How long have you been reading about things related to starting a business? I know there is a lot to learn, but have you actually started your business yet? If you’re waiting until you “know enough” or until you “feel ready”, please listen.
It could take years before you manage to get to a point where you feel like you know enough, or feel ready. It’s possible that you will never feel 100% sure. And the longer you wait the more time will pass with you not getting any closer to starting a business.
Reading and learning is fantastic! I highly encourage it. But don’t get caught in the trap of thinking you can learn everything that way. Yes, you need to learn about business and marketing and a bunch of other things to have a successful business, but waiting until you think you know everything you need to know before you get started is a bad idea for several reasons.
1. You may begin to expect too much & become overly critical of yourself.
While it is good to learn as much as you can, if you read/watch/look at too much stuff by the “experts” before you actually get started, you might start to think what you create needs to be be as good as the material you’ve been reading/watching/looking at.
And it won’t be.
At least not at first.
If you are a perfectionist this can be really hard to accept, but please try to keep in mind that when you’re a beginner you can’t expect to create expert-level work just because you’ve been studying the experts. Not gonna happen. It takes practice, actually doing the work, to improve your skills.
Doing the work is what turns you into an expert.
And every expert started as a beginner, so don’t ever think that there’s no way you could reach that level.
2. You won’t know what ACTUALLY works for YOUR business until you try things out.
You can read and plan all you want to but actually doing something is the only way to see what the result(s) will be.
As you try things out you will learn what works for you and what doesn’t, and what your clients or customers like and don’t like. You will have new ideas, and your business will change over time to better fit you and your clients or customers.
My ideas and plans have changed several times since I first decided I wanted an online business. And I know they will change again in the future. And that’s good!
Try to think of it as refining your ideas instead of changing things again. Refining is good, it means you’re making things better, improving, making your business as awesome as possible.
3. You may never get started! (And when you finally do start you’ll probably kick yourself for waiting so long.)
There’s no way to learn everything. There will always be stuff to learn. Always. If you try to learn everything before you start, you might get overwhelmed by all the stuff you “have to” do and never actually start doing anything.
I wanted to “feel ready” before I started. I wanted to do things “right”. That kept me spending 90% of my “creating my business” time for over a year reading about business instead of actually doing things to create my own. Have I learned some useful things? Yes, absolutely. Was it worth it? Probably not.
If I had been willing to get started when I first decided I wanted to do this, I would have been able to implement and practice what I read. I probably would have learned faster and remembered more, and I would be much further along in my business than I currently am.
Everything could be different now if I had started earlier.
So get started!
Set up a practice blog on wordpress.com first if you want. (You can set it to private if you don’t want anyone to see it yet, but remember to set it back to public when you do want people to see it!) Just find a way to start experimenting so you can find out what works for you. Try out themes and widgets. Write posts. Figure out what the heck to say on your about page. (Or is it just me who has trouble with that?) Find out how things work & experiment with new things.
Once you’ve got things figured out a bit, make your blog public. Start talking to people, share your stuff, and see if people respond.
The next step is to get your own .com domain (you can add your own domain to your wordpress.com blog for about $18-25), and consider setting up a “self-hosted” website. (Self-hosted means you pay for hosting and use wordpress.org software on your own web host instead of using wordpress.com. You can get many of the wordpress.com features on your self-hosted site with the Jetpack plugin.)
Remember, reading and learning is great, but only working on your business will move you closer to actually having a business.
You may never feel ready, so just start today!
What is one small thing you can do today to make progress on your business? Let me know in the comments!