As a 32-year-old woman, I am well aware of all the challenges, heartache and fear that go into being self-employed. Three years ago, I was working as an attorney for a law firm. I was overworked, had no time to have a life and found myself wondering why in the world I had wasted so many years of my life getting a law degree. Fast-forward to today…although I work harder and am often overcome with the fear of producing my own income, there is not a day that goes by that I am not thankful for taking that leap of faith.
In the past two months, I have given a lot of thought about what it was that pushed me to start my own business and what it was that for years prevented me from doing so. Here is a list of the 3 things that I think prevent us from taking that step and some ideas on how to overcome those challenges:
1. I won’t make any money.
This is probably the biggest fear. You think that no one will hire you, you won’t find clients, and no one will buy your product. The list could continue indefinitely. The truth is that you run this risk at all points in your life. At any moment your boss could decide to fire you and you’re back at square one. You have to have the self-confidence to believe that you know what you are doing, you are an expert in your field and you can succeed. Think of it this way: feel same way about starting a business as you do when you walk into a job interview and know you are capable of doing the job!
2. I don’t know how to run a business.
Trust me neither did I. But just like with anything in life, it’s all trial and error. You can read books, go to seminars and think of all the scenarios in your head but you wont know until you fail. You have to keep it very simple at first and then build it up. Don’t jump in with employees and expensive retail spaces. With time, you will learn how to hire, fire, market and sell.
3. I don’t know where to start.
You don’t have to start in the middle. That sounds really obvious right? Start with an idea you like, something you are good at. Figure out what product or service you can provide. Then figure out how to get it to your target customer. Build on that and the rest will come naturally.
It’s scary to start your own business but the first step is the hardest. Close your eyes and go…you wont regret it!
About the Author
Dania Alvarenga of Alvarenga Law, is a practicing attorney in the areas of litigation, business, corporate transactions, employment, and mediation.