This post was written by entrepreneur and startup coach Rahul Varshneya.
You know that you want to quit your job and that you want to start a startup. You’ve had this desire for quite sometime now and you really must begin.
But you don’t.
You don’t because you’ve got responsibilities. You don’t because you’ve not got the perfect time. You don’t because you don’t have enough cash. You don’t because you procrastinate.
The bottom line is, you don’t because you’re afraid. The rest are all excuses.
The problem is that there is a gap between knowing it and doing it. This gap is what differentiates the entrepreneurs from the rest, though. You can remain an aspiring entrepreneur forever, or you can take the plunge today.
Sometimes, the gap just remains and you never start. My intention here it to bridge this gap for you by making you dig to the bottom of the gap, identify the issue, and help you nip it. Nip it so that you can take the first step towards a long journey of entrepreneurship.
The only reason why people do not take the plunge into entrepreneurship is fear. That is at the root of all excuses. So how do you overcome fear? Here’s a plan.
#1 – Just Do It
There’s nothing like squashing or overcoming fear by staring straight into its face. Take the plunge for whatever be your reason not to. What’s the worst that will happen to you? You’d fail? But that’s going to happen anyway!
If you’re going to do a startup, you are going to fail. But the best part is that if you embrace failure, you will succeed.
I’ve learnt through my experiences that the best way to do something is to simply get started. Do not worry about the outcome for that is not in your hands. What you control is your karma, the result is something you have no control over, so why worry about something you can’t even control?
#2 – What’s Your Fear?
Identifying what you’re afraid of is a crucial step. You can’t just be afraid of failure; it’s got to be far deeper and intrinsic. Failure is an integral part of life and is deep rooted in everything we do.
The smaller things we don’t notice sometimes. So the task is to identify what is it really deep down that is bothering you from starting up. Write down factual things. Like the fear of not making any money after ‘x’ months/year. Fear of survival for the next ‘x’ months/years. You’ve got to be precise and write these down.
Also pen down what’s the worst that could happen if you come across these situations.
What you’ve just done is remove the clutter and fear from your mind onto real issues that you have down on paper.
#3 – Identify Resources
Once you’ve identified your fears, now begin to identify what you would do in case you come across these problems. Who you would/could go to for help? What resources can you dig into if you face these challenges?
You need to do an exercise in contingency planning, detailing everything that you will do in case you fail or face your worst fears.
Now you have a plan. A well-defined plan on what you will do when you fail. Instead of these issues cluttering your mind, now you’ve got an action plan. But failure can come in many ways and at the most unlikely instances. That is where you need to break your moves into smaller bits.
#4 – Get Started
Now that you’re prepared to get started, there are two things that you need to take care of. Make sure that whatever you’ve chalked out in your contingency plan, you’ve taken care of that. By taken care of I mean that you know you will have access to those resources when you go down that route.
Having laid down your fears at rest, you are now totally prepared to take your first steps. Don’t aim for a record-breaking long jump in the first step that you take. Break down your tasks that are required to get you started into smaller bits; smaller bits of achievable tasks that you can complete in 2-3 days.
If the first step to starting your venture is to put out a website, start identifying vendors. Start speaking to people who can introduce you to them. Most aspiring entrepreneurs don’t even get started with this because of the overriding fear of failure.
You may keep telling yourself all this while that getting website designed and developed is expensive, or how will you ever find the right partner who can understand your perspective and get things done. And then you just don’t get started.
The trick is simple. Just do it. Start finding out vendors. Start speaking to everyone you know about it. You will be surprised with the results. And this will boost your confidence to get on to the next step.
Once you successfully complete the first step, move on to the second. And so on and so forth.
#5 – By All Means, Please Fail
You really must fail. Even superman fails, learns a lesson, and then strikes back. The point I’m trying to make is that no one is immune to failure. And when you take smaller steps and strides, your fall will also be less hurtful.
But fall you must. Fail you must. Because only then will you discover the better path or journey. Only when you tread on the path with thorns will you realize the other better path and understand the value of what it means to be on it.
Failure is great because it teaches you many things. It’s an opportunity because only by failing will you come to understand your true potential. Because if you fail, you will relentlessly pursue till you get it right. Now, it is far easier to relentlessly pursue something when that task is much smaller at hand.
You get the point of breaking them down into smaller bits now?
The bridge between knowing and doing is very very small. All you need is a little bit of focus, a lot of passion, and Nike’s popular slogan imprinted in your head – Just do it. For when you’ve got focus, passion and true love, the universe truly conspires to make it happen for you.
If this article inspired you to get started, please write to me. I’d be happy to hear from you.
Rahul Varshneya has spent his entire career either working for startups or starting businesses. He now spends time between coaching aspiring entrepreneurs in launching their ventures, apps and websites, and building Arkenea Technologies, a service partner for entrepreneurs helping them develop their mobile applications and websites.