If you’ve ever tried to launch your own business, you know that the conceptual phase can be exhilarating. Some of us actually never get past this part, addicted to the rush of creating a business from scratch. For the rest of us, we know that at some point you have to get up from the kitchen table, pour out your cold coffee, and actually get to work building it. And that’s often where motivation and excitement sputter out.
Challenges of Creation
Building a business on paper is like a game. In reality, there’s a lot of hard work: Funding, infrastructure, finding partners and employees, and building a customer base. Each of these necessary steps comes with a million details. Everyone will find different aspects of it harder than others. In the beginning we’re often on our own, however, and have to deal with parts of the business we’d prefer not to, and that makes it even harder to stay motivated.
It can be hard to stay motivated, but certainly not impossible. I’ve been through the process a few times, and here’s what I’ve learned about staying positive and excited after that initial rush:
1. Be Realistic
No, you likely won’t be profitable the first year. You might even lose money – that’s not unusual. And you will find building a customer base an uphill battle at first. If you expect these situations, you won’t be hammered down by them. If you convince yourself you’ll be rich and playing golf while your empire hums along earning you money six months after launch, you’ll be depressed. It’s all about your perspective. Realistic always trumps daydreams.
2. Partner with Good People
Know your strengths and weaknesses. Plan to hire at least a few people to help you, or to partner with them, and choose them not based on friendship or their taste in wine but on their skill sets. As mentioned above, if the idea of making cold sales calls fills you with dread, then bring in your friend who has ten years sales experience and makes five cold calls every day before breakfast. The more you can concentrate on what does excite you about a business, the happier you will be.
3. Attack Your Fears
For most people, the things they complain about doing are the things they fear, whether they want to admit this or not. The trick is to not procrastinate. The more you put off a task you dread, the harder it becomes. Make a point of tackling your least-favorite aspect of the business first thing in the morning. The sense of accomplishment – and relief – will cheer you the rest of the day.
Finally, savor every victory. Be realistic, yes, but don’t forget to pat yourself on the back every time you achieve something. Small celebrations will keep you excited, and mark out in real-time the progress you’re making.