The Field of Dreams Guide to Starting a New Business

Ever wanted to start a business but can’t find the best way to begin?

Like many of us, you want to run a business, you feel you can do it, but something holds you back. You’re not sure what. It’s hard to put your finger on exactly what stops you from taking the first step. Well, I’ve been there. Here’s some ways to get round this.

Practical tips of how to start your own business

How to Get Started

One thing I’ve learned is this. Your mind changes like the weather.

Let’s say you decide to lose weight and promise to make a real effort.

You really mean it. You’re determined that it’s going to work this time, right?

…then you walk into the kitchen, open the cookies, eat a few ginger snaps, maybe a Coke. What happened to the diet?

Our brains are strangers to ourselves.

One part of you can decide to diet. Another has no interest. It’s not paying attention. It sees no benefit. It doesn’t want to make efforts. Any effort.

And this is the secret…

If you want to start your business:

  • Create a game plan whereby you can overcome this resistance from yourself. The battle is internal, not external.
  • Think of all the times, for example, you started a diet, or decided to learn a new language, and then what? You sabotaged yourself, right? It wasn’t really the kids fault, or your wife, or husband. We create our own obstacles.
  • Create small goals, which we can monitor more effectively, are the best way to get started. If your goals are set too high, you’ll make a super effort at first, but then fall away when the enthusiasm wears off. 

Now we need to find ways to get round this. How?

9 Ways To Find Time For Your Business Idea

Developing a business is like any new skill. It takes time. It takes patience. Yes, there are ‘get rich quick’ stories out there but most are flukes.

You didn’t learn Spanish in 21 days did you?

So, you’re not going to learn to run a fully-fledged web business in a few weeks either. But, with patience and effort you’ll get there.

The first commitment you need to make is your own time.

  1. Start your work day an hour earlier. I start at 6am. My aim is 5am. Don’t believe me? Catch me on Twitter and you’ll see I’m there.
  2. Use this hour to your advantage. Don’t check your emails, Facebook or Twitter.
  3. Focus on creating outputs. Write material for your blog, improve your website, connect with others in a meaningful way, develop some content that you can resell later, read tutorials that drive your business forward.
  4. Do things that move you forward.
  5. Limit the amount of time on Facebook, Twitter and other sites. Keep asking yourself, ‘Does this drive my business forward?’
  6. Turn off your cell phone when studying. Stay focussed. Make the best use of that one hour.
  7. Turn off the TV for one week. This one ‘sacrifice’ may give you 10, 15 or 20 extra hours to dedicate to your business. And once you get used to not watching the TV, you mightn’t go back. I watch sports and that’s about it. Life is too short.
  8. During your lunch-hour bring a business book or copy a MP3 to your iPod.
  9. Be more selective in your choice of friends. Spend more time with friends that support your business ideas and avoid those that are skeptical or try to mock your efforts. These types aren’t real friends anyway so don’t feel too guilty in avoiding them.

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6 Practical Ways to Motivate Yourself

To get things up and running:

  1. Surround yourself with material that drives you forward. We all need reminders of where we’re going, so place things in your house the keep these goals in mind.
  2. Keep a notepad next to your PC.
  3. Write down every great idea that comes to mind. Don’t self-censor or critique what you’re writing. What’s important is that you develop your business brain. Exercise it. When you have an idea, write it down. Over time these ideas may form the seed of your next business project.
  4. Invest money in your new business. Don’t go overboard but budget some money every month for your new business to remind yourself that this is happening. This also forces you to take your business more serious.When ‘you’ see that you’re investing real dollars into your project, other parts of your personality take notice. ‘Hey, this is serious. I need to pay attention.’
  5. Visit the library. Take out three or four books.
  6. Leave Business books around the house. Some in the kitchen, bathroom and bedroom. And next to the TV. That way you can dip into the books instead of searching for them. It’s like getting kids to each fruit. They won’t eat it if you ask them but… if it’s there next to them, they may pick it up while watching TV and then start munching away.

As always, plant seeds.

5 Ways to Continue When Things are Hard

I’ll talk more about this in the coming weeks as there are different ways I push on when things are not working for me.

Here are some quick wins that always help:

  • Stats – if you update your blog once a week (or more), you’ll begin to see more traffic to your site. This proves that the needle is moving in the right direction, right? If you update it three times a week, traffic will really improve. Google likes frequent posts.
  • Sales – create a product as soon as possible and get it online. If you don’t have one, find a great product that you can sell online and claim your commission. If you need ideas, email me and I’ll share some that I resell.
  • Feedback – ask questions on LinkedIn.com and other business networks about where you’re going. People are very helpful and will respond. If you’re doing it right, they’ll start following you on Twitter and hopefully add comments to your site.
  • Comments – these will start to come in once you’ve build a small following. Remember to email everyone who leaves a comment for the first time. This creates a nice impression and really gets folks to come back more often.
  • Share – you should also share what you know. You know more than you think. Like most folks, you probably undervalue what you’ve learned and don’t realize how valuable it may be to others.

Of all the points listed above, sharing what you know is the best way to make things work. People are looking for in-depth knowledge. If you can provide this, they’ll start to follow you.

As Kevin Costner says in Field of Dreams, ‘Build it and They will come.‘

Those are some ways I’ve managed to get my business from a dream into a reality. What else do you think I should add?

Jake.

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