I was recently inspired by a list from Forbes on the questions you should ask yourself before starting a business. It outlined a fairly exhaustive set of points every aspiring entrepreneur should consider and answer before dedicating themselves to a life of small business ownership.
Despite best intentions, questions pondered don’t always lead to answers. Sometimes, especially when you’re in a state of uncertainty, they only serve to reinforce fear and doubt.
Starting a business already feels like a leap of faith because, well, it is. You don’t know how truly successful a product or service can be until you launch it.
So while it’s crucial that you prepare yourself ahead of time with plans and procedures for operations, you’ll also want to do the same for your mindset. Don’t let self-doubt run the show in light of true potential.
Here are 4 internal doubts worth questioning when working towards starting a business.
“This could fail.”
You bet it could. As with any endeavour you take on in life, there’s a chance it won’t work out. You could launch a product or service that doesn’t resonate with consumers. You could run out of money. You could face unforeseen events in your personal life that get in the way of long-term business goals.
There are so many negative outcomes that could happen — just make sure you’re balancing each one with a positive. And remember that with failure comes learning. Is failing wholly a bad thing when you come out the other end knowing more than you did before?
“I’ve never done this before.”
When your self-talk begins with this statement, here’s the response: “So?”
When you first learned how to walk, you’d never done it before. When you started your first job, you’d never done it before. When you had kids, bought a house, or [insert any major life event here], you’d never done it before.
To get good at something, you have to do it over and over again. You have to wake up every morning as a new business owner and be willing to learn something new. It’s what every person starting a business has done before you and what people will continue to do after you.
“Now isn’t a great time to start a business.”
You might have some valid, timing-based points for not wanting to start a business. Generally-speaking though, if you’ve done the necessary prep work on securing financial and business planning, and let the “right time” stand in your way, you might never be ready.
For every person that argues against starting a business during a recession, is someone listing out reasons for the opposite. Online shopping sales are soaring — why not allow your business the opportunity to benefit from it?
“I’m not a numbers person.”
The reality of owning a business is you’re going to have to do things you don’t want to do. If you’re not a numbers person, you can’t ignore the financials because it’s not your thing.
With that said, there are so many free business tools out there to help you make sense of it all. Additionally, you can always invest upfront in those with financial expertise if you believe it’ll pay off in the long-term.