One key principle to follow when starting up a new venture is to be very focused on the most important tasks first. It is very easy when starting out to get overwhelmed with all the “things” you need to do to get started….register a domain, set up a business, set up a website, advertise, hire an accountant, develop a business plan….. Yes these are all significant steps in building a new venture but they cannot all be done at once, certainly not done well. If you have attempted to do this, the result is typically getting overwhelmed and getting stuck with having too much to do in too little time, and then stopping before you even start. Does that sound familiar?
Having to start a venture on the side while still working and having other responsibilities severely limits your available time and can add even more stress and pressure. But the truth is that this may actually be an advantage. You see, if you have more time or lots of time, but still not focused, the result would be that you might end up jumping around between all these tasks to the point that you filled up the time but still not getting anywhere. Haven’t you heard this – “work expands to fill the time”? That’s not a good result. You want to make the time you have be effective to the max.
So how do we approach starting a new venture?
If you follow what the most successful individuals have done to build up their businesses, they have one approach in common. They focus on the road right in front of them. If they need to get from step A to step Z starting today, they will focus today on how to get from step A to B. They will not be thinking about what happens if they get to step L, M or Q or X and then can’t get any further or something bad
may happen….. They jut focus on “How do I get from A to B”? that’s it, then when they get to B, they focus on hoe to get to C, and then so down the road.
They have the confidence to think that when they get to B, they will learn some new information (which they do not have yet) that will point them in the right direction to get to C, and then when they get to C, they will gather even more knowledge and experience to get to D. Does that make sense? One of these folks was quoted as saying that when presented with an idea that sounds good, they first say “yes” then figure out how to make it happen, not the other way around. This is a totally different mindset for those of us who are not comfortable with the unknown and are used to structured activities. But the really successful folks have built up the confidence to take
some calculated risks. You can do this too! As an Entrepretiree you have mitigated much of your risk by starting this now while you are still working, rather than jumping 100% into it.
In terms of deciding on a venture to start, the first task (step A) should be to determine if this will meet your requirements in terms of how much money it will make and how much time will be required etc. Do not get bogged down trying to figure out if you need to incorporate or file an LLC or how to set up a payment system or what your logo should look like…. First and foremost, just focus entirely on determining if this venture will meet your requirements, that’s it. Once you have determined that this a viable venture for you, then move on to the next step, and then when that is done, move onto the next, one at a time. Really resist the temptation to think too far ahead, this will only get in your way and slow you down, or worse totally derail your success.
One thing that helped a lot was consulting with a SCORE mentor. These are folks, typically retired executives, who advise small business owners on questions they have. This is a free service provided by the Small Business Administration (SBA). Check it out: http://www.sba.gov