One of the most common questions I get asked as a coach is: How long will it take me to start my business – and by that I mean ANY heart-centered service-orientated business?
Sometimes I think that this is a loaded question – one that I can’t really answer without taking the person who is asking the question into consideration.
Certainly I could give the typical answer – which is to say that it’s very possible to be making a nice income by the end of your first year. But is that going to be YOUR truth?
Hard to say.
When I first started my coaching business in 2003 it was a different world out there. All you had to do was lecture around and you were able to get clients for your workshops and programs.
Today there’s a whole new paradigm. You have to be internet savvy if you want to have a sustainable and abundant business no matter what you do.
Of course you can just squeak by, but I’m talking about creating the life and business of your dreams, not a life of mediocrity.
It amazes me how many people start out with the dreamy idea of being an entrepreneur and working with people to help them in some way – after all, who doesn’t love being in service and helping others (other than psychopaths)?
It’s sooooooo romantic and fulfilling! Yet the number of people who don’t fulfill their dreams and only make a minimal living from their business is huge.
So why is this?
Simple. No plan. No big idea. No why. No audience.
No discipline. No persistence. No mental fortitude.
No backup. No help. No focus.
So let’s take some time to explore each point so you can make sure you’re really clear so you can deal with any of these issues right from the get-go!
- #1 – No plan. If you’re creating a business you need a business plan. It’s important to be able to lay out the actions you’re going to take over a one year period (at least). Without knowing your actions how can you possibly get the correct reactions? If no plan is your action, then no outcome is going to be the correct result.
- #2 – No big idea. Every entrepreneur needs a really cool solution to a seriously annoying issue that their audience is suffering from. That solution is your main signature program that you’re known for. Nope, it doesn’t have to box you in at all – it just has to be the main unique offering that folks get to know you by, the thing that sets you apart from others.
- #3 – No why. Your audience has to know what gets you pissed off and why you’re doing what you’re doing. Wanting your own business or wanting to help others is not a why. Your why is what is driving you to torture yourself for years to build your business. My why is I detest mediocrity (yuck) – to me it’s selfish to play small and deny others your gift because you’re afraid to live audaciously. If you can’t wrap yourself around that you probably shouldn’t be on my list. 🙂
- #4 – No audience. If you don’t know specifically who your audience is, how can you expect to speak to them in a language they can understand? And if you’re not serving your people by giving them solutions to their specific problems, then why should they follow you? Goodness knows we all have better things to do than read boring emails about stuff that has nothing to do with us.
- #5 – No discipline. Don’t get wigged out here. You don’t need a nun standing over you with a ruler ready to beat you. What you need are systems to keep you on track everyday so that you’re consistently taking the actions you listed in your business plan. I believe in a daily time-block calendar to keep people accountable.
- #6 – No persistence. People who have worked as an employee their whole life have a hard time understanding that starting a business is not like having a job. It is a test of your faith in yourself. Every. Single. Day. By that I mean that most folks quit way before the miracle can happen. There is a tipping point in any business, you need to keep taking action with very few signs of your work bearing fruit until that day when everything changes and you finally have momentum.
- #7 – No mental fortitude. Mindset is everything in life – at least until your transcend your ego-mind and become enlightened! If you have a whole lot of “I’m not good enough,” “I’ll never make it,” “What if I fail,” and “I don’t really deserve to make 250k a year” in your subconscious mind – what do you think you’re going to create in your life? Nisht as my grandma used to say (means NOT!).
- #8 – No focus. Wow! I want to podcast! I want to blog! I want to launch a product! I want to do a ton of social media! I want to create and launch a program! I want to do a giveaway! I want to create a telesummit! I want to create a retreat! I want to be a Facebook ads expert! I want to be a speaker! I want to create a 3 day event! I want to write a book! I want to do weekly webinars! I want to institute the newest, shiniest, internet marketing strategy! Really, all in one day??
- #9 – No backup. Many folks end up never living their dreams because they didn’t have a backup plan. In other words, they quit their job and didn’t have any other means of income while they were building their business. As brave and devoted as that might be, smart it’s not. It takes time to build a business and if you’re focused on financial concerns that worry is going to crush your creativity, joy and passion.
- #10 – No help. When I decided to become a doctor I went to medical school. In other words I had someone working with me to show me best practices and how to be a good healer. That goes beyond what you can obtain from just reading books. Same in business. Seriously, if you think you can do it on your own without guidance – I don’t think that’s a realistic goal. Since I’ve started I’ve had a coach and I can’t imagine doing otherwise.
So I’m curious what YOU think about this list and what your experience is regarding these 10 touch points. Please post below and let me know your thoughts and feelings – I’d love to hear what’s on YOUR mind.
To your audacious life,