(This is part 1 in a 5-part series on solo entrepreneurship – if you’ve ever considered starting your own business, or know someone who has, let’s explore together!)
First of all, good work getting this far! You’re not settling for the easy path – you want to really make an impact.. And you have an amazing idea. So what’s next?
Talk to the right people.
You know those people who genuinely care, but will also be brutally honest with you? Start with them – especially if they have entrepreneurial experience. We need these people in our lives anyways – the ones who relentlessly believe in us while relentlessly questioning our ideas. If you don’t know anyone like that, ask around and make a new friend. Successful entrepreneurs are often eager to help others in their ventures – and they won’t pull punches if they see problems with your idea. A few sessions with a professional coach is also a fantastic idea.
Count the cost
Literally and figuratively. In the first step, you want others to be honest with you – now it’s your turn to tell yourself the cold, hard truth. How much money will you need? How much time? Should you quit your job (you’ll have plenty of time to devote to your dream!) or start this out as a side hustle while still putting food on the table with your current job?
Do you have contingency plans for when things don’t go according to plan? If you have a family, are they on board with the resources you’ll be spending on this venture?
You don’t want to run out of gas and get stranded halfway down the road to entrepreneurial success. An oft-forgotten resource to consider is energy. If time and finances are plentiful, that’s great! Do you also have the emotional fortitude to keep going when it gets tough?
Get a strong support system.
Just because you’re embarking on a solo venture does not mean you can do it alone. Make sure you have the right people on your team. Honestly, entrepreneurship can feel like a boxing match at times. When the inevitable gut-punches come (and they’ll often come in multiples at once) you’ll need friends and associates who will be in your “corner”, encouraging you to get back in the ring and keep fighting. Whether you’re a web designer, healthcare professional, or carpenter, you’ll need people who will support you in your work – and care even more about your personal health.
Is there a small step you can take right now toward putting the “rubber to the road”? Do it! In fact, feel free to stop reading this blog right now and get after it. There are some steps about which you’ll want to be very careful – especially anything public-facing about your business, so as not to confuse potential clients. But today you can reach out for coffee with a trusted friend, start a free course on Coursera or EdX, or send a few messages to leaders who have had success in your field and see what responses you get. Today you can begin building trust with yourself that you’re serious about taking steps to make your entrepreneurial dream a reality.
Your friends here at your favorite web design agency are cheering you on in your new venture. Let us know if there’s any way we can help!