Have you ever done something that changed the course of someone’s life without even thinking about it? Maybe you grabbed a stranger’s sleeve as they were about to step in front of a car. Or perhaps you had a spidey sense that something was “off”, later learning your instinct had been bang on. Or maybe you decided to take that meeting/go on that date and your life took a different trajectory as a result.
Now, think of all the times you’ve told yourself you’re not good enough, ready enough, or qualified enough.
Which one gets the most air time? I thought so! Ask me how I know. 😉
We have SO much magic inside of us, and yet, we don’t act on it because we fear we’re not qualified. Call it imposter syndrome or just being human, but it’s something we ALL struggle with.
But, to paraphrase Mary Oliver, we have one wild and precious life. And it’s short. What will we do with our time, our gifts, our magic?
If you’ve got a sneaking suspicion you might be the biggest obstacle to your success, read on. I will share three actionable ways to get out of your way and let the magic out.
No matter how often we’re told to “fail forward”, having something fall flat is still a bitter pill to swallow. Like anything else that’s hard, failing well is a learned skill.
“I have not failed 700 times. I have succeeded in proving that those 700 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work.”
– Thomas Edison
So how do we learn this critical entrepreneurial skill? In my experience, it’s easier to fail when I have a safety net of fellow business owners supporting me. Joining a group program, working with a coach, being active on forums, or forming an accountability group are all great ways to connect with like-minded folks and get the feedback and support you need.
Suggested Action: Brainstorm the traits you’d like your support crew to have. This is a great first step to identifying folks you already know, as well as figuring out where folks like them hang out.
2) Create the simplest version of your idea
Back in 2015 when online courses were all the rage, I decided to jump on that “sure thing” and create my very own course (hint: it was not a sure thing 😂). Maybe it’s because I’m a Virgo rising and incapable of leaving an “i” undotted, or “t” uncrossed, but I built out the whole darn curriculum before launching it. Even though I knew better, I believed it had to be perfect before I put it into the world.
I wasted a lot of time and money creating something my audience didn’t want or need. I also learned a valuable lesson: launch the simplest version of your idea, build as you go, get feedback, and iterate. It’s what the start-up world calls an MVP or Minimal Viable Product.
“The way to get startup ideas is not to try to think of startup ideas.
It’s to look for problems, preferably problems you have yourself.”
– Paul Graham, co-founder of Y Combinator
Got an idea for a business, service, or product? Ask yourself the following questions:
- Who is this for?
- Why do they need it?
- Do they know they need it?
- What need will it fulfill that isn’t currently being met?
- Does any version of this already exist?
- Will they pay for it?
Once you’ve gut-answered these questions for yourself, take them out into the world and ask the folks who will be your customers.
If you get this far and know you’re onto something good, it’s time to build it out. Need support? Let’s chat!
3) Work with what you’ve got
Another way we entrepreneurs like to procrastinate is by listing all the things we need to learn, become, and do before taking the next step. Of course, sometimes you do need to go back to school and study more—a lot of times you don’t. Discerning the difference is the golden ticket.
“Start Where You Are. Use What You Have. Do What You Can.”
– Arthur Ashe
Here’s a quick, by no means exhaustive list, of things you CAN make up as you go:
Things you should NOT make up as you go:
- Anything to do with handling mental health and trauma. Leave this to the experts, or go back to school to become the expert. Just don’t pretend you are the expert if you’re not.
If you’re ready to make major moves – from re-positioning your business to attract bigger clients, expanding your team, or up-leveling your customer experience – and are getting in your own way, I’d love to help you find your way through.
If this is something you’d like to explore, click here to share a bit more about yourself, and let’s chat.
I’m rooting for you all the way!