You know, I’m going to go out on a limb here and say a business plan is not the be all and end all. In fact, I have started the four businesses I have had, each and every one of them without a plan. I just started.
Have the businesses been successful? I would argue yes. Body Conquest was a saleable asset. I just decided to re-brand. Two of the other three have been quite profitable. My fourth one I don’t invest any resources, time or effort into but I make a handy hustle on the side. With nary a business plan.
Having a business plan doesn’t mean your business isn’t going to be a success. And not having a business plan doesn’t mean it’s going to fail. Look, I am not going to write you and say “don’t do a business plan”, but what I am saying is, I don’t believe it’s an absolute necessity. What I do think is a necessity – is, if you want to do something, just bloody well start.
Miss-Fit Vitality started with some coloured brochures in the gym and a letterbox drop. In the first week I picked up seven clients who trained at least twice a week. 34 years ago, that was about $900 because a couple trained three times a week, right from the get go. That was a lot of money back then.
Body Conquest started after I recovered from my massive breakdown (I spent 2 years convalescing in bed and saw the outdoors four times in two years). To say it started from humble beginnings is an understatement.
Self Doubt When Starting A Business
I’d love to do (insert exciting business, fitness or personal idea here) but I am just waiting for the perfect time. Self doubt when starting a business is all too common.
Last week I caught up with a gym acquaintance. I didn’t know her super well, but she and I have always gotten along. We decided to hook up for a random weights session together and I set aside my powerlifting goals for the sake of “being social” which in retrospect was a great decision.
Now my opinion of this woman is this, I will throw a few adjectives out there to give you some perspective of how she projects herself: independent, attractive, self-care, intelligent, business savvy, health conscious, lover of fitness, career driven, reliable. Now, isn’t that an entrepreneur in the making?
We are close to finishing up, doing some bicep curls when she said something that really made me spit the dummy in a kind type of way. She had been talking about this great project idea she had in her previous job. Unfortunately, her boss at the time shot down all her ideas. Let me point out, he was older, set in his ways, not a progressive thinker and didn’t share her dream.
I said “you really should do whatever it takes to get this off the ground. I’ll support you, it’s a great idea”. She responds with “I know (insert sigh), I just need to get my ducks lined up in a row”. Now as soon as I hear the word duck, I put my bb down. And I turned and said to her “NO” that is NOT what you do. You just do. You set the wheels in motion despite the environment in which you really want your project to get off the ground.
Forget your business plan. It’s giving you more trouble than it’s worth.
Waiting for your ducks to be in a row is another way of saying “I have entrepreneur self doubt”
That is where she, and most people get it wrong. It’s like the proverbial male gym rat who says “I’m gunna compete, I just have to get bigger”. And you know right then and there, they are NEVER going to get on stage.
Waiting for your shit to line up and your business plan to come together perfectly is nothing but a distraction and justification. It helps us avoid the real — and risky – work of doing. Or, it can be perfectionism that keeps us from doing things because we are worried about failure, criticism or embarrassment.
So, as I always say, the “all or nothing” attitude will always end up being “nothing”.
Much to my father’s dismay, I have for the most part been a woman of impetus and heart. I think of something and I just do it. Too much consideration, going through the “what if’s” and yes, too much planning can paralyse us and next thing you know we don’t action our plans. I have made I would say, 7 major business decisions where my outcome was going to be a loss or gain of money. I have been successful 5 out of 7 times. Twice I have lost some money. Sure, bummer. But I don’t let that stop me moving forward and taking more risks. You have too or you simply will not create a better lot in life.
Just so you know, at the time, I have never had the time, nor the money, nor the information but say “what the hell, I think I can make a go of this”. When is my friend’s perfect moment to begin her project? NOW. Just start. Anywhere. If you want to write a plan, write a plan (I never have, and maybe that’s a problem). Make a decision that affects your project. Get a team of friends together and do a SWOT session.
The way to squash your self doubt about starting a business… is to start one.
Starting means initiating action. Starting means committing to a choice of some kind or another. This is how you know it is a true start.
Starting your business is when you lift up one foot and put it in front of the other, not when you stand there debating which road to take or wondering if you should have worn different shoes.
I guarantee you every time I have had a project, that I usually refer to as “my baby”, it feels like there is every problem under the sun. All that comes at me is hurdles. And what do I do? I get dogmatic. I lean into it and forget any self doubt about starting a business. I embrace the resistance and think about how bloody good I will feel when I achieve my project and get it off the ground.
Starting will often feel like resistance, at least at first. Like grinding the brain’s gears. Give it time. Push through. It will switch tracks, eventually. Remember: You don’t have to fight the resistance of the entire trip. You just have to push through the resistance of the first few moments. And what I find is that you just have to source friends and family’s support. Oh, and Google! Seriously though because I was kind of teasing about google, you will find that when you hit barriers, you will ask for solutions and people will provide you with options and a path forward you maybe didn’t even think off.
My Top Tips For Beating Entrepreneur Self Doubt
If you are “waiting for the perfect time” and having some serious entrepreneur self doubt, these tips might help nudge you in the right direction:
Revise your expectations.
Recognise that there is no perfect time and there never will be.
Allocate the first 1-2 hours of your day to your project before you do a single other thing.
This way, you are MAKING it happen.
Find the smallest possible thing you can do right now, in the next 5 minutes, and do it. Now you’ve started!
You only have to get through this moment.
This moment of starting will be the hardest. Luckily, it won’t last long.
It’s normal. Push through it. Resistance doesn’t mean this won’t work. It just means you’ve started. Resistance and lots of it is just normal business “stuff”
Whether it’s a friend or family member, workout buddy, or a coach, find someone or a small group to help harness your enthusiasm and keep pushing you forward.
As far as your fitness choices go – when are you ready to deal with your own inertia? At what point do you just say “I have to bite the bullet NOW”. If you need a front engine to start the overhaul of yours, to help you gather momentum, then I’m your woman. Your cheerleader, your accountability partner, your mentor, your coach.
I’m always saying “in for the penny in for the pound”. How about you claim that as your affirmation for a while too?
Start reinventing yourself right this minute.
Me and my team are here to help you. Get in touch with us today and help conquer your self doubt around starting a business.