Nada Jones, Founder, LTD365.com & LTD Expo
If you're thinking that 2011 is finally the year to start your own business, I have advice for you. I started my company, LTD365.com and the LTD Expo, to help women actualize their life passion — to write a book, start a charity, monetize a hobby, launch a business, and much more. Women today are in the midst of a revolution. For the first time ever, motherhood, financial security and pursuing a passion are no longer mutually exclusive. So what’s stopping us?
Here are a few tips that helped me overcome my own fears and insecurities to launch my business. And for the record, I am a risk-taker by nature. Even the most daring of us need a little push every now and then.
- Make a list of what life would be like if your venture were a success. Assume (and visualize) the best before you start poking holes in it.
- Make a list of the worst thing(s) that could happen if your plan failed. So? Would you be able to make it through? Do you have a survival strategy – for yourself personally, if not also for the project?
- Make a list of 8 things you need to do to get your idea off the ground. Schedule 2 items in your calendar per week. And remember, no excuses.
- Make it clear. If you get tongue-tied when people ask you what you do, then take some time to articulate your story in a single sentence. If it’s easy to understand, people can spread the word (= free marketing).
- Find a sounding board. Meet him/her on a regular basis for motivation and accountability. This is the person with whom you can share your vision and fears. This is the person who will be honest and objective with you.
- Record the successes you’ve had in a single month, and multiply by 12…This will give you a sense of accomplishment -- and help you recognize the viability of your idea.
- Remember - Nothing ventured, nothing ventured! This family mantra forces me to enjoy the process and not allow my fears to keep me from launching—doing—living! Commit yourself to the process and to being present in the process; this is where you’ll identify your mistakes and find hidden opportunities.
- Make a difference. Are you solving a problem? Are you making life better for someone else? Creating and growing something that’s bigger than we are is what will propel us forward. It makes the not-so-great days worth pushing through and the great days even sweeter.
Nada Jones is the founder of LTD365.com and the LTD Expo, a digital and live platform connecting women to the best people, resources, communities and organizations that will move their businesses and their lives forward. She is also the co-author of Sixteen Weeks to Your Dream Business; A Weekly Planner for Entrepreneurial Women. (For the record, LTD stands for Live The Dream—her hope for all women!)