Mon | Dec 11, 2017

Overcoming fears of Entrepreneurship

Published:Sunday | November 19, 2017 | 12:00 AMLaura Butler

A good idea without action is simply a good idea. So many of us, if not all, at some point or another, have great ideas, but we don't always implement them, leaving room for possible regrets.

Some share ideas, while others take them; some are consumed by fear and do nothing; and some use them to achieve their goals, while others use them to dream of more; while some decide to put them on the back burner.

Time is valuable and waits on no one. One tends to forget things that were once important to one but were never acted on. A Scottish proverb says, 'Don't procrastinate. What may be done at any time will be done at no time.'

Your ideas could be how to improve or simplify a particular programme, policy, procedure on the job; an invention, a business concept, a new approach; how to write a book, design your own brand, or a new way of doing something. The list could go on. Timing is key, but action is required at some point.

Fear and procrastination are great friends that can cleverly orchestrate an alliance designed to paralyse your progress and shred to pieces each fibre of your confidence.

"The greatest weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed," once said Steve Biko, South African anti-apartheid activist.

As much as one is enthused about the idea of pursuing entrepreneurship, one should be cautious and try to make informed decisions as not every idea will work.

 

CHOOSE WISELY

 

Every action has a reaction, so choose wisely. Depending on what you think, you may tune your mind to lean towards being pessimistic or optimistic.

Great leaders speak of the ability to go where no one has gone before; the challenges, responsibilities, sacrifices; the success, rewards, and personal fulfilment and growth associated with learning and the journey. Some say don't try to reinvent the wheel but perfect it, while some forget about the wheel all together.

Ask yourself, what is the measure of success. The majority would say that you have a lot of money in the bank.

People measure success differently. it can be a range of things, from quality of life, relationships, status to titles, possessions, and the list goes on.

You shouldn't allow people or your circumstances to dictate who you are or what you will or will not achieve. It is important to have a good attitude and surround yourself with positive, productive people and a progressive environment.

Keep learning and improving, and most important have faith and believe it is possible in order to give yourself the best fighting chance to achieve your goals. It is a corporate jungle out there that is very competitive, but the world of technology has created great opportunities.

"I had an idea, and when I went looking for it, it was gone." have you heard this before?

We sometimes wait too long to do anything about our ideas. Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm and passion. If you feel strongly about something, try to make that something a reality. Don't just think outside of the box, break it! As the Nike slogan says 'Just do it'.

Here are some guidelines:

- Identify what you are passionate about.

- Believe it is possible.

- be proactive and persistent.

- Have a set of specific, measurable, attainable, realistic & time-bound (SMART) goals.

Planning, research, and preparation are crucial factors to achieving your goals. Learn about the world today, consumers' needs and wants, as well as your industry and interest.

Develop a business plan (online templates are available). Think of what you want and your desired end result.

If it's your own company, keep your company accounts and spending separate from your personal accounts and pay yourself even if it's a small amount. Put a good accounting system in place, e.g., QuickBooks, Intuit, Bench Accounting, and Freshbooks.

Don't expect things to happen overnight or for it to be easy. Push through the obstacles. Don't be afraid to put in the hours required. Working harder and smarter pays off.

It takes cash to care. Look at your capital options, and don't be discouraged if it doesn't fall into place immediately. Explore loans, SBA grants, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer lending, and eventually equity. Persistence is key, in addition to having all your company and financial documents in order.

Align yourself with people and companies that can help you to grow. Network with other successful business leaders, or read about them.

Don't be afraid of making mistakes. That is how you learn something new. Learning is ongoing.

Strive to achieve excellence, master what you are passionate about, and maintain consistency, good business practices, and work ethics.

When discussing the details of your business with others, have them sign a non-disclosure agreement and a non-compete agreement in order to prevent others from taking your ideas.

- Laura Butler is a business and career development consultant with Fusion Consulting Jamaica. She can be contacted at fusionconsultingltd@gmail.com or 469-427-2007