In this blog, I would like to help you explore your 'why' - your true motivation for wanting to take the step towards starting your own business.
If I had to ask you right now: Why do you want to start your own business? I'm guessing you'll answer with something like: "I hate my job" or "I want to earn more money" or "I want to work less hours"... and whilst these are all valid reasons, unless we dig deeper and I mean, REALLY deep, to find out what your core motivation or 'why' is, you'll be working on a surface level. And although it won't be impossible, it will feel harder sometimes and your motivation to keep at it will slip.
I suggest you find 30 minutes of uninterrupted time and reflect on this question: Why do I want to start my own business? And now I'd like to ask you consider: Why is that important? And for that answer: Why is that important? For each subsequent answer, continue asking yourself: Why is that important? It may feel like you're looping and going around in circles, but stick with it... eventually you'll be able to tap into your unconscious and you'll come across a reason that will suddenly hit home... and I can tell you it's very rarely the same as your first answer was... once you understand your 'why', everything else becomes so much clearer and, here's the best bit - so much easier.
According to entrepreneur.com, approximately 20% of small businesses fail within the first year, with about half failing by their fifth year. Some scary statistics yes, but if you are super clear on your 'why', your motivation and determination to succeed will increase exponentially. Therefore, greatly increasing your chances of success. Let's flip the statistic on its head: after the first year 80% of small business are still operating, with around half still in existence by their fifth year.
You see, by tapping into that unconscious level, you are getting to the core of you, your values and what really influences your beliefs, your thoughts, feelings and actions. In NLP or neuro-linguistic programming we talk about the conscious mind being the 'goal-setter' and the unconscious mind being the 'goal-getter'. Once you understand what is really important to you in life and your family, you can work on your beliefs which impact on your thoughts, which impact on your feelings, which impact on your actions. And actions, dear friends, are what lead to you achieving your goals of starting or growing your own business!
Sounds simple, doesn't it? And it is, on paper, but the reality of being really truthful with yourself and understanding yourself, can be difficult and scary... believe me, I've been there... I'm still on that journey... I have cried many tears, I've nearly given up because it was hard at times... peeling back the layers of my identity that I have built up over time... but perhaps the best and scariest discovery about myself is learning why I'm a people pleaser and ultimately never putting myself and my dreams first... However, now that I understand that about myself, I am able to take charge of my dreams, but still remain true to what's important to me, which is my family. And indeed, I now know that BECAUSE my family is so important to me, I need to go for my dream of having my own business. And here's why:
Having been coached through the exercise of finding my 'why' I had a major lightbulb moment: For me it was not about earning more money than I currently make in my day job... what was most important to me was to have time to be there for my family, to be more present, but also to have time to do the things that that are important to me... to not feel like self-care was a chore... constantly feeling on edge about what else needed done... not being able to truly relax into whatever it is I am doing for me.
Of course, I still need to have an income - after all the bills are not going to pay themselves - but I was able to establish that I want to earn what I currently do in my 9-5 job, but by working less hours so that I can be more present in my family. Guys, this realisation seems so simple now when I say it out loud, but the impact it has had on my motivation to make it a reality has been phenomenal. I remind myself of it every time I feel myself hesitating or wanting to quit because it was becoming too overwhelming and I am able to pick myself up and keep going.
And like so many of you, I know that I couldn't step off a cliff edge by quitting my day job and giving up a steady income whilst establishing my own business. And boy, am I glad that I didn't, because the reality and the learning I have had to go through over the last six months would have meant little to no income or becoming desperate to sign new clients... and as you'll learn with me over the coming episodes... desperation is not good when you're trying to grow your business...
The other real struggle for me was trying to find the time to work on my business whilst still working full time, managing household chores, seeing friends and family. At one point it became all consuming... I would literally turn off my work laptop and turn on my personal laptop to work on the business... every thought was around my business... and I soon realised, that this was not healthy... my 'why' had taken over... and actually turned into the opposite - I was taking myself away from my family - so I had to find a balance... and we'll talk more about that in a later episode...
Now that you know your 'why', write it out in big letters or find a picture that represents it and put it up somewhere you'll see it every day. Save it as your screensaver on your phone, set it as the background on your laptop, turn it into your password - anything that will remind you of your 'why'. You want to keep those feelings of excitement, positivity, joy, motivation, passion alive!
A quote by Eric Thomas to leave you with:
Finding your 'why' is the first step to starting your business or injecting some energy back into what you're doing. The next step is finding your 'tribe' - a group of like minded people who are their to support and celebrate you as well as collaborate and network! If this sound's like your thing, then you definitely want to join the Unbusiness Club. I'm offering your first two weeks free whenever you join, so you've got nothing to lose and everything to gain!