The conception of the idea of Learn and Lead made me extremely nervous as I pondered whether it was a good idea or not. I looked for external validation and found following my gut to be rather nerve wrecking. Luckily, my husband was sold on the idea from the beginning, so this helped control the doubt and negative thoughts that can creep in and make you run away from a great idea or opportunity. We sat down and sketched out what we wanted our business to look like, made a business plan which included financial projections, made a logo and took steps towards building our vision.
I was lucky that my husband and the others in my corner provided me with the support and the external validation that I needed at that time. Although I still do find myself needing external validation on some of the new projects I conceptualize, I find that I have come to trust myself more.
Trusting yourself is extremely important when you are making a decision to step out and open your own business. You have to be the biggest believer in what it is you want to do. If you do not wholeheartedly believe in your vision, you are less likely to get others to believe in it. Your success depends greatly on your belief in your ability to succeed.
So how do we get to the point of starting to trust ourselves as entrepreneurs? Although I say we need to learn to listen to our gut, if you are like me, you may need some additional convincing in order to believe your gut! One thing that has worked for me has been sketching out my ideas as exercises in critical thinking and problem solving. By doing this, you will take the time to work through your ideas and make your decisions based on more than just a gut feeling.
Choosing to open your own business is a risk. However, when risks work out, they are usually extremely rewarding. The key is to ensure that it is a well calculated risk. Take your ideas and approach them as an exercise in critical thinking and problem solving. Work through a process of moving from the big picture to the finest details. By doing this, you can make an informed decision as to whether you are ready to make that move from your stable 9-5 job to running your own business.
Here are a few tips to get you started in the process.
- Brainstorm. Brainstorm what you want your company to look like. As with any other brainstorm focus on quantity and not quality of thoughts. Do not sensor yourself as you can evaluate your ideas once you get them all out.
- Create a T-Chart. Create a T-Chart with the pros and cons of opening your own company. Pros and cons can include both personal and professional points.
- Questions. Make a list of questions based on information that arose from your brainstorm and T- chart. Questions can include anything from questions that you need to ask the small business representative at your bank to what type of childcare support will you have on nights when you are completely consumed by getting your business off the ground.
- Draft a Mission. Draft a mission that reflects the vision of what you would like to see in your company. This can always be altered, but puts you on the right path to beginning with the end in mind.
- Support System. Choosing to step out and open your own business is a big choice. It is always important to have a couple trusted people in your corner that you can bounce ideas off of without feeling vulnerable. Whether it is a mentor or a trusted friend or family member, be sure to enlist their support along the way.