Updated: Oct 30, 2019
Every month we receive emails, phone calls and drop-ins from wide-eyed, first-time entrepreneurs who simply want to know: “Where the Jesus H Christ do I start?”
We get it. The world of business has no guidebook. Every company is incredibly unique and technology shifts so regularly that our economy demands constant evolution.
First time entrepreneurs simply don’t know; more specifically, first time entrepreneurs don’t know what they don’t know—and that’s what stands between them and actually lighting a fire under their cute little business’ butt.
You know what you know and you know what you don’t know (ya know?), but new entrepreneurs are daunted by the reality that there is an entire world relating to the execution of their idea that they are completely oblivious to.
This fear creates inertia; it’s the thing that stops you from starting.
Luckily, you know that we wouldn’t be writing this article unless there was a nifty little solution to this problem. Huzzah! So, what’s Black Sheep’s advice for losing your entrepreneurial V card?
Step One is: Self Awareness
You only have one asset when you start your business: you.
A business requires a stable foundation to grow from, and in the early days you are your business—so before you start to build: fortify your foundation.
You may not have a business card, a shop, a product or even a name, but you have yourself. So be honest with yourself. Take some time to poke around in your heart and your head:
Do you have self esteem issues?
Does self doubt make you default to trusting other people’s opinions over your own?
Does your ego make it REALLY hard to admit when you are wrong?
Do you tend to slander other businesses in your market?
Do you hate monotonous tasks and practice avoidance?
All of these ‘subconscious’ processes will worm their way into the foundation of your business and create problems. We guarantee you. So do yourself a favour and weed them out before you start to build.
Self awareness isn’t a finite skill, like anything, it’s a practice that requires daily maintenance. Don’t worry about where you are at with yourself right now, today is a great place to begin.
Step Two is: One Step
You can try to plan the structure of your company, go ahead. Knock yourself out. But when you are done doing that, go ahead and put those plans in your kitchen junk drawer so you can get started. (So many batteries in there! Are they dead? Are they good? Who knows!)
The truth is that you don’t tell a business what to do, it tells you what to do. There is no point in sitting down and trying to map everything out, because the second you take your first step everything will look different and your plans will be irrelevant.
Our question to first time entrepreneurs is simply: what can you do RIGHT MEOW—today— to put energy into your idea?
Can you take 30 minutes to create an ‘elevator pitch’
Can you write an article and publish it on Medium?
Can you print business cards with your name, email and number?
Can you create a rickety prototype of your product?
Can you watch some tutorials and build a basic landing page?
Can you register your business name and buy a domain?
Are you confused about any of these things? Can you elicit the help of someone who isn’t?
YES. YOU. CAN. (And you will. Because we just told you to.) (Do it. Do it.)
Take your step one. It doesn’t even have to be directly related to your end goal, but as long as you channel your energy towards creation you’ll be putting energy in the right place.
Once you have taken one step, you’ll have new opportunities presenting themselves to you. Sometimes it’s in the form of a connection at a dinner party, or maybe your first potential client will think it’s super legit that you have a business card.
Stop thinking that you need ‘all the things’ to start a business. Just start with ‘one thing’. Your most minimal , and the rest will flow in.