business consulting

Know Your Reason Why

Tweet: Gain power over fear by knowing that the reason why you do your business is stronger than your fear @stellanovastrat. When you have doubts that what you are doing or the fear or pressure are getting to be too much, there is one place you can always go to get you through it. Think about the reason why you do what you do. When your reason for doing it outweighs any hurdle that comes your way, you will succeed. You may do what you do for your kids, for your future, for your health, or for something completely different. Whatever your reason, if it strikes you at your core and triggers a strong emotional response that tells you that you can never go back, then you’ve got what you need.

This can be a powerful way to get through fear.

Common Fears of Entrepreneurs

Starting your own business can be intimidating or scary for a number of reasons. You may be starting the business by yourself and if you don’t bring in the clients, you are left with very little or nothing. It can really do a number on your brain, especially when you’re in it alone. Common fears for entrepreneurs include: failure, success, inadequacy, financial provision, time, others’ opinions, and loss of reputation.

I’m not saying that the only people who battle these fears are those who start their own businesses but at least one of these certainly rings true for those starting or running their own business.

What can you do to prevent your fear from sabotaging you or your business? Click on this 75-second video to learn how to fight back when fear has the upper hand.

The Amazing Power of Negativity

Negativity is a powerful beast. It can kill your dreams before they ever take root, let alone blossom. So, should we use the negativity pesticide and rid it from existence altogether? I say no.

What good can possibly come from allowing it into your fragile chamber of hidden dreams? The secret is to use it to your advantage – which requires careful navigation through murky and potentially treacherous waters. During this process, I recommend working with a coach or friend who can provide a reality check and encouragement, to prevent you from going “to the dark side.”

First, sketch out your idea. Identify how it can truly benefit others.

Two, what makes it grrrrreat, and better than what the competition is already offering!

Three, think through the possibilities – starting with the positive outcomes. Be specific.

Now, if you haven’t identified obstacles, you may not have thought through your idea far enough. That’s ok. Keep going, do your homework, and talk to others who have gone before you in that industry or with a similar project.

After you've mapped out the potential positive outcomes, pick apart the possible negative outcomes, individually. As you walk through what could go wrong, let your mind run completely free, thinking of any and every possible way to avoid or overcome the obstacles, as well as ways to flip them on their heads. Jot these down, even if some seem completely wacko – you especially want to write down those ideas!

Once these are identified, utilize a coach or friend to make sure you’re not going too deep into the rabbit hole that you forget come up for air and clear thinking.

Before you start to lose hope or have a panic attack, remember what the benefits are to others. Others need the help that you offer. Keeping this in mind all the way through execution is key because it gives you purpose, and that can provide the persistence needed to see your plan through from start to finish. Also, remember the possible positive outcomes for YOU.

When you have completed this exercise, your planning process and idea will be stronger, and you will walk with greater confidence as you execute your plan.

If you have already gone through this exercise with your project, please post how it went. What were your results?

Think. Nest. Act. Analyze. Repeat.

This isn’t quite a wash cycle on your washing machine but consider it a best practice cycle for businesses. The desire to move from 0-90 overnight is difficult to resist. We are a now society. But like all good things in life, they take time. How often have you heard that an overnight success was years in the making? Enjoy the process! I write this as much for myself as I do for you. 1. When you are approaching changes to your business or the potential to start a new business, allow yourself plenty of time to freely brainstorm. In one place, collect all of the ideas that flow through your mind. And please don’t stunt the idea generating process with negative words – but that’s another blog for another time.

Once you’re satisfied with your exploration, pick an idea on which you want to focus. Now, brainstorm various ways to bring your idea into the world in a way that will allow it to grow in the best way possible. This is where you allow the idea to germinate, let it grow in your mind and on paper/computer. Now you have the idea and a plan for it.

2. Let’s move onto nesting. This is an important step. Many either want to bypass it or linger here longer than they should. Neither are wise decisions. Once you have the idea and the plan, lay the groundwork. Take the time to make all necessary preparations for this new life to thrive. Deadlines are helpful in this phase. They prevent you from analyzing every detail ad nauseam before moving into action.

3. Act! Give birth to your beautiful creation! Welcome it to this world and tell your target market how wonderful and exciting it is. You’ve thought it through, laid the groundwork, and now you are ready to move. Sure, you’ll have to adapt and grow with it, but here you are…realizing what was once only a dream or a fleeting thought. Enjoy it and continue to take small steps forward with it.

4. Finally, analyze the realities that have played out with your idea. How does your audience respond to your business? Have you targeted the market appropriately? Analyzing successes, failures, launches, and existing programs/products/services is vital to sustain healthy growth in any business. Most people view this as a “nice to have” instead of a “need to have.” Companies that succeed here, succeed – period.

5. Now you are ready to repeat the process. Enjoy the vitality that comes from making this an ongoing part of your company’s evolution and growth.

“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.”   - Colin Powell

Predicting the Future of Your Business

How does a business survive and grow, despite setbacks? It must have a secure foundation.

Many businesses have great ideas and intentions but unsturdy foundations. When you boil your business down to the crux of its existence and character, what does it rely on as a guide through trials and attacks from competitors, clients, and the marketplace at large? What is the litmus test?

Determining Factors

Your answers to the questions below will help determine the strength of your business’s foundation and provide direction for potential growth.

- Know Your Role: In two sentences or less, define the meaning of your company. On what does your entire business rest?

- See Beyond Your Nose: What is the vision?

- It’s Good to be the Boss: Is it all about you or others? How closely do you listen to the wants and ideas of your clients and employees, and what do you do with that knowledge?

- After Point A to Point B: What do you do with successes and failures?

Disciplined Habits

The way you move through the daily decisions of your business is a great indicator of the future trajectory of your business. Make sure your thought processes and decisions match your answers to the above questions that define your character.

What needs to change inside the business to make healthy external change possible?

Be careful of your thoughts, for your thoughts become your words.

Be careful of your words, for your words become your actions.

Be careful of your actions, for your actions become your habits.

Be careful of your habits, for your habits become your character.

Be careful of your character, for your character becomes your destiny.

                                                  – Chinese Proverb, Author Unknown