Believing in yourself can be hard, especially when you're surrounded by naysayers. The sad fact is that whether you are on a journey to owning your own business, wanting to start a freelance career, or change the trajectory of your life by dropping everything and finally beginning the next Great American Novel, people will always be there to burst your bubble. I've written a lot about folks that were afraid to take the plunge, so here are some some things I've heard on my journey to owning my own business.
But first, so as not to lead you on, you should probably know that the Naysayers are right. Wait. Whoa. What? I know, but it's true. Here are a few examples to of what you've probably heard in the past from your naysayers: "It's hard to start a new business in this economy," "You can't do that by yourself," "You still have responsibilities, you know," "That's a huge risk."
It's hard to start a new business in this economy. It is hard to start a new business. Period. The economic challenges that we currently have in this country make start-ups even harder. But, if was easy, then everyone would do it (plain and simple right?). An even bigger fact is that it never gets easy. Even once you have a healthy business that seems to rocking and rolling, you will continue to meet new challenges that will test you.
You can't do that by yourself. Right again! You'll need lots of support and encouragement along the way and it may turn out that those that are closest to you aren't the best people for the job. Look for small business groups that can hook you up with people who have gone through some of the challenges you are going through right now. They can also give you some great hookups on lawyers, accountants, and other people you will need along the way.
You still have responsibilities, you know. This is my favorite. Some days it's hard not to want to respond with, "What? You mean someone won't take care of all my bills and feed my family for me while I chase my wild dreams of business ownership?" If it is possible for you disregard all of these things, then business ownership is probably not in the cards for you. Here's a secret: employees like to be paid. To these naysayers, I just have to nod my head and move on because clearly this person has forgotten how much I enjoy eating.
That's a huge risk. Correct-a-mundo! Then again, any job can be a huge risk. Just ask anyone who has been laid off in the last ten or so years. The greatest risk comes when we don't respect the fact that for every way we can succeed there are ten ways to fail. Saving as much as you can as often as you can (it's vital to have a safety net for those weeks or months when business is slow), and always having a plan B - Z are the wisest things that you can do to account for the risks. I call it my if/then list - if this happens, then I'll do [blank].
I have to remind myself from time to time that just because someone close to me is a naysayer doesn't mean that they don't believe in me or want me to succeed (usually it's just the opposite). Sadly, for most people, seeing is believing. The best advice that I can give on this is to just brush it off and keep on moving. Rejection is part of the process and you will hear a lot of it. The key is to take it and accept it for what it is (which is sheer opinion). After all, convincing is done in the doing.