Due to the current climate, it seems more and more people are losing their jobs, to support themselves and their families, people are shifting towards being business owners and/or entrepreneurs. People suddenly realize the value of having a business or venture, which means that they’ll never have to worry about being fired or made redundant by their employer.
I realized this many years ago and decided to take it upon myself to build something that was solely mine.
The journey to starting my business took years, 10+ years to be precise. When I was much younger, I knew that I wanted to be an entrepreneur, I yearned to call the shots, to make all the strategic decisions, and most importantly, I wanted freedom. But the road to starting and now having a successful business wasn’t filled with rainbows and roses… far from it. It was filled with years of research, tears, sleepless nights, and my conscience telling me I was crazy to even consider this entrepreneurship thing.
I faced countless obstacles (internal and external) that quite literally hindered me from making my business a reality. I knew my dreams were important, but actions are actually what make those dreams a reality…
The top 3 obstacles that “tried” to stand in the way of me building my business, growing, and scaling it to success and how I overcame these obstacles were crucial to my success as a business owner.
I know many people have faced the same or similar issues, so just wait… stick with me, and you’ll have a blueprint to overcoming them.
The Three Obstacles That Tried To Stand In My Way of building my business:
Self-doubt & Confidence
Although no one ever believes me, I’m an introvert. I guess this means that the hard work I put into breaking out of my shell has paid off significantly. I always struggled with self-confidence and speaking up for myself. I used to be a timid child, and today my mum still reminds me of how terrified she was because she didn’t want people to take advantage of me or treat me less than.
My shyness came from self-doubt and confidence. I didn’t think my thoughts or opinions were important enough, I didn’t believe I was good enough, and I certainly didn’t believe that anyone would be interested in anything I had to say. This slowly crept into my mind when I danced around the idea of starting my business, and I thought to myself, who was I to charge people to work with me.
There’s a quote I often recall: “I’m not like anyone else, that’s my face on my ID, which makes me VIP. No one exactly like me, no one with my fingerprints”. But it wasn’t enough to just say or think it, I had to believe it.
I had to train my thoughts and beliefs, reminding myself that we are the sum of our own choices, actions, and experiences. Our experiences shape who we are, and they cannot be faked. In other words, no two people are the same, we are unique, and no one can take that from us. So, there’s always someone who’ll resonate with our experiences, capabilities, value proposition, and story.
Once I understood this, I completely decimated self-doubt. I had a unique point of view, and I had the knowledge to share, so I just had to find the people who would listen. The ideal clients or students who’ll resonate with my story, or at least, help them to find me.
Getting anything or anywhere is all about who you know. This can be the difference between you being able to quickly and successfully scale your business to you spending years trying to hustle your way to success. Being an introvert, I still struggle with networking, but again, you’ll never know. I started by building my online connections with people who are doing the same thing I wanted to do and eventually branched out to in-person events.
I also connected with people who serve my ideal clients similarly or differently. Then I began building relationships with them, and eventually, they started to promote me and my business. It’s one of the quickest ways to get in front of your ideal clients, getting them to see your message. So many business owners and/or entrepreneurs spend months and even years, trying to hustle their way through to success when fast growth can be achieved by networking.
Go to places that your ideal clients are, and places that allow you to connect with other business owners in your niche or in a similar niche. Learn from them and build relationships that you can leverage to grow your business and provide value to your customers.
The easiest way to get over your fear of networking is by doing it. Try talking to 4 or more random strangers daily, you don’t have to say anything mind-blowing. Talk about their outfit, their shoes, the weather, the atmosphere, anything. It’ll help you to eliminate the fear of networking, and you’ll begin to enjoy creating new connections. “Your Network is your Net Worth”
You have to master the craft of marketing yourself, your products, and your services. You can’t launch a website and expect your ideal customers to find you. There’ll be crickets… To understand marketing, you need to know that, in reality, marketing occurs in everyday life. On meeting a stranger, we’re marketing ourselves, who we are, our beliefs, and values. Immediately after, we decide if that person would be a good friend, partner, or whatever you’re looking for.
In other words, when we apply this to our business, we’re marketing ourselves, our products/services, and, most importantly, our beliefs and values. Your Clients want to feel connected to you, so sharing more about who you are, what you value, and what you believe will always help to build a deep connection with your ideal client.
I had a bad habit of underselling or underestimating my accomplishments, who I am, and what I bring to the table. Don’t let that be your story. All I knew was that dreams are important, but actions are what make those dreams a reality… Just do it so you can finally soar and build the business of your dreams.