A few weeks ago a friend of mine called me. She was really upset. She said that no matter how hard she tries to keep up with Internet marketing, she never feels like she knows enough to launch her own business. She’s not alone. I feel I don’t know enough either and I’ve been doing this for 10 years.
Do Something Now. Make It Better Later
You can’t wait until you know enough to get started. Do something. Anything. You can always make it better later. Let me give you an example: let’s say you want to start doing some social media marketing. Spend an afternoon doing some research and launch your campaign that same day. Measure what works and what doesn’t work, and correct your course if needed.
Nobody has ever been ready enough to start a business. As Nike would say, “just do it”.
You Don’t Need to Be Great at Everything You Do
This is another myth: “in order to be successful, you need to be great at pretty much everything”. False. You can do really well in life being great at two or three things. You don’t need to acquire every skill possible to become successful. When I started my first business 12 years ago I didn’t know anything about finances, marketing, networking or operations. I screwed up big time, several times. I learned my lessons and moved on. I still have so much to learn!
If you care deeply about your customers and are determined to do everything in your power to make them happy, you’re ready to start a business. You can learn the rest of the skills as you go along.
Break It Down
If you feel overwhelmed about something, break it down into chunks. Let me give you an example. Let’s say you want to get a bank loan. That’s not one task; that’s several tasks into one: writing a business plan, setting up appointments with three bankers and showing up for the appointments. And then break it down again. Writing a business plan can be broken down into searching “sample business plans” on Google, reading them, taking notes, getting a template, filling out a template and asking two people to review it and give you feedback.
“Getting a loan” sounds too overwhelming. “Searching for sample business plans on Google”, on the other hand, sounds a lot more doable.
Ask for Help
A lot of people feel that for something to be a true accomplishment, they need to do it all by themselves. I strongly disagree. Successful people ask for help all the time. These are some ways you can get help:
Google It! Do you have a question? Chances are someone had that same question before, asked it online and a few people already answered it.
Use Q&A Sites. If you can’t find the answer to your question, post it to Facebook, Quora, Yahoo Answers, LinkedIn Answers, Vark and a few forums. Come back to your computer a few hours later and you’ll have plenty of responses.
Watch a Video. If you are a visual learner, use YouTube to find what you want to learn about. If you want to learn how to create a new post on WordPress, for example, just search for “WordPress tutorial”.
Read a Book. There’s at least one book for every skill you want to learn. If you own an Amazon Kindle (or if you have Kindle for PC or Mac installed on your computer), you can start reading the book immediately and you don’t have to wait for it to be shipped to your place.
Hire a Consultant. If what you want to do is fairly complex, a consultant might be a great option. Good consultants will significantly reduce your learning curve so you can start making money faster.
Talk to an Expert. Let’s say you want to import clothes from China and don’t know how to do it. Google “import broker New York” (if you’re in New York) and call a few of them. Tell them what you want to do and ask them what the process looks like.
Get a Mentor. Most successful entrepreneurs love helping others. The truth is, most people never ask them for help. Don’t assume that most successful people are too busy to spend time with you. Ask; you have nothing to lose.
If you want it bad enough and work very hard at it, it’s going to happen. Never give up. Always keep going.
By the way, I’m building an awesome iPhone app for bloggers and I’m looking for beta testers. If you’re an active blogger and own an iPhone, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.