Traditional Business Startup Advice is Not the Advice You Most Need

Do a Google search for best business startup advice and you will find it chock full of advice like: write a business plan, hire a good attorney and accountant, be sure you choose the right tax entity for your business and build a strong social network.  business startup advice

All of the above is stuff that you might need to take care of eventually but it’s the wrong business startup advice for the prospective entrepreneur who wants to start strong and last long.

When I was developing my first business six years before I became a business coach, I went the traditional route and it consisted of a lot of jumping through hoops held out by bankers, lawyers and accountants who were often afraid to take the entrepreneurial risk themselves.

Three Truths You Really Need to Know to Start a Business

 

1. Take a good hard look at the specific fears that are stopping you from making your move.  They aren’t real. You’re more ready to start a business than you think you are because what you think is stopping you is a much smaller obstacle than you think it is. They usually boil down to being overly concerned with the opinion of others and with losing security that no employee really has anyway. The only certain security is created by calling your own shots while enjoying the freedom of building your own business. I offer a free Confidently Make the Leap strategy session to get really clear on your stopping blocks.

2. The marketplace rewards rare, authentic expression, so do not compromise. Instead follow your unique core makeup by starting a business that is developed in the way that only you can.  Success and fulfillment comes sooner and more easily by creating a new business that is ideal for you, more so than it could ever come by copying a business created by another.  The ideal business for you is an aligned match to your personal authentic makeup.  Without that alignment, to succeed, you will unnecessarily have to use willpower instead of the easier path of eagerness and inspiration.

3. It’s not enough just to start a business doing what you love; you must also give your clients what they need by offering it in the way they want it.  This requires personal research talking to those whom you want to serve. When your offer enters the conversation already going on in the mind of your ideal client then she knows that you care and understand her situation. That’s why it’s imperative to understand your distinct edge in the marketplace. When you do you can make your offer in a way that will elicit a strong emotional response from your best potential clients.

What will you do now?

Now that you know the truth about the best business startup advice what are you going to do about it?  I have two suggestions.  

  1. Request a complimentary strategy session from me here.
  2. Go to this Business Startup Guide.  On this page you’ll find 16 more business startup tips and 16 additional questions to boost your awareness so that you can increase the probability of seeing the best business idea for you.  

How To Make Your Idea A Real Business

I define a real business with two main qualifiers. One it’s authentic to you and two it pays you. Authentic business building is all about receiving money for providing value that fulfills you. That’s it.

As Steven Covey in his excellent book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People shared – Begin with the end in mind and put first things first.

Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind
Synopsis: Self-discover and clarify your deeply important character values and life goals. Envision the ideal characteristics for each of your various roles and relationships in life.

Habit 3: Put First Things First
Planning, prioritizing, and executing your week’s tasks based on importance rather than urgency. Evaluating if your efforts exemplify your desired character values, propel you towards goals, and enrich the roles and relationships elaborated in Habit 2.

This may surprise you but the first thing in turning your idea into a business is not incorporating or figuring out how to file your taxes. It’s not ordering business cards or putting up a website.

These things are all necessary but distracting steps, that can dilute your energy and cause you to avoid taking action.

No one has ever been paid for getting ready to be in business.

You aren’t really in business until you have a customer.

Are there preliminary steps that you must take to develop your idea into a business? Yes there are but they do not have to take you months to accomplish and you don’t have to write a traditional business plan.

Getting started in real business building activity is more important than writing a plan you may or may not ever follow.

Yet a written summary of the business is an essential focusing tool. Just write out what your business idea is, explain the product or service, define who you will be selling to and what aspect of your product, service, delivery or business model gives you a unique edge in the marketplace.

After you do that – then get busy building your business. A good place to start is by asking, answering and acting on these five questions.

1). What can I do now to move this idea forward into a business.

2). What are the next 90, 60 and 30 day milestones to set and hit to prove that I am doing so?

3). What are the three toughest questions I could get from someone who is testing my commitment and the idea’s validity?

4). What are my most enthusiastic and confident responses to each question?

5). How can I put myself in front of potential clients or customers now so I’m having real conversations about my real business?

Do these things first and you will create clarity and progress.

Go direct to what you want. Take action to get it and before you know it – you’ll have a real business.

Success Via Authentic Connection

I believe that the more we express our authentic uniqueness, the more likely we are to enjoy fulfillment, prosperity and freedom, …in a word success.

I believe that authentic expression counts for more than hard work and more than knowing the right thing to do.

Since success is based on the expression of your authentic uniqueness, what causes you to feel safe enough to express authentically?

What causes you to confidently express original thoughts?

In what environments are you more likely to take a stand?

You and I were meant to do something very special.  That’s why we are so unique.

But what if, in order to come into our own, we could not stand-alone?

What if your most beautiful and most valuable expression of authentic individuality, just couldn’t be reached by going it alone?

What if a certain part of you, (the most confident and strongest part) only emerged in deep connection with others?

What if the special music you came here to sing could not be sung solo?

If these words speak to you are interested in cooperative, authentic connection, let me know.

Hope Floats … Temporarily

Hope sometimes gets a bad rap in self-development circles.

Our culture is way too heavily influenced by parental programming, cautioning us not to get our hopes up.

I think that hope is an essential prerequisite for all new business creators.

Despair, disbelief, discouragement and pessimism are all antonyms for hope. Could you even consider starting a new business from that mindset? I know I couldn’t.

Childhood is what you spend the rest of your life trying to overcome. That’s what momma always says. She says that beginnings are scary, endings are usually sad, but it’s the middle that counts the most. Try to remember that when you find yourself at a new beginning. Just give hope a chance to float up. And it will… Sandra Bullock as Birdee Pruitt in the movie Hope Floats.

How glorious it would have been to have such an encouraging mom.

Her momma knew that hope provides a necessary lift of positive expectancy.

Hope is the glue that bonds ideas to action.

Hope is the bridge between authenticity and prosperity. In the early days of new business development there is little else to hold onto when actual results are scarce.

Yet you’ll starve if hope is the only staple in your encouragement diet. Hope by nature is fleeting and provides only temporary sustenance. At some point you must act in order to experience actual, not just imagined, movement.

Yes hope floats! Hope works because it stimulates our original inspiration. This gift is our natural desire of authentic expression within.

But inspiration must be harnessed within a certain period of time, before your “realistic” mind, begins over-thinking your lack of results and your dominant thought becomes self-doubt.

In my career and new business development coaching, this realization is missing for those folks who always feel as though they have too many interests to select one idea.

So they remain suffering within the safety of an endless loop of temporary inspiration and non-action, while hoping that the next idea will have enough lift to be their one true calling.

I’ve also seen this fruitless cycle perpetuated by long time self-help book readers, who mistake end of the book anxiety as the tension-relieving call to get lost within the next book.

But that anxiety is really your call to action. End-of-the-book anxiety is the same anxiety that calls you when your hope is about to expire. Right there, at that point of raw potential, you must act. It’s the only way to get what you want.

Everything in your mind and body is screaming run but right then only a charge will work.

It reminds me of this inspirational clip from the movie Gettysburg where Joshua Chamberlin lead the charge of the 20th Maine Volunteer Infantry Regiment.

Hope is wasted if it doesn’t lead to action. Action leads to gems of original realization and these enlightening treasures are only granted to those who act.

Teddy Roosevelt said it best. It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.

If you’d like to find a point of original inspiration then join me on August 18, 2010, 3:00-4:00 p.m. ET for this free phone class.

Life Purpose + Self-Employment = Freedom, Prosperity & Fulfillment: How to Get Your Hopes Up & Remain Inspired About Succeeding In Your Own Business

Authentic Inspiration Zaps Procrastination

Authentic inspiration is to procrastination what sunlight is to darkness.
Procrastination or any form of resistance just can’t coexist in the presence of authentic inspiration.

I’m going to go against the grain here and take a stand for inspiration.  Especially since Seth Godin came out with his excellent book, Linchpin, I’ve seen an awful lot written about battling resistance.  His marketing advice is topnotch and it always stretches my noodle.  But I think he’s missed the mark on resistance.

But Seth isn’t the only one.  Many authors and self-help gurus recommend taking a stand against resistance.  They say that you don’t have to feel good in order to create, follow-through and complete.  Seth goes so far as to recommend ignoring your feelings.

You’re familiar with this Nike-like philosophy of just sucking it up and doing it.   Use willpower and discipline they say.  Face the fear and do it anyway.  I used to spout this same rubbish until I stumbled on a better way.

More on that soon but first a confession; I’m a big tough guy and a talented, experienced coach but I’ve lost more battles with resistance than I’ve won.

Resistance is by definition self-sabotage. Procrastination is the most common manifestation of Resistance because it’s the easiest to rationalize.  Steven Pressfield

Resistance can also show up as distraction, obsession and avoidance.  Really any made up excuse or rationalization that keeps you from doing what you want to do, is resistance.

“Just Do It!” makes sense but why is it so damn hard to just do it? I understood that I get more done by diving right in but I more often run than dive.  Resistance is a sneaky bastard.  Sometimes you can trick it and sometimes not.

Sometimes accountability works and sometimes not.  Sometimes a sacred and honorable pledge will work and sometimes not. Sometimes looking at your deepest motivation  (why) for creating what you’re creating will work and sometimes not.

Have you had similar struggles with Resistance? Have you tried but found the “just do it” advice lacking?

I think that Seth and the boys assume that since willpower works for them it will work for everyone just as well.  Apparently not.

Self-control is an exhaustible resource.  Chip & Dan Heath from their book, Switch: How To Change When Change Is Hard.

Self-control is willpower, discipline, sucking it up and just doing it.  And we can run out of self-control.  I think traditional productivity experts have forgotten all about this oldie but goodie.

What we resist persists.  Perhaps resistance is so powerful because we keep fighting it. Ignoring feelings is resistance.  Sucking it up is resistance.  Standing up to resistance is resistance.

How about we try something that we can’t run out of?

Inspiration is inexhaustible as long as it’s authentic.

I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to work around resistance.  You don’t have to stand up to resistance.  You don’t have to suck it up and just do it.

Instead how about tapping into your naturally occurring flow of authentic aliveness?

How about working on something that naturally inspires you to feel really good?

I wonder what that might be?  Here’s a hint.

Don’t ask yourself what the world needs, ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that.  Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.  Howard Thurman

So my friend, what brings you alive with natural enthusiasm?  What brings joy to your heart and puts a spring in your step?  What work calls you?

One of my biggest challenges as a true calling coach is helping clients to see how they can transition into a true calling inspired business without putting everything at risk.

One of my biggest personal challenges used to be completing what I started.

So I’ve been experimenting with ways to serve my calling while at the same time finding a solution to my completion struggles.  I’m very excited to tell you that I’ve found the solution to both.

Today I’ve launched that solution in the form of a creation/completion product that you can use to Create Your Inspired Info Product In 5 Days. Purchase on or before Friday March 19, and save 50% off.

The easiest way to start a true calling inspired business is to create and sell an authentic product.   This guide inspires you every step of the way, as you complete not by sucking it up but by riding a wave of authentic aliveness.

Life doesn’t have to be one big struggle after another.  We were first built for joy.
I’ll close with a powerful video where Pamela Bruner takes us through a delightful EFT tapping session that uses fun instead of willpower to make challenging tasks easier.   This video is wonderful for creating a state of inspiration.

Get your copy of Create Your Inspired Info Product In 5 Days.

How To Extract Your Best Business Idea

You have powerful points of wisdom within that when expressed could be your authentic edge in the marketplace.  That wisdom represents better business ideas than anything your conscious mind realizes.

We talk a lot about authentic expression in terms of standing up for what’s important and in terms of life purpose but I don’t think we talk enough about our inner wisdom and how to extract it.

When you decide to express your well-earned inner wisdom you set yourself apart in remarkable ways.  It’s your wisdom and no one else can express and exploit it like you can.

Your best idea is waiting just below the surface, buried under your lack of willingness to dig and your fears.

How about instead of waiting for true calling epiphanies you take a look at how to dig deep and extract your own inner wisdom?

 

 

Major Wisdom Extraction Realizations

1). Forced Urgency is like a shortcut because it goes directly to the engagement of wisdom extraction.
2). With Increased Decisiveness you can discover, decide on and develop wisdom much more quickly than imaginable.

Forced Urgency

One of the most practical therapists I’ve ever read is Nathaniel Branden. He’s written classics such as The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem and Taking Responsibility.  One technique that Branden uses to extract wisdom is the technique of Sentence Stem Completion.

When we intensify awareness, we tend to generate a need for action that expresses our changed psychological state.  Nathaniel Branden

By swiftly answering strategically chosen sentence stems, six days in a row, with at least six complete sentence endings, we access resources that normally remain hidden from our consciousness.

Without the exercise this wisdom does not normally show up in our behavior. This powerful technique doesn’t give enough time for self-doubt and questioning so resistance doesn’t rear its ugly head.

If you’d like me to email you complete instructions on this technique ask for them here.

Increased Decisiveness

Resistance adores delay. It will seize any excuse to delay you just long enough so that your original inspiration fades.  Resistance knows that when left to discipline alone you are more likely to give up.

Self-control is exhaustible.  Chip & Dan Heath from their book, Switch: How To Change When Change Is Hard

So if self control (willpower, discipline) is an exhaustible resource, it’s only a matter of time when burning adrenaline alone, you run out of fuel.

What’s the answer?  Increase your speed to action by making decisions much quicker and engaging them much sooner.  In a word, decisiveness.

Surprisingly speed inspires sounder decision-making than careful analysis. When you’re quick about it, the best ideas surface and it’s easier to pick out the viable ideas from among the junk.

We have assumed that taking longer and being more thorough is good for us.  But getting lost in the delay of over-analysis is always more costly than acting decisively and making lots of mistakes.

What’s your experience using forced urgency and greater decisiveness?

Free Business Confidence Podcast

I think it has a lot to do with these three factors.
1). They didn’t go deep and extract their waiting wisdom so the idea was not authentically aligned.
2). They never followed a firm, creation/completion process with supportive structure and environment.
3). They were not able to use discipline and willpower to follow-through.

 

Your True Calling Inspired Business Startup

The old saying goes, he who hesitates is lost.  That’s true but the hesitator is more than lost – he’s lying to himself.

If you’ve wanted to identify and start a true calling inspired business and haven’t by now. What’s your excuse?

Really what are you waiting for?  I hope it’s not a small business idea that’s so brilliant that it arrives bathed in golden light on the wings of angels.  That’s a myth.  More good ideas come from observing mistakes than from epiphanies.

But to observe a mistake and extract the wisdom from it you’ve got to be willing to try lots of stuff so you make really good mistakes in the first place.

This post came from a mistake.  Yesterday I started a teleclass with 8 folks on the line.  It was called, Finding the Clarity and Confidence to Begin Your True Calling Inspired Business.

Halfway through the call all the participants got bumped off and I was talking to myself.   I thought that a couple may have dropped off and the remaining folks were just shy about participating.  I figured even if I were alone the recording would still take and I could send it out to folks.  Nope. Later I found out that I had no audience and no recording.

So I re-recorded the call and simplified it down to the three necessary ingredients for a true calling inspired business startup and five ways you can start up your business today.

You might think you need a perfect startup business plan or at least a completed idea of what your business will look like but that’s not true.  Believe that and you’ll never get started.

What you need for a successful business startup is to feel really good about it.  That good feeling comes from the clarity and confidence to begin.  If you’re through whining about risks and security and are ready to do something, listen to this recording and tell me what you think. Better yet – get started; humanity needs your expressed uniqueness.

[podcast]http://www.delightfulwork.com/audios/TruCallInspiredBiz.mp3[/podcast]

You’re Brilliant!

You really are brilliant, you know.  Out of 6 billion of us on the planet there is no one like you.

That’s not some cruel joke.  There is meaning to your being.  But that meaning is wasted when you don’t do what you love for a living.

Your uniqueness is your greatest blessing.

Are you leveraging your uniqueness?

Are you expressing your authentic individuality by doing what you love?

If not what do you fear?

I know you’ve experienced flashes of your own brilliance.

I know you’ve felt authentic aliveness with the arrival of a bold new idea.

How many of those ideas have you had without even taking the next small step to acting on them?

How often do you set one half-completed project aside and jump to the momentary madness of yet another fresh idea that you’ll likely not complete?

What causes you to fear and not act?

What is it about the delicious inspiration in a brand new idea that causes you to momentarily lose your senses?

Is it because it carries with it an unconditioned and unspoiled promise?

Is it because you haven’t yet dishonored it by not acting?

Is it because it offers further relief from the discomfort of completing last week’s fresh idea?

I used to be affected by this kind of unproductive, uninspired behavior but since I have begun noticing how the energy of inspiration, I’ve been experiencing creation differently.

So I’m curious, what do you think is missing from your creative productivity process?

There’s really nothing wrong with your brilliant bad ass self.  You can do something brilliantly that is far more valuable than you ever contribute by copying the inspiration of another.

But if you can identify what’s missing – you can add it.

There’s a lot to be said for work habits and or inspiration that increase your speed to taking the first step.  Urgency bypasses the fear of our cognitive minds.  You can try this do what you love exercise and prove it to yourself.

What was missing for me was a real feeling of connection that inspires authentic aliveness.  I’m almost embarrassed to admit it but I think I’m one of those people who need to feel good about doing what I’m doing.

Some self-employed business owners develop the discipline to be productive regardless of their feelings.  But does creativity have to be a fight or can it be more of a flow?  It makes me wonder.

I wonder if for me and maybe others, a more effective approach is to generate good feelings about our ideas and projects so we are more authentically inspired to complete them.

Now generating good feelings of authentic aliveness is something that I know how to do.

It’s working so far.  Stay tuned for further developments.

In the meantime, lighten up and imagine how effective you might be if you regularly got unconditional supportive praise like the dude in my favorite commercial.

When you are ready to get really clear on what you want seize this opportunity.

What’s Your Main Thing?

Your main thing both grounds you and inspires you. istock_000005339131xsmall

Your main thing presents an opportunity for self-honor and personal integrity.

Your main thing must be something that you’d always defend when backed against the wall.

Your main thing emboldens you organically with natural confidence.

Your main thing is the core backbone of your business niche.

If you aren’t sure about your main thing then you may struggle in business.

Do not confuse the business function built around your main thing as your main thing.

My core business function, as a start up coach, is to guide clients through the process of discovering, validating and expressing their main thing in the form of a prosperous business.

But that’s not my main thing.

My main thing is championing uniqueness.  My main thing is encouraging you to express your authentic singularity.

The world needs you to express your magnificent unlikeness.

The independent nature of your makeup is the key to finding and profiting from your authentic sweet spot.

We want to know what makes you different.

We’ll pay you well for your distinctiveness.

What’s your main thing? If you know it will you honor us by sharing it here?

Have an idea for a business and your not sure if it will fly? Then join us for this free phone class, on July 15, to run your idea through the gauntlet.

Parlay Your Wisdom

What’s your greatest business or blogging realization of 2008? Let’s give a great gift of wisdom to one another.

To realize means coming to understand something clearly and distinctly.

The time to act on a fresh realization is soon after its awakening. There’s an energy there that can be harnessed to drive positive change.  Feel the power in these synonyms for realization: enlivening, recognition, vigilance, alertness, quickening.

Yet when we fail to act, or fail to come to a decision based on the realization, it’s power diminishes.

Once aware, you have the power to act.  A realization is new wisdom, new awareness.  Realizing and not acting is walking away and leaving money on the table.

Even if your realization is personal, it can be parlayed into better business building.

What’s my greatest realization?

Getting a jump on things is essential to my personal productivity, project completions and peace of mind.

What do you need to do differently in order to capitalize on your realization? What do you need to do more of? What do you need to do less of?

My answer:

1). I’m better served to make decisions based on pre-determined, required, criteria, rather than saying yes to unplanned offers, distractions and unexpected opportunities that may not fit my criteria.

2).  I need to decide sooner, act more swiftly, and focus on chosen priorities more often.  This will help me get a jump on things and stay ahead of the game.   I need to determine how I’ll know I’m winning and keep my lead.  I function better with momentum, rather than coming from behind.  I no longer respond well to adrenaline based deadlines.

As solopreneurs, realizations are essential to business success because our personal productivity is the main driver and cause of our business productivity.

What about you? Are you willing to share this gift of wisdom?

What is your greatest business or blogging realization of 2008?

What do you need to do differently in order to capitalize on your realization? What do you need to do more of? What do you need to do less of?

For extra authenticity credit, consider answering one or more of the above questions before reading the other comments.