By: Charli Williams
If you have an idea for solving a common problem but don’t know what to do or where to start, you’re in the right place. The pandemic has provided a surge of new entrepreneurs and professionals taking their careers into their own hands. Many of us start eager to tell everyone about what we’re doing. We’re excited, but at the same time, we don’t really know what we’re doing.
This combination of excitement and anxiety can be sometimes intoxicating. Thinking about the possibilities of your business, how many people you could help, how much freedom and flexibility you’ll have. It can be amazing! (Emphasis on the can). For many entrepreneurs, the story looks more like long hours and late nights. Being told no more times than you can count, and a lot of loneliness. You’ll have to carry a weight that the people in your life won’t be able to understand, and that can make it hard to stay motivated.
If this is what entrepreneurship is like for most, why are there so many startups?
Many of us have a terrible work-life balance. The lines being blurred between work and life were a struggle for many long before the pandemic. This constant struggle between trying to find balance under the pressure to always be engaged at work is what leads a lot of people to take control of their careers by working for themselves.
However, many of us start with the best intentions, but with the wrong focus. They say that only 1 in 4 people who start a business make it beyond 15 years. The 3 that don’t make it? We're most likely focusing on the wrong things.
When many entrepreneurs start, we have an idea of what achieving success would be like. We feel a sudden burst of excitement and get completely taken over by motivation. We’re excited about a better future, a balanced and successful life. Then, we’re thinking about making a lot of money, having a big house and fancy cars. The problem is that this is where many entrepreneurs get stuck.
When faced with the work that’s required to make that dream happen, we become overwhelmed. This is one of the problems many people face which leads to procrastination. We begin to procrastinate because we start to see exactly how much needs to go into planning. Then, it all just becomes “too much work” and the negativity creeps in. We start thinking “I’m going to fail, I can’t do this” and become unmotivated.
This repeats until eventually, we lose focus on what’s important to keep the business growing. We miss opportunities to pivot and miss seizing others. Eventually the business stalls and fails from a lack of growth. This is the story for many entrepreneurs that end up in the 75%.
Challenging the status quo
To be the 1 out of 4 that makes in as an entrepreneur, you’ll need more than motivation. Entrepreneurship is about innovation. It’s about having an idea that you can use to solve problems and shift paradigms. Making money for yourself in the process.
But what if you’re someone who doesn’t easily have new ideas? Or what if you want to start in an industry where everything already seems to be done? The key is in asking the right questions and planning.
What is the question?
In business, the best ideas essentially consist of finding a need and then fulfilling it. Instead of trying to come up with an amazing, disruptive idea, you can simply find a need and meet it in a new way.
The easiest way to do this, is to ask yourself if there’s a service you use, or those in your network that could be automated. This is how many SaaS (Software as a Service) businesses are born.
Another option you can try, is to ask yourself what can be done better. Look for people with common frustrations. What are some of the frustrations that you have when using certain products or services? Is there a way you can do that better? What can you do to help make sure that others don’t experience your same frustration?
By asking these questions, you’re focusing on creating something that’s built around solving existing problems. Which gives you the likelihood of creating something that will be successful.
Planning for Success
When planning for success in business, the beginning can feel overwhelming. Many start with a business plan, which is a great place to start. However, many of us forget to plan for everything else. We forget to plan how we’re going to live and work to successfully execute our business plan.
This involves breaking bad habits like procrastination. Setting clear goals and managing them strategically. Learning how to say no. Becoming organized and learning the right things to focus on. This is where many entrepreneurs become overwhelmed. But, with the right plans and strategies, it doesn’t have to be.
The Bottom Line
If you really want to be successful with your idea, then you’ll need to ask the right questions and open your eyes to each step you’ll need to take to solve a problem. Then, start planning for it. This means you’ll need to find ways to improve your performance and become better at what you do. Learn how to set realistic, achievable goals and how to continually build on your achievements.
This sounds like a lot. However, I have a webinar presentation that gives 6 simple steps that you can follow to get yourself ready to be successful in business. It’s called Introduction to Everyday Leadership. In this presentation, I’ll help you understand what success really is in business. You’ll also learn:
If you really want to challenge the status quo with your startup and solve problems in a way that can help you be successful, then I’d like to invite you to join me in the presentation. Sign up using the link below.
Charli Williams is a Business Associate with Samex LLC. Extremely passionate about leadership, in her spare time, she is also the founder of Biz Rocket. Where she's exploring her passions in helping entrepreneurs overcome the personal challenges that come with starting a business..