Taking an idea from concept to execution takes a lot of work.
Unfortunately, the hardest part of starting a business is, yeah you guessed it, starting. That’s what separates the entrepreneurs from the everyone else.
Everyone has ideas, but only the dedicated, determined and people who are willing to work hard and make things happen succeed.
When I first had my idea about R Artspace it was about eight months before I launched my site.
Before launching I was almost crippled with Shiny Object Syndrome where I, like many other entrepreneurs, get incredibly distracted by every new idea that comes into our mind (read about the cure for shiny object syndrome in this post).
During that time of getting completely side-tracked by my own 100-mile per hour thought-life, I found myself studying what everyone else in the industry was doing, which is a downward spiral to anyone wanting to know how it turns out.
Finally, I took a step back and thoughtfully and intentionally choose a path, made plans, mapped out goals and created action steps to get me where I wanted to go.
“The smallest deed is better than the greatest intention”
One of my main goals for starting R Artspace was to quit my day job and do something creative and with purpose. Dream-worthy and seemingly out of reach, but nonetheless, achievable. Of course when I had this idea I immediately told my husband I was quitting my reliable, stable job and immediately he was like, whoa there... hold up. For us, my transition to taking my side-hustle full time will need to be one that is more methodical and planned out rather than a spur-of-the-moment type of decision.
So, the dreaded task of working hard at my 9-5 and working harder on my side hustle began. From all the people I’ve heard of and read about who have quit their full time jobs, there’s never perfect timing, or even when you feel completely “ready,” it’s just a decision you have to consciously make knowing that it’s going to take a lot of hard work.
And I’m sure it’s different for everyone. For me it will be a slow transition, but even if your transition will be one that is quick and decisive, there are several tips I highly recommend implementing as you make plans to start your business.
Write it all out
When I sit down and have time to work on things sometimes it’s hard to focus when I have a million things to do.
So, something that helps so much is making a list over everything I need to do. I then go back and number each thing, number 1 being the most important thing I need to do, and so forth.
Once I have things numbered such as 1-15 it gives me such clarity and relief knowing I don’t need to do everything right now, just the top 3-5. Then tomorrow or whenever I have the next available time I can work on the rest
If you need help focusing and are not sure where to begin, I highly recommend getting someone who is a few steps ahead of you to give you some guidance. I write about that and other interactions to grow your business in this post.
Make it Quality
Making it quality is two-fold. For one, put the time into making something really great but with that, once it’s good enough- put it out into the world. You’re never going to get better at something until you continually practice it over and over and that just takes time.
So if you want to wait until your calligraphy is perfect to start an Etsy shop, start now, and put things out there now and over time you will get better. But you must get in the game to know how it’s going to be.
I’m not saying go make a sloppy website if you don’t know what you’re doing –first impressions are big and you want to make sure you have a good first impression– but once it’s pretty good, go for it.
The thing is, when you get stuck in the rut of wanting it to be perfect, it gets you dangerously close to the downward spiral of perfectionism (I write about how to get over perfectionism in this post).
Again, when it’s good enough, let it go. I think you can always make things better but when you get to a point where you’re proud of what you’ve done, that’s a big indicator that it’s good enough.
Break it Down
Break down your big goals and write down all the action steps. You could even do this by starting at the end of the process and working your way to the beginning.
So say your goal is to make x amount of money in the next 3 months, then you can break down how much you need to make per month and break it down even more to how many clients you'll need or how many products you need to sell to make that amount per week, and so forth.
It's all about knowing what you need to achieve and working toward making that happen.
Enjoy the process
This I think is the big one for me. It’s easy to get depressed when you want things to happen right away, but things may be happening at a slower pace than you thought (In this post I go over the sure way to a successful business and it might not be what you think).
Remember that in the beginning stages you still have the opportunity to take a day off from your side hustle, you can make your own projects and you can write about the topics you want on your blog. As Hugh MacLeod says “savor obscurity” meaning you can do anything you want in the early stages, it’s when you have a huge audience that it gets difficult because you will cater to what the audience wants.
So, for now, as you’re growing, enjoy the process, break down your action plan, make sure your work is quality and write down all the steps. It’s in the small things that you get to where you want to go.
What are some struggles you face with getting things done?
What has been the most difficult thing with starting your business?