Starting your own business is thrilling and scary all at the same time. The vision of success and the fear of failure can have a motivational effect or cause you to stop dead in your tracks. Embarking on an entrepreneurial journey will test your perseverance, commitment, and resiliency. It will challenge your understanding, thinking, and potential. However, regardless of the challenges, or new uncharted territory you find yourself in, adopting a steadfast mindset, and understanding three critical elements of the process, will ultimately lead you to do what you are meant to do. No matter what, keep showing up. Recognize imposter syndrome, and know when to pivot.
The Steadfast Mindset
Is this really what you want to do? Is this something in which you are ready to invest your time, energy, and resources? If so, then decide to do it, and don’t look back. Commit to it and the evolving growth and development of your enterprise. Decide to learn what you don’t yet know and refine your current skill sets. It may or may not go as you envision, but you can only move forward if you’ve committed to the process. When you get your first negative comment or feedback, if your mindset is unwavering, you will find a way to remedy the situation that makes the most sense for your business. If you are low on funds, you will seek out and notice other opportunities to expand or build them back up. If your advertising campaign flops, you will study analytics, research your market, and try again with a more strategic approach.
An unwavering mindset ensures that your business will move forward. It doesn’t guarantee you will meet your goals. You may have a plan for how fast you want to grow, but outside factors may prevent that growth at the desired rate. You may have to wait longer, expand your services, or hire staff to meet those goals. The unwavering mindset allows you to keep going because it’s what you are doing. You’re not trying it on or seeing how it goes. You are doing it because if you weren’t doing it, someone else would or it wouldn’t get done. Even if you have to rethink how to meet specific goals, commit to the startup’s journey.
Knowing When to Pivot
Things happen. Maybe an employee quits, and your hours and workload just increased. Perhaps a global pandemic shuts down your office or ends your current contracts. Maybe no one likes your social media content. None of these problems means the end of your vision. They only suggest you may need to pivot; to reassess and change direction. It may be a direction you never saw in the distance. Maybe you redefine job roles that end up being more efficient or doing away altogether with the lost position. Maybe you learn you don’t NEED an office, and your team is very good at working well together remotely. Perhaps you hire a social media manager or take a course in content creation. Know when it’s not working, and be open to finding another way, because if you are available to them, there are many different paths to your vision. You only need to see them.
Recognizing Imposter Syndrome
Don’t let imposter syndrome keep you from your next move. It seems that everyone who takes the risk of going out on their own, at some point, experiences self-doubt and questions their abilities. The fear of being exposed as a fraud is enough to prevent you from taking the next step, hitting the post button, or investing the cash. You can learn anything, be trained in anything, and go to school for anything. You can also practice and hone your talents. You are only a fraud if you take someone’s money and know you will not give them what they purchased. So, if you’re in it because you decided this was it, and you have been acquiring the knowledge and expertise to do it with good intentions, then you’re not a fraud. It doesn’t make you the best, but it does mean you’re not a fake. Be sure to know your level of expertise; don’t try to pretend to be something more until you are more. Be authentic and honest and when you feel unsure if you are the right person for this, know you are because you decided to do it, and you’re committed to doing it as well as you can, intending to do it right.
It doesn’t help to question your abilities unless you’re seeking to get better. It doesn’t help to compare yourself in a judgy way against the others in your industry unless you’re trying to learn from them. Instead, recognize your value and what YOU have to offer. Identify your strengths and weaknesses and get on to strengthening those weaknesses!
Keep Showing Up
Finally, keep showing up every day. When things are slow, and nothing is happening, there is always something to do. Develop a marketing strategy. Look into social media advertising or read timely blogs on your industry. Begin your blog, and use it to market yourself. Suppose your first attempts at getting going fail, pivot. Change course. Talk to others and learn from them. When things are going overwhelmingly well, keep working and keep learning. Don’t blow up your head. No matter what, keep showing up. When you stop arriving, so does everyone else.
Not every entrepreneur sets out to take over the industry. Many want to make a local impact, control their work-home life balance, or make some side money. An entrepreneur can do any of these with the right mindset. It may also require certain levels of knowledge, cash flow, or an extensive network. Still, without committing, recognizing when something is no longer working, knowing when you are experiencing imposter syndrome, or not showing up, you may never get off the ground. Knowing it and seeing it will get you closer to it.