There is a balance between “just doing it” and “taking time to get clear on what you really want” that isn’t discussed enough in business conversations.
In many business books and at business events the author or speaker on stage always recommends starting before you are ready because fears in your head will hold you back. And as an entrepreneur with eight years of experience and lessons behind me, I can honestly say that I agree with that recommendation, but only to a certain degree.
When I started my first business, I took the advice of “starting before I was ready” and on one hand, I am glad that I did because if I never got started I never would have had the experiences and the chance to learn what I now know.
But on the other hand, I wish I hadn’t spent as many years as I did focused on building a business that honestly didn’t excite me or align with the goals I had for my life.
When I started my first business, I started with a business idea that was based on my professional skills and corporate background as that seemed to be the most “logical” business step. My degree and corporate background was in public relations, so I started a public relations business that targeted corporate clients because I thought this client base would be the easiest to secure given my background and I also knew corporations had accounting departments which meant they could make on-time payments.
At no point when starting my business did I ask myself “what do I really like to do?”
So what ended up happening was that I built a business where I started to focus only on the money and getting bigger and bigger level clients. I eventually became a slave to my business and had no enjoyment.And what I WISH someone had told me when I was starting that business is …
If you are going to build a business you have to make sure that it is the RIGHT business for you and not just one that you think sounds right or that you think will make you the most money — because you will have a really hard time and it will not serve you!
For most women, after the point of meeting your base expenses, money loses its motivating power; which means if your heart is not truly in the business you build, everything you do after the point of base survival, will feel really hard and unfulfilling.
With experience and a changed outlook, I am now on a mission to help other women build businesses that are right for them from the very start, so they don’t have to lose years focusing on the wrong idea.
Here three steps that I think every woman in the beginning stages of entrepreneurship should consider:
1: Reopen yourself to the idea of actually doing what you love
If you’ve been working in corporate or in a very structured and logical environment for a while, the thought of actually doing what you love and getting paid from it may be hard for you to wrap your head around. If you are going to build a business, you have to make sure it’s the right business for you and the answer to what that is, is not in your head — it is in your heart.
2: Create a Vision For your Life
Your business should fuel the life you want. At the heart of everything we do — whether that’s being in a job and doing our best on that job, or being an entrepreneur and trying to make our business work — locking into a vision you have for yourself and your life is what will give you the fuel to keep going. So take some time to really think about what you want for your life and then work backwards from there by asking yourself “will opening this specific business help me move towards what I want?”
3: Then Start your Business
Once you have an idea of what you want your life to look like and you know how you want that business to contribute to your bigger life vision — this is when you should JUST START DOING IT. Ask yourself what needs to happen to make this business idea a business and start working on that business.
Even though it took me a few years to learn and realize the importance of the above, I don’t regret my entrepreneurial journey because it has put me in the position where I can now help other women start out on the right track for them.
So the question now is, what business do you really want to build?
You are welcome to grab a copy of my free Start The Right Business workbook if you need help on gaining clarity on how to get started, you can access it here www.samanthawhittaker.com/freeguide
Originally published at medium.com