Friday, July 31, 2015

How to Jump Start Your Entrepreneurial Journey

If you want to start a business and still haven't taken leap yet, then here is how.
 
“Do. Or do not. There is no try.” – Yoda, Jedi Master.

How good of an entrepreneur are you?

If you haven't started a business yet, then you aren't an entrepreneur at all. You're a wannabe, which describes a whopping 63% of 20-somethings, and 40% of American employees.

We are surrounded by millions of people who want to be entrepreneurs, but are not. Why not? The desire is there. The skills are there. The passion is there. The dream is there.

It's lost in the doing. Trying won't make you an entrepreneur. Only doing.

How can you do? When it comes right down to it, the action itself is quite simple. Somehow, you have to surmount a mental barrier. What follows in this article are ten ways to get over that barrier and make your dreams a reality.

1. Set an appointment.

Allow me to describe a hypothetical situation. Let's say you have an appointment with Barack Obama at 8am on Friday. You're required to meet him for breakfast in the White House at 8am sharp.
What will you do to prepare? You're going to set five alarm clocks, wake up at least three hours beforehand, arrive an hour early, and do everything in your power not to miss the appointment. If your friend calls you wanting to do coffee that morning, you can't. You will be excused from work for the morning. Your appointment with Obama is important.

Now, let's take away the hypothetical and replace it with some reality. You have an appointment with your potential business. It starts at 8am on Friday. It is an inviolable. You can't miss it. Nothing gets in the way of this appointment.

You don't have time? Of course you don't. Nobody does. Time is not something one has. Time is something one makes. You get to control what happens during your daily 24 hours.
Now, go to your calendar, set the appointment, and let nothing encroach upon it.

2. Stop researching.

One of the biggest obstacles to starting a business is researching said business. Nobody ever started a business by researching it. You start a business by doing.
Next time you're tempted to research one more article, one more webinar, or one more handy guide, quit it and do a task instead.
You can even stop reading this article if it will help.

3. Set a 30 day goal.

30 day challenges are a popular way to set and achieve goals. Using the 30 day challenge method, people have given up bad habits, started good habits, written novels, lost weight, saved their marriages, reconnected with loved ones, and, you guessed it, started businesses.

Beginning today commit to your 30-day goal of starting your business. Go.

4. Calculate how much you need to live on per day.

One of the most motivating techniques for starting a business is to look at how much money you need to make each day in order to maintain your lifestyle.

Business Insider explains a simple formula for calculating your daily income requirements. Once you get a nice solid number in your head, the prospect of launching your business and making some money doesn't seem nearly as intimidating.

Give it a try. It takes you 15 minutes to do the calculation, but the results could be the catalyst to your success.

5. Next time you have an idea, write it down. Then do a task instead.

Many of us are "ideapreneurs. "We have dozens of ideas, but no actual action.
The next time you have a "great idea," jot it down. Then, instead of dwelling on that idea, do something about it.

Why do so many entrepreneurs insist on the do-it-now approach? It's because they've discovered that the power of doing trumps the power of dreaming.

Listen to the wisdom of the entrepreneurial sages:
  • It's not about ideas. It's about making ideas happen." – Scott Belsky, Behance.
  • "Ideas are easy. Implementation is hard." – Guy Kawasaki
  • “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” – Chinese proverb.
  • “Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do, so throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore, Dream, Discover.” – Mark Twain
  • "The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing." – Walt Disney
Pulling out a few quotes isn't going to tip you from idea to action. Only you can make the decision to do it.

6. Write a task list

One of the common hurdles to business starting is "I don't know where to start."
If you can clear this hurdle, then you can start a business, right? Okay, then sit down with a pencil and a piece of paper. Set a timer for five minutes, and write down everything that you need to do in order to launch your business.

When the five minutes is up, take a look at your list. Now, pick one item from your list.
Do it. Is it too big to do? Okay, then break it down into a list of smaller tasks. Now do one of the smaller tasks.

For example, most people will have "start a website" on their list. Starting a website is a big task. What can you do to get started on this task right now?

7. Pick one task and commit to it for just ten minutes.

Ten minutes isn't much time. But when you define a task and do it for ten minutes time you'll be shocked at how much you can accomplish.

What happens during this constrained time limit is this: You gain a sense of accomplishment and feel the momentum. You ride this momentum to keep going, keep accomplishing, and keep achieving.
Before you know it, you've been at work for a half hour, and are closer to launching your business than you've ever been in your life.

Just ten minutes. Start now.

8. Pay for an expensive class or coaching session.

Sometimes, all we need to do is put our money where our mouth is. When we invest money into our business, it creates a psychological sense of attachment to that expenditure and its continuation.
  • If you spend $500 on a Udemy class, then you'll feel terrible if you don't carry through and act on your knowledge.
  • If you spend $275 for a one-day seminar, then it will be like throwing that money away if you don't do something
Making a major purchase is often one of the best ways to increase our internal motivation, and inspire us to start.

9. Give someone $500.

Money is a powerful motivation. Psychologists have discovered that we feel the pain of losing money more than we experience the joy of gaining it.

To put this cognitive bias into action, try this. Withdraw $500 in cash from the bank. Now, give it to a trusted friend along with a signed agreement. The agreement should say something like this, "I, [name], hereby give this money to [friend] for a period of 30 days. If I accomplish [set of business tasks] within that time frame, [friend] will return the money to me. If I do not accomplish these tasks within that time frame, [friend] will keep the money."

If you don't trust your friend or don't want to sever a relationship, you can try one of the popular task-achieving apps such as Stikk.

10. Create a landing page for your business.

Creating a landing page gives you the illusion that your business has started. It's there. It must be there, because it has a bona fide website.

That is the power of a small win. Your business can exist--like actually, truly, in reality, and positively--in the world. You don't have to go through a bunch of legal requirements and processes in order to start a business. All you need to do is hang your shingle (website) and start delivering.

I recommend creating a landing page, because it's quick, easy, and simple. Services like Instapage and LeadPages make it easy to get something up and running within a few minutes.

Once you get the landing page up and running, you're freed to actually do your business.
There. You're an entrepreneur.

Final thoughts

The mind is a powerful, and its power cuts both ways. It can keep you from starting your business and being successful, or it can propel you to achieve great things.

You get to make that decision.

What will it take for you to start your business?

By Neil Patel
Co-founder, Crazy Egg@neilpatel

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