Are you thwarting your own success?
Be honest with yourself. When is the last time you’ve questioned yourself? Was it at the gym yesterday when you stepped on the scale? I’m never going to reach 140, might as well give up now. Was it two Fridays ago when you had to work rather than cheer on your son’s football game? What a great mom I am, can barely get food on the table and now I miss his game. Was it a few weeks ago when you had a totally awesome idea for a new website. Yeah, right. Another website. I don’t stand a chance.
Any of these negative thoughts sound familiar? Think back one month – how many self-limiting thoughts have you had?
As women, but especially as moms, we seem to be programmed to question our worth. You can be the most confident woman in the world, but you still have moments when you think you’re simply not good enough. So as an entrepreneur, how do you pursue your dreams of starting a business when those pesky thoughts keep smacking you in the face? What differentiates forever-entrepreneurs from actual small business owners is the ability to identify a self-limiting belief for what it is, and conquer it.
Here are 8 of the most prevalent crippling thoughts related to entrepreneurship and what you can do about each.
1. My idea is not unique enough.
Then make it unique! There are countless opportunities to make a “piggyback” business stand out from the competition. Name your business something clever. Tailor it to a specific audience. Offer a better pricing structure. Reward customers with better incentives. Create custom packaging. Believe me, I’d bet my big toe that 75% of businesses that exist were created from another, very similar idea – but just executed a bit differently.
2. There’s too much competition
Yes, there is – this is true. But per the last belief, there are countless ways to differentiate your business. Just understand what your customers want and identify creative solutions that they will pay for. Collaborate with your competition. Here’s how.
3. I don’t have enough time
No one does. Learn that fact now and you’ll probably own five businesses by tomorrow (kidding!). If you want to be a business owner, you have to create time. I squeeze in 10 minutes of work while my daughter is eating breakfast in the morning. I do research after my daughter goes to sleep and I do have child care a few days a week so I can spend time focusing on the business. I consider spending money on time a business expense and if I can’t afford this expense, my results would just come slower. This is where time management and tools to manage your time really comes into play.
4. I don’t have adequate knowledge
What makes you say that? Because you don’t have a degree in it? Who cares. You don’t always have to have a degree or ten years of experience to be successful at business ownership (i.e. Alexa Hirschfeld, Ben Silbermann, Susan Gregg Koger, and 13-year-old Mallory Kievman). Do yourself a really big favor- take a lesson from these successful and under-30 business owners and squash the fear – now!
5. I have too many ideas
And the problem with that is? Having “too many ideas” is what entrepreneurship is all about. You’re luckier than most who are still itching to find that “next great idea!” Now here’s what to do about it. Sit down on the computer and prioritize. If you’re starting your first business, ask yourself the following questions? Which one am I most passionate about? Which one is the most unique? Which one really answers what customers are looking for? Which one has the most income potential? Tally your answers up and whichever one gets the most check marks, start your business plan!
6. I’m neglecting my child/husband/home
You’re a mom – you have guilt just like the rest of us. But if your kids are clothed, fed, safe and dry – you’re not neglecting them! I used to get disheartened when I was on the computer and my daughter was playing by herself on the floor, but I kept reminding myself that she’s okay. Solo playtime won’t hurt once in a while! Work around the schedules of your children as much as possible and when you are spending time with them, make it count.
7. It’s too stressful to balance work, family and entrepreneurship
Yes, it is, this is also true. The part of this that cripples most is letting the stress squash all hopes of your dreams coming true. Ask yourself what might help alleviate some of the stress so that you can focus on your business. Can grandma watch the kids on Tuesday evenings so you can work? Can you forgo a full-time day job for part-time or freelance work? Can you invest in a laptop to work during those “in-between” moments? Can you join a support group? Can you partner with another entrepreneur and split the hardship associated with the startup? Make a list of potential options and discuss them with your family to find the best route. One thing is for certain, it requires sacrifice by everyone.
8. I won’t be able to fund the venture
Have you tried? What makes you think it won’t be funded? Did you get feedback from investors? How can you alter your proposal to piqué investor interest? Do you have a savings account to pull from? Have you tried crowdfunding options? Are you networking? Yes, getting funding is hard, particularly for women entrepreneurs, but don’t let what’s hard stop you. Target angel investment groups that are made up of other women or who target women-owned businesses. Gust is a great site to connect and pitch angel investors.
We all know that there are way more than 8 self-limiting beliefs that prevent women entrepreneurs from small business success but hopefully we’ve helped you conquer the most prevalent ones. The key to overcoming these thoughts are realizing that they are what they are – thoughts with no backbone that creep upon unsuspecting victims. The best thing you can do is equip yourself with the understanding that millions of other women – just like you – are starting businesses and working from home every day. Do you really want to be the one left on the sidelines because you’re too crippled to play the game?
Now Over to You
What beliefs or stories do you tell yourself that prevent you from moving forward?