Friday, March 19, 2010

Starting Up and Tuning Out

Image: graur razvan ionut /

You must start your new business, and you must start it now. I know I sound bossy, but you need me to be.

You need to hear this.

I know this, because I was once like you. I hemmed and hawed. I wasn't sure. I got really excited about a business idea, thought it all through one night when my anticipation and planning kept me up, got up the next morning and wrote notes and notes and notes, and then I started talking about it with my friends.

And that's when it all came to a screeching halt.

"How are you going to do that?"
"Who is going to pay for that?"
"Do you really think people will want that?"
"I don't know ANYBODY who would be interested in that."
"What about this? What about that?"
"Are you serious? I have no idea what you are talking about."

Your friends second-guessed you and blew your momentum. Bastards.

Listen to me now: your friends are NOT your business. Your friends will help you once you are IN business. Friends are like that--they want to be around successful people. But there is a reason they aren't in business and you will be. They aren't entrepreneurs.

If you are lucky enough to have a friend who is an actual entrepreneur, then listen to that person, if she is willing to talk. Listen to their advice, but don't hang on their every word. Even my good friend who is fully self-employed and has a staff of about 20 is a naysayer. I need to be very careful when talking to him about my business ideas--he will dash them all to the ground instantaneously.

When I called him on it one time, when I said to him, "Why do you shit all over every idea I share with you? I'm not competing with you at all. Why must you go out of your way to ruin my fun?" he replied,

"Oh, I thought you wanted me to play the devil's advocate."

I said, "When did I ask you to do that?"

"Um.....I guess you didn't. Sorry about that."

See? Even your friends who are in business for themselves will try to drown your dreams in their reality. Many very successful business writers have said that we should talk, talk, talk about our ideas, as that's the only way to make things happen.

I'm not so sure.

Talk if you want, but only if you are strong enough to handle the naysayers. And they are everywhere. Talk if you want, but only if you can first cultivate an air of aloof omniscience; look at that person as if you know all the answers, but just won't tell them. Fan your hand at them when they start in with the hows and the whys and the what-ifs, and say, "Oh, it will all become apparent when it needs to be. I'll handle those details then."

And that's exactly what you should do. Say it, but then do it. That's the way to make things happen.

Do it now!

You must start your business now. You might succeed. You might fail. But you must, must, must start it now. You have no other time in your life. The only time we are guaranteed is right this second. There is nothing to be gained by waiting.

I'm not listening to your excuses. I'm not listening to, "I have a baby," or "I'm too busy," or "My husband just left me," or "I'm on crutches right now," or "when I finish school."

Start it now, or you're a pansy and I'm never talking to you again.

Go. Now. Write it down and get started.

Your assignment: Write down your business ideas, and do one thing (1 thing!) today toward starting it. Start a blog, buy a web domain, open a bank account, create a fan page on Facebook (before you've even started!), open an Etsy shop with nothing in it. Do it now!

What are you waiting for? Are you still here? Go! You have important work to do!


  1. Good advice. I have had inner struggles and many a melt down. I try to just keep in mind that my goals are long term, not short term.

  2. Thanks for writing this! It helps to hear that our friends may not always know they're supposed to support us emotionally in our ventures. And it helps that we don't have to do it all at once. One thing at a time is good.

    I've started my new business and I'm working on it a little at a time. I'm learning plenty as I go and hope I don't have to re-learn too many things along the way.

    Thanks for doing this!

  3. Andrea: Long-term and short-term goals are important. Perhaps I'll write a post on goal-setting.

    Denny: thanks for the feedback. Friends don't always know how to give support. But it's not always our job to teach them, either. Sometimes it's okay to just sit and listen, and not our heads, and say, "Thanks--I'll consider that." And then we do what we want, anyway. :)