loved spending part of our weekends at a cafe working on our side projects. This quickly became a routine for us and made work feel like something we wanted to do versus had to do.
When I quit my job to travel the world, there was one very simple reason behind it. I had been complaining about my life for too long. My frustrations about feeling stagnant eventually became the main topic whenever I spent time with family and friends. And it sucked.
One day, I had gotten so tired of hearing myself complain that I decided to do something about it. Within days of realizing this, I ended up finally taking action. Did I have the money set aside? No. Was I prepared? No. Did I do it anyway? Yes.
And once I committed to taking action by quitting my job, I had to find the motivation to make it work out! (Though I would highly recommend having several months of savings or a side hustle before you do anything this drastic!)
Find the motivation to start a business by taking practical steps
- Make a business plan
- Create a calendar of prioritized tasks
- Decide what tools you need and calculate their costs
- Spend one month getting ready before you launch
- Understand how your monetization will work and how many sales you need to break even, make a profit, and build a full-time income.
- Find even more ways to monetize. There are always more! Whether it is an upsell, a bundled deal, a pay in advance discount… find the many different ways to increase your profits off of one deal.
Rome wasn’t built in a day
The hardest part about building a successful business for the first time is that it takes a while to actually feel like you are successful. You may have little moments of success, like getting your first client, but chances are you may have to wait a while for the big successes.
In a world that is used to instant gratification, this can be a really hard pill to swallow. That is why you need to make a plan, follow the steps, appreciate your small wins, and keep your eye on the prize.
And above all else, you’ve got to rise and grind.
Are you working on a business? What steps are you taking to become successful this month? Let me know in the comments!
Kathryn Rucker is a sales consultant and content writer. With 7+ years of sales experience, she is passionate about helping businesses and individuals grow their sales pipelines by improving their online presence.