Or maybe your entrepreneurial gene. 🙂
Tell me if you get this. Because I get you. And you’ll know what I’m talking about because you either feel it in your chest or you don’t. Some of us are wired as entrepreneurs. Somewhere deep-down in our very make-up, we possess an entrepreneurial gene or something. That doesn’t mean that all of us who possess this gene are running our own businesses. Yet. But somewhere deep down, we know that we want to. And we also know that we’d probably be really good at it.
Others of us are not wired this way. That’s totally perfect too. My husband calls it the E-mentality. His “E” stands for “employee.” He says he just thinks more like a team member. “Just tell me what to do,” he’s been known to say. However, he hardly ever says those words these days as he is the CEO of Countryside Pet Resort and Spa, a dog boarding, daycare, and grooming facility in our town.
Entrepreneurs. Employees. We totally need each other. One is not better than another. But if you feel that entrepreneurial pull and deep down in your heart of hearts want to pursue the possibility of creating your own business, your own income, your own destiny, then this blog post is for you.
(Side note here: pursuing your entrepreneurial passion is possible whether you start a business now, later, or never. There are reasons why NOW might not be the best time, because of your season of life, temporary circumstances, etc.. However, if the timing is good but you still feel hesitation or awkwardness about exploring an entrepreneurial endeavor, you might want to assess your situation to see if you might be carrying around some excess baggage labeled “unconfidence,” “childhood misconceptions,” or “naysayers” that is weighing you down.)
So, you feel that you might be an entrepreneur at heart, but you don’t even know how to begin to explore the possibilities. Is this you?
Or maybe you have started down the path of business creation, or have even been running one for a while, but feel that you have lost your way, then this is for you too.
5 Steps to Finding Your Entrepreneurial Groove
1. Know your WHY. You’ve got to know why you want to run your own business. And your reasons can be as different from another person’s reasons as east is from west. There is no right or wrong here, just motivations. Maybe you want to go on a dream vacation, travel with your family, renovate your house, move to the country, serve as a missionary, ease the financial burden on your spouse, involve your children, pay for your kids’ college tuition, start a non-profit, feed the poor, educate the underserved, share your abundance. For most of us, there is an element of make money and make a difference. We have been created to create, serve, and give back. So, first step is identify your reasons for running your own business. Then, write them down.
2. Design your life. To maintain balance and keep your priorities, you need to decide what you would like your ultimate life to look like. Because if you don’t, your business may become your master, when it was meant to serve you. Don’t become a slave to your own creation. When I started Knowledge Quest, I wasn’t very mindful and I found myself sucked into the vortex of having to constantly work, respond, and serve, to the detriment of my family. Then I learned to design my day, my week, my quarter, and even my year. I now have a plan in place that includes only 4 afternoons of work per week. This gives me plenty of time to teach my children during the morning hours, go to all day co-op on Mondays, and spend the weekends doing other things (like resting, cleaning the house, grocery shopping, playing games, and watching movies).
3. Find your sweet spot. Here is what I mean… You are one of a kind. You have been created with a unique set of gifts, talents, experiences, and passions. There is no one like you and no one who can serve others the way that you can. Pull out a sheet of paper and write down all the things you are good at, that you enjoy doing, that you find joy in. These are the things that make you YOU and make life and work enjoyable for you. Now, turn that paper over and write down what the people around you are suffering from, where their pain points are, what they want to do but can’t figure out, how they feel incomplete, unsatisfied, undone. Study both sides of your paper and see with fresh eyes where the two cross. What can you offer that would relieve the pain or difficulty for someone else? What can you provide that would make someone else’s life easier or more enjoyable? Where your joy, knowledge, and insight cross with someone else’s pain point, uncertainty, or frustration is where you find your SWEET SPOT.
4. Find out who you can serve. This is your audience. Snoop around and find out where they hang out. What facebook groups do they interact in? What are they pinning? Who do they follow? Where do they congregate and where are they looking for help or commiseration? Once you find out who your ideal customers are and where they spend their time, you can place yourself there to be found. I’m not talking about being schmarmy either. I’m not suggesting that you begin selling to everyone you know or come in contact with in a spamming, disengenuous way. I’m talking about placing yourself there so that you can serve, most of the time for free. (We’ll get to how to make money in a future post.) And you can start doing this – offering your help and insight to others – before you ever get your business off the ground.
5. Find out what they want. Once you start hanging out with your ideal customers, you can start to figure out what exactly they want. What you thought they wanted might not be what they really want. And you can find out how they like to receive their help. Do they need a physical product? Do they just need the right information in the form of a digital book, webinar, or course? Do they need one-on-one consulting? You won’t know until you start spending time with the people that you have been put on the planet to serve. And start serving, before you ever know how in the world you will make money at it. Engaging brings clarity. So go engage! But during the times that you have set aside as per point #2.
Does this help? What questions have begun to burn as you think through a possible business venture or one that you have already started and are pursuing with all your heart? Where can you course correct? What can you start doing to get you closer to your goal? What should you stop doing to live the life that you truly want?
Stay tuned for future posts that map out how to begin creating the products and services that people will pay for, that you have been perfectly put together to provide.