Fear – I guess this is a big one. Everyone who has ever tried something new has experienced fear. Everyone who has ever stepped out his or her comfort zone has felt scared. I believe maybe everyone who has started the entrepreneurial journey has experienced fears at one point or another.
I certainly know that I did. For a pretty long time. I was scared to start my own company. To start from scratch. To take full responsibility.
The fear to start
I guess the biggest fear I had was to actually start. It took me a while from deciding I would like to start my own company to actually start my own company. But it wasn’t done with that step. Having a company and still being full-time employed did simply not feel right. But with having done the step of picking a name, registering the company, having a website published I forced myself into getting real.
And while doing so I still scared. I am still am. Everyday is new adventure. But at some point my desire to work full-time on my dream was simply bigger than my fear. The desire and purpose simply overweight my fears. And then everything just happened…
Where the magic happens…
The magic does not happen in our comfort zones. It’s a cosy, beautiful place but to spark the magic we need to grow. This is what I truly believe. And starting from the moment I was totally bought into my idea the magic became feasible. The moment I was totally certain that I can do it, the fear backed off. The moment I was committed to this project and truly believed in myself other people started believing in me.
I mean, certainly the journey is still super fresh and there is still fear. And a lot of overwhelming but there is no more doubt on the big thing.
For me getting into action mode, which started right after full commitment there were simply no more room for too many fears. A bit of risk aversion and stuff is alright. And you certainly do not want to become blind for risks and errors and all this stuff. Simply to avoid massive failure. But with throwing yourself into action you can change fears into seizable risks. Those sizeable risks are manageable.
And I guess this is one of the most rewarding things just now. To know I am no longer hiding but am taking action. Taking full responsibility and continuously stepping out of my comfort zone.
The truth is I believe everything that scares us is a pretty good sign to have a closer look. Because if something can cause such a strong emotion like fear it might be a dream that is truly important to you.
Don’t give up! 🙂 When I can step up to my fears, you can too!
When you are starting off, building your own company it will be a lonely path you go. I have heard this a thousand times before I started and I must admit: it’s true!
There is no more 9 to 5 …
You will suffer weekends in the pub or having fun with friends shopping, drinking coffee, strolling through the park … to work. To get your shit together, plan out things you need to do and get it done. Those weekends will probably be essentially for a while. It’s the time you need to invest to get everything sorted and yourself and the company in the starting position. It’s not always fun but ideally when you are at this point you know why you are doing it.
This is what you want, right?
And especially when you still work full-time all these over-hours and weekends you spend working can be actually fun. I know. It sounds quite weird but it’s your dream, right? You have the goal to leave the corporate world on one point and start on your own, right? You create the life you love, right? You do it because it’s your choice and you take full responsibility, right?
Don’t expect understanding
So this whole thing should mean that you are cool with that. I mean probably not for the rest of your life but for a certain time. The thing that might be challenging for you will be managing expectations. I mean, managing the expectations other have. Your friends, your spouse, your family they will expect you to spend quality time with them. There is nothing wrong with that. And I absolutely encourage you to do so. You can do it as “quality” time. Maybe a couple of hours less than you used to do but you can. Stop playing Candy crush or watching Netflix or any other of those time wasters will help you balance out quality time with loved ones and working.
But you will have to have a conversation with a couple of your closed ones that you life and your priorities have changed and are constantly changing. When you are on the entrepreneurial journey you are no longer living the normal life. You are no longer fulfilling standards set by society. Be clear on your priorities and your own expectations on yourself. Your loved ones will understand and they will want you to be successful. But don’t expect their lives to change. Get prepared and ready to walk the paths alone or with likeminded people on the same journey. You can! 🙂 remember, if it would be easy – everyone wold be doing it.
And when your loved ones want to understand what you are doing – tell them! Do not exclude them and don’t make it a “that’s so special kind of thing”. You don’t have to become a dickhead only because you have started your own company! No need for attitude!
My husband and me for example “check in” on a regular basis. We sit together over a coffee or breakfast and talk about the current process of my business. He knows exactly what’s going on and I have learnt to ask for his help. I mean of course not always. This is not the point. It’s your business, therefore you have to put in the work and no one else. But to pick a brain and to double check your assumptions it’s a great way to include your loved ones. We also schedule our quality time around our working schedule. Yes, this means to get a tiny bit more organised and plan but it’s not that much of a big deal. It’s only a question of priorities!
“The necessity of networking” sounds pretty serious… I know… and I truly believe networking IS needed to be taken serious. Absolutely serious!
This is a lesson I hard to learn. I mean, I always knew that networking is important. But I didn’t know that it’s actually that essential. When you are in sales and recruiting as I have been for roughly 10 years networks are the source for your referrals and recommendation. But when you build a company networking is one of the number one tasks to do.
Networking in Germany
I always had the feeling that in Germany networking was essential especially for the very high hierarchy levels. You know I’m talking about these cliche weekends and off-sites where managing directors, C-level and board members close the biggest deals while playing golf. I mean obviously this is not the real world. I mean. This is part of the real world but only half of it. Also in Germany there are many, many opportunities to network in professional environments like organised clubs (Rotaract, Lions, Rotary etc. etc.). But how many of us do really do this? I used to be in networking organisations since I was in school. On a regular basis. Actually on a regular on-off basis… it simply didn’t have this much of a relevance. It was no priority.
Networking in the UK
Since I moved to the UK and especially since I started my company I learnt to understand that networking is one of the most, if not the single most important thing to do when you are in business. And when you want to succeed. I find myself going to networking events at 7 am in the morning. And guess what I am not the only one. For many people this is a priority appointment during office hours. I also network a lot with likeminded people via Facebook groups or other professional networking groups like LinkedIn. I have received already so many incredible inputs. My thinking was challenged. I can pick a brain at any given time. I can deliver value to other people. I can be of help. It’s incredible. The results I achieved by simply talking and interacting with people are incredibly amazing.
We are living a connected world. You can simply reach out to every one you want. It’s as simple as this. Only drop a message. How cool is that please?
Seriously I am totally bought into the whole networking hype and I think it should be an essential topic in school “how to network properly and why”.
Recently I was engaged in a group discussion of aspiring, ambitious entrepreneurs who build online businesses. The discussion was basically how to avoid checking the analytics continuously and avoid obsessing about website traffic or engagement rates.
I think everyone who is trying to build a business online knows this feeling very well. This feeling of checking and checking and checking … Checking whether something has already gone viral or shows anyhow a payoff for all the work.
It does suck. I mean seriously. You put in a ton of time and effort to create something valuable – a blog post, a newsletter, a downloadable freebie or whatever. You give away value, a lot of value, for nothing. Nothing in return. No charges, nothing. I mean of course you at least want to expect the numbers to go up. But they don’t. Not immediately. It takes a whole lot of work and dedication to get the numbers up.
Quality over quantity
What I found most helpful was, I believe Gary Vaynerchuk has said it once, that it doesn’t matter how many followers you have! What matters is who is following you. If you only want to increase numbers you can easily purchase followers and even likes for your accounts. That’s bullshit. There is simply no point. But what is valid is when only one right person watches your videos, reads your blogs and in general loves and supports what you do! Imagine Oprah or someone like her would become a fan of what you are doing. Her promotion channels are so massive – so is her influence. If this is your industry you want to settle in there is probably no better support at all.
Therefore let’s try not to obsess about numbers. Let’s follow our course. Let’s deliver value – a lot of it and just be a little bit patient. Good things sometimes take a while.
And in case you have an amazing blog or are any how on the same journey please do get in touch!
“When opportunity doesn’t knock build a door” (unknown). Since I started my entrepreneurial journey this sentence is somehow a daily mirror of what is happening and how many doors are opening.
I feel like I have thrown myself out there so many doors have opened and opportunities have knocked.
I think the most important as well as the most scariest step is to really stop hiding and throwing yourself out there. Loosing the fear of being seen, noticed and maybe criticised.
Since I started my journey I had the chance to meet and network with a couple of pretty amazing people. I get supported in ways I would have never ever thought being possible. Things have just happened. I can’t explain why but it feels like “the harder I work the luckier I get” kind of thing is true.
Opening the doors
Another aspect I believe is to actually open the doors one builds. With that I mean to have an open, growth mindset. The willingness to constantly challenge one’s thinking. To invest and give without knowing the return. There won’t always be returns. I think you actually have to open a couple of doors to figure out what’s behind each.
Non of your business
As already mentioned above the probably scariest part is to throw yourself out there. And with doing so it’s pretty often linked to the fear of being criticised, judged or rejected. But to be honest – what other people think is non of your business. It’s simply not. It’s their business. Their problem. There is not always a point for you to care. Do your thing. Do you. We all are unique – and that’s the beauty of it.
Btw. most people will be anyway way to busy living their own life’s to even care at all.
Whoop whoop, MyNutShare has reached 1000 followers on Instagram! Thanks everybody who is part of this journey! Thanks for all your support. If you haven’t found MyNutShare on Instagram yet, you can simply click here. Happy weekend everybody.