I’ve heard it so many times before:
’Claire I have so many ideas I don’t know which one to choose!’
‘Claire, I get an idea that I love, and I get started with everything I need to do to bring it to life but before I finish, I have a new idea and I’m back to square one. This has been happening for months, help me!’
‘Claire, which business should I start?’
‘Claire what am I doing? Maybe I’m just not cut out for this, if I was, I’d know what I am supposed to be doing.’
So many women struggle with this part of creating the business and life they want. I was exactly the same until I shook myself down. Sometimes you have so many ideas, you’re multi-passionate and you want to do everything! That makes it tricky to choose an idea and run with it.
The good news is: You CAN do it all!
The thing is: You can’t do it all at once. One step at a time!
Imagine you decided to learn a language but when you looked at the prospectus you couldn’t decide between Spanish, Italian & Polish and so you signed up for all three! What do you think would happen?
I’m going to guess that unless you’re supremely organised, you’re going to get confused, you’re going to have no free time left and you’re highly likely to drop out having not learned any languages or you’ll scrape by and pass by the skin of your teeth, but you’ll not exactly be proficient in any of the languages.
Now imagine you choose one, learn it and once you’ve mastered it, you move to the next. You can learn all of them just not all at once!
And it will be the same with a business. All businesses change and evolve over time. Yours will too, and that’s why its totally ok to just start with one thing. Get good at it, find your feet, then start to add all those other layers!
When you’re in the throws of the uncertainty, it can feel like you’re drowning in frustration, stress, self-doubt, time wasting and no-mans land. So, I’ve created these 5 handy steps to act as your roadmap to get moving towards that dream business and life of yours!
Step 1: Get clear on why you want a business in the first place.
If you’re saying you want to go into business for the fame and fortune, I hate to break it to you, but there are probably easier ways to make money! Money is awesome, and by all means create big money goals but don’t go into business with the sole aim of getting rich. Running a business is challenging and there will be many an obstacle and the thirst for money, won’t be enough to help you through them. You will, however, show up day in day out for a cause you’re passionate about and that inspires you. So, do that instead. Start by asking yourself these questions:
- What will this business mean for my life?
- I could make money doing anything, why do I want to start a business?
- What will my business give to the world?
- What’s inspiring me to start a business? What do I believe in?
- Why should my business exist? Whose lives are going to improve because of it?
You can use this exercise for starting a business in general or if you have a particular idea in mind!
Step 2: Know where your passions and skills meet.
I’m hoping that you’ve worked through step one and are really clear on why you want a business in the first place. If you don’t have that then the rest of it won’t matter.
In this step drill down even further into your passions. What do you really care about? What do you love doing? If money was no object and you could work for free, what would you want to do? If you were having a rough day, what would you still be ok with doing? What makes you feel good after you’ve done it?
Now look at what you’re good at. What do other people always say you are good at? What skills do you know yourself that you have that would be great in a business? What types of talents and capabilities come naturally to you? If people were to say ‘Oh you definitely should speak to (your name) about that’ – what would they be talking about?
Now bring your best skills, talents, and abilities together with your highest passions. Do any of those ideas you’ve been agonising over fit in? If so, brilliant. That’s an awesome place to start.
If not, don’t worry, your idea is in there, you just haven’t spotted it yet! If this is you, then dig deeper with this question:
If I put the things I’m passionate about into a big bowl and mixed it with the things I’m good at, what could I make that people would pay for? I guarantee there is something in there! Play around with lots of different combinations of your skills and passions.
Tip – Sometimes you might not be the best judge of what you’re good at so reach out to a few friends, colleagues, and people you trust and ask them what they think you are good at.
Step 3: Figure out who you’d like to work with.
We’ve all been there right? Getting up in the morning knowing that today we have to deal with ‘that’ client! You’re a tad less than motivated right?
Now, imagine getting to work with people you choose to work with everyday. It’s somewhat different right?
The people you will serve are at the heart of your business. If you don’t have a genuine passion for helping them in some way then it won’t matter how awesome your idea is or how skilled you are at what you do, your apathy will pour through and you will struggle to really get anywhere.
Think of exactly who you would like to serve in your business. What is important to them and how exactly do you help them? What products or services do they need or want to make their lives better in some way? If you’re having trouble thinking of someone you’d like to serve, then it’s likely that starting a business/ this business isn’t right for you right now and you need to get back to the drawing board!
To get clear on who you want to serve, ask yourself questions like:
1 – Who exactly is your product or service for?
2 – What are their day to day lives like?
3 – What problems do they have/ what would make their life better/ easier/ more fulfilled?
4 – What do they care about? What are their values & beliefs?
5 – What do they spend money on?
6 – Why do they need you?
Step 4: How do you want a business to fit into your life?
This one is kind of a biggie because it determines the size of your business and the model you choose to work with. So, let’s say you’re a mum with young children who wants to have a business that means she can always be there for the kids, do the school runs, take the day off on a whim for a day out or when one of the kids is sick. And lets say that on top of that, you don’t want to be responsible for paying other people’s salaries or for managing other people. Well then starting a bricks and mortar shop that has to be manned at all times isn’t going to be the ideal scenario for you. You’ll want a small business, likely an online business, that offers you the flexibility to work when you want.
On the other hand, lets say you’re also a mum of young kids but you have a great support network and you want to go all in on building a high flying business. You want to create an empire. You’re happy to put in the time because you have that support system there and you relish leading and managing other people, then something bigger is going to appeal to you.
The key is to be honest with yourself. If you’re saying you want to create an empire because you think it’s what you should do, or because you want to prove to the world that you can do it, when in reality you’re going to feel guilty for spending less time with the kids than you feel you should, acknowledge that now! You can have both, but the business model you choose has to be reflective of what you actually want.
Get clear here by asking yourself:
1 – What are the elements of my life that are non-negotiable? (e.g. picking up the kids every day, working full time etc)
2 – What am I willing to be flexible with?
3 – How do I feel about managing other people and why?
4 – Do I want to work from home or to get out?
5 – How do I envision my days as a business owner?
Some models you can think about are:
- A bricks & Mortar business
- A network marketing business
- One-one services (on and/or offline)
- Group services (online courses)
- Subscription based business (charging a monthly fee for a physical/ digital product/ service)
- Online shop
Step 5: Compare Contrast & Choose.
Think about how each of your ideas fit in around the 4 previous themes we’ve just talked about to see which one(s) would work best for you. Now, don’t get disheartened if there’s no exact match, this is where you get the chance to be super creative and play with your ideas. Even if the idea you’re thinking of now isn’t being done in a particular model, you can be the first e.g. no one ever subscribed to getting their razor blades automatically sent out every month until the Dollar Shave Club started doing it.
Get super clear by opening a spreadsheet/ table or draw one in your journal. Write each of your ideas down the first column and title the remainder of the columns:
- Description (this is where you will describe the idea in one or two sentences
- Who will I serve?
- The problem I will solve
- The Solution I offer
- How this business fits around my life
- How I will make money from this business
- How passionate am I about this business (score between 1-10 with one being not passionate and 10 being extremely passionate)
Now the most important part of this stage is to choose, to make an actual decision and go with it. Remember, you can have them all but not all at once. By choosing one, you aren’t giving up on the others, you’re clearing the path.
If you enjoyed this guide, be sure to join my subscriber family so you never miss another one!