Can I vent for just a quick sec? If I hear another person say, “I want to have my own business to finally make some money”, I just might scream (well, maybe not scream but roll my eyes at least;). PEOPLE- going into business for yourself is NOT like hitting it big in Vegas. It’s actually a looong road of life lessons, disappointments, victories, surprises, mis-steps, losses, and wins. It is NOT for the faint of heart, the overly cautious, or the nervous Nancy. Now, my intention here is not to discourage you from your dreams of having a Pilates empire, but instead to inspire you to do a heart check. Are you in this for the fame and fortune or because your heart might just burst if you don’t get to bring your dream to the world? If you are in the last category here’s my list of qualities you can nurture to kill it as an entrepreneur:
- You’re a natural born bossy pants. You were the kid in school who was always picked first to be president. You like being a leader, pointing the way, inspiring others to be their best selves. Being a boss means well, you’ll likely have to “boss” other people. If helping others reach their full potential gives you chills (in a good way) then you have #1 covered.
- You have ants in your pants. I know this article is starting to sound a little junior but bare with me here. The hard truth about being in business for yourself is it’s well, lonely. No one else is setting your goals, keeping you accountable, motivating you to get out of your comfy bed every day. To be successful as an entrepreneur you’ll have to be naturally self-motived. There’s no one to answer to except yourself. Make sure you’re ready for the job of being a daily cheerleader for yourself.
- You’re tough. While you’ll have many amazing victories and a-ha moments growing and building your business, things can definitely get hairy from time to time. If you’re faint of heart and find yourself raising the white flag of surrender under the first signs of duress, you might be in trouble here. Entrepreneurship is a marathon not a race. You have to be in it for the long haul and that takes resilience. Toughen up your skin and you have a chance at success.
- You squeal, beam, speak emphatically and wave your hands widely when talking about your business. Going into business for the money will leave you sadly mistaken. Going into business because you are so passionate and excited about what you do- will give you a fighting chance. Passion smells like a sweet perfume, desperation reeks like that cheap drug-store crap. People will literally smell your authenticity and fire for what you do. If you are in love with what you do- “your milkshake is sure to bring all the boys to the yard”.
- You know what you want and you go for it. This goes back to #2- it’s usually just you, yourself, and well- you running the show that is your business. If you have trouble making decisions you might want to take a good look at why. Do you want everyone to like you? Do you have fear associated with making the wrong decisions? I will let you in on a little secret: you ARE going to make mistakes while trying to manage your company. That’s just how you learn. Do we not fall when we try to walk??? Seriously, you have to be able to make judgments without tearing your hair out ‘cause there’s gonna be lots of decisions to be made and we like your hair.
- You’ve got balls (or ovaries if you prefer) Fear is normal when starting a venture on your own, but when it is crippling and keeps you from what you need to do it’s a major weak spot in your persona. Listen, I wasn’t always this tough broad that I am today. I had to learn to put my big girl panties on and stand up for myself. While it wasn’t easy it was one of THE most important things I needed to master to be successful with my endeavors. I grew my cajones, and so can you. Here’s how I did it if you wanna know…
- You can touch your toes literally and figuratively. I often find myself comparing my business to a roller coaster ride. While its twists and turns can be pretty thrilling it’s also quite terrifying going up, around, and upside down when you least expect it. If you get freaked out easily when your day suddenly turns course, you might have to adjust your expectations of having your own business. Being flexible with the ever changing needs of your business is a must.
- You could sell ice to an eskimo. As yucky as it may sound- selling your service, product, and your self is part of having your own gig. You don’t have the machine of a big studio or gym behind you to procure clients to work with- you gotta do it yourself. Luckily selling doesn’t have to be sleazy. Find your authentic voice and focus on finding your tribe of peeps that want just what you have to give. Then don’t be shy- and shout it from the rooftops!
- You can stand on one leg while riding the subway. Striving for work/life balance is probably one of the greatest mysteries of entrepreneur-dom. You don’t have set shifts. No paid vacations or lunch hours. It’s up to you to unplug and take time away from your business. Busy-ness can be an addiction, and obsession with your biz will create burnout. Don’t let your organization suffer from your fixation. Take breaks and live well.
- You walk the road less traveled. Contrary to popular belief- business, branding, and marketing are creative endeavors. Being original and uniquely you takes some right brain power. Anybody can find someone with a similar business, and model (or copy) it almost identically. First, not only is that illegal but no one likes a copy-peacock, including your potential clients! Be careful not to spend too much time looking at your competitor’s websites or branding materials. Think outside of the box. Color outside of the lines. This is essential for the success of your work.
Don’t have what it takes just yet? Don’t fret my pet! Business, like life is a learning curve. Don’t wait until you are “ready” to start working for you! Start today! You will probably never feel like you have it all in place, but at least you’ll be moving forward. Move forward fearlessly and don’t give up on your dreams! You will be glad you did!