Ask a life coach: #1
What do I need to make a start on becoming self-employed?
Q. “For the longest time I've wanted to start a business. The problem is that I don't know how. Although I've wanted this for a long time, I always felt as though I don't quite have what it takes to be successful, so I never pursued my dreams. Every time I finally get a little bit of confidence to shift into becoming a business owner I get stuck as I don't know what to do to get the ball rolling. I am now definitely at the stage where I am ready to move forwards again, but I don’t know where to begin!” Anonymous
A. The idea of working for yourself will always be somewhere within you, and it can be daunting just thinking about what to do first. In fact, by reaching out to a coach, you have already made a start!
Identify your internal driver
What is your big why? What will having a business do for you?
For some, the desire to build a business might be about leaving a legacy for the family or community, working autonomously, using their creative skills, being of service to others, or making money that will help something else to happen. Once you understand the intrinsic motivating factors, these will act as a driver to spur you on.
Draw upon your inner resources
What are some of the qualities and strengths that makes you the ideal person to do this?
Once you make a list of these, you can then move onto raising examples of how applying this skill has worked well in the past. This strengths and skills inventory will be a perfect tool to fall back on whenever you feel lacking in confidence.
Identify challenges and risks
Another helpful task is to isolate some of the challenges and risk factors that you envisage along the way. For example, it may be that the service or product is already in existence and there is competition in the market.
What could be a unique selling point or gap in the market that will separate what you do from the others?
What do I need to know or do to make this a success?
What might be some limitations?
This process will raise some good information that you can turn into action points. For example, you may recognise the need to gain a certificate in a particular subject that brings added value by demonstrating your expertise, thereby bringing added value to a service based business. If you have the thought that getting customers might be a problem, you may decide to seek out someone experienced in this field to gain some ideas on the best approach or to have dialogue about accessing their support to assist you.
Something to remember is that ‘everything has already been done under the sun’. If there is something you can’t do, your task may just be to find out how to get this done. Working with an objective supporter and expert such as a coach is an easy step in the process.
Tackle unconscious fears
Especially when you work with a coach, you may identify some unconscious fears that if not explored, might lead to self-sabotage. The fear of success is typical of one unconscious fear that leads to constrained thinking of what is possible. The subconscious mind registers everything and accepts this as truth. If you tell yourself ‘I can’t do this’ your mind will bring to the surface every reason possible to validate this thought. Similarly, if you affirm to yourself ‘I can and will do one thing every day that brings life to my business’, you will implement actions that are aligned to this permitting belief. With a shift of perspective to no limit thinking positive aspects are raised to the surface allowing you plenty of new insights to draw upon.
Create a road map for inspired action
Action without a plan is pointless. Rather than feeling overwhelmed with things to do, start to map out the timescales for action. A Gantt Chart is a useful project planning tool on which you can forecast each particular task that must be done. You could also download a template business plan and start working on this in a creative way. To do this, treat each aspect of the business plan as a mini project that you accomplish in a set period of time. Allocate a specific time slot each day in which your entire focus lies with this one task. If time is a challenge for you, work with a coach who will help you determine practical solutions for effective time management.
Life Coach Rebecca