When you look at the standard biz advice out there, it usually consists of some logical-sounding yet overwhelm-feeding premises:
- You need a detailed business plan before you start.
- You need to dominate social media
- Network, network, network
- Expect to work 80 hours weeks – especially when starting out.
Let’s take these scare tactics apart shall we?
“You need a detailed business plan before you start.”
Unless you need an official loan (banks and other funds tend to have application requirements) you don’t need anything on paper at all.
Is it smart to randomly do whatever? No, it’s not. But if you’re a Highly Sensitive Person (typically, the ponder and think-ahead type) you wouldn’t expect to succeed on a sneeze and a fart anyway would you?
Yet the trouble is, unless you want to open a local branch of McDonalds (meaning: you’ll have a substantial how-to manual to follow) chances are that you’re not exactly sure what your business will be and how it will work.
That’s a good thing! When you’re truly creating your own business, a lot will not and cannot be clear yet. If you want to do what someone else is doing, you can follow their model and do as they say, but when you’re following your own heart, you need to discover your own business model one step at a time.
So how do you know what to do, without having all the details mapped out?
The way I see it, you need to know the essence of your business:
- who you work with,
- what you do for them
- the bare-bones of a way to start doing that.
When you’re clear on the essence of your business, all else will follow, one step at a time.Click to tweet
You can have a big gorgeous website, fancy business cards, and an active Facebook page, and still not be clear on what you do and who you do it for. The result? No clients, or a random muddle of all kinds of requests.
If you’re not clear on what you do and for whom, your clients sure won’t know either. They may hang around, because you seem like a nice interesting person. Yet, unless you know what problem you can solve for people, you’ll have no way of effectively marketing yourself, no matter how often you post on FB.
That’s why it’s essential to get big deep clarity first before worrying about any biz plan details. The details follow from the essence, not the other way around.
Once you know the essence of your business, it will take some experimenting to figure out how best to explain what you do, what your sustainable prices need to be etc etc. There will be plenty to figure out along the way (and that you cannot know upfront) but if YOU know what you’re about, then one way or the other, you’ll learn how best to communicate that to your customers. It’s just a matter of keeping at it.
So all that info that is required to write out a detailed business plan? You can only have that if you follow in someone else’s footsteps. If you’re pioneering your own unique business on the other hand then the essence of what you’re about will be simple. It will be something you can describe to yourself in a few sentences, a napkin would be enough to map it out on. Once you have that, and a simple strategy to get started with, you have enough to start your business. (You’ll be able to write your detailed 20-page businessplan 3 years down the road, not upfront.)
Is finding your essence easy? Not necessarily. Typically, it’s so much a part of who you are that it’s hard to pin down, and easy to overlook.
Nevertheless, that’s where it all starts. Before talking to potential clients, you need to know what you’re about. There’s also no point pouring hours and hours into all kinds of activities, if you don’t know what the core of your work really is.
Lots of people who want to start their own business end up taking all the advice out there, spinning their wheels, stressing themselves out… and getting nowhere.
When you give yourself time to start your business (and you’re not looking to launch a new source of income overnight) then you can be smart. You can take some time to figure out what you’re really about. Instead of working really hard, you’ll be able to work really smart. You’ll be able to choose strategies that fit the essence of who you are and what you do. You’ll have a clear way to prioritise what needs to be done first. You’ll be able to keep putting one foot in front of the other and actually get somewhere.
Chances are, being really busy and frazzled stops you from doing your best work. So, take it one step at a time. What are you really about in your work?
P.S. Are you struggling to figure out exactly what you want to be doing? As someone who is very sensitive to energy, I can feel whether what you do (or think you should do) fits who you are, or not.
I can’t promise we’ll have your business up and running in one call, but lots more clarity on your Biz Essence? For sure. Practical steps you can take to get started and get moving in the right direction for you? Definitely. Interested in starting your business right? Book your Biz Clarity Call here.