Did you know you can outsource pretty much everything you need to start an online business? Everything except for your idea – that’s got to be yours. And overcoming fear. Only you can do that.
So let’s say you come to me, wanting to start an online business. You’re a blank slate, in that you don’t have a clue where to start or what to do. No worries, because someone who is a blank slate actually holds a tremendous advantage over someone who already thinks they know it all, when in fact they don’t really have a clue.
So you come to me and ask what you should do. And I stuff a pad of paper and a pen in your hand, and I tell you to go somewhere quiet and think. Because you’re going to brainstorm like you’ve never brainstormed before. You’re going to write down every idea you get. Good ones, bad ones, stupid ones – even the ones you KNOW for a FACT you cannot possibly pull off.
You’re going to write them all down.
“I want to teach a cooking course to people who currently can’t boil water.”
“I want to build an app that tells people where the vacant parking spots are in New York City.”
“I want to build a community gardening site for people who live in southern Florida.”
And so forth.
Be vague. Or get specific. Just brainstorm your heart out.
Speaking of which, watch for those items that feel especially near and dear to you, and put a little star by those. And then keep writing. You’re going to start your business on YOUR idea – not on what’s necessarily gone before or what other people are doing.
Lose all preconception of what will and what won’t work for now. That comes later. By generating your own business model without worrying about what anyone else is doing, you’re freeing yourself up from comparisons, crappy advice and self-doubts. Your business model can be anything you can imagine.
Naturally once you’ve narrowed your choices down to a handful, you’re going to do some research to make sure there is indeed a market for what you’re proposing. But I’m going to discourage you from spending a lot of time looking at any potential competitors. Ignore what they’re marketing, how they’re marketing it, how they’re advertising and so forth. Because that is where people learn to fear their own idea.
“This is already being done, so I’m too late!”
“This company is already doing a good job of covering this market, there’s no room for me.”
“Their idea is different from mine, so theirs must be the right one and mine must be wrong.”
And so forth.
Thus, you’re eliminating one type of fear that plagues all new marketers.
But there is a second fear you’ll need to overcome – the one that creeps up on you when your friends say, “What, YOU’RE going to start a business? HAHAHA!” Or maybe your friends are supportive, but you lack confidence. “What if people hate my product?” Yup. There’s a real heart stopper. And you cannot outsource overcoming those fears. So how do you deal with them?
For me, I just acknowledge them rather than fight them. Yes, I’m afraid. No, I’m not going to let it stop me. So Mr. Fear, you go sit in that chair over there while I work. And if you get bored, feel free to fly out the window. Believe it or not, this attitude works. When you stop letting fear take ahold of you, when you stop feeling like you’re trapped in its icy grip, when you just acknowledge it and do the work anyway, then fear tends to get real quiet. It takes a seat and watches for an opening. And if you don’t give it one, eventually it just leaves the way it came.
Ignore what’s going on around you. Put blinders on, manage your fear and above all else, stick to your idea