Proverbs By Efua makes work clothes for a cause – ending Human Trafficking. It’s a brand that’s meant to inspire and make the world a better place.
I’ve learned 12 key things so far while trying to launch Proverbs By Efua. Every Wednesday, I’ll expand on each insight.
Insight 1: I’m doing it!
I’ve dreamed of owning my own business since I was 8 or 9 when I attempted to make bracelets from flour and sell them from my front lawn. I don’t know what that was all about; just know that I’ve had the entrepreneurial bug from a young age. However, I’ve not always had the entrepreneurial spirit. Up until now, I’ve been way too chicken and so in awe of the ones who’ve had the courage to just go ahead and take the step
So what makes people decide to start their own businesses?
Well I’ve noticed lately, especially, in the young generation (I claim to be young :)), it stems from a huge dissatisfaction with our jobs. There is a complete dread of Mondays and the exhausting creativity it takes to get out of bed.
For others, it’s the one person we have mental battles with every morning before we show up for work- usually that person is our boss or another co-worker who thinks they’re our boss.
“Errrrr one day I’m going to be my OWN boss and tell people what to do” “That’s it! No one will ever tell me what to do ever again!! I QUIT! I’m starting my own company”! (I don’t recommend or endorse these outbursts).
For others, it’s the search for purpose and significance-The yearning to wake up every day and feel that you are doing something worthwhile to change the world.
For others it’s the false illusion that starting and owning your own business is all butterflies and fairies and fun in the sun (to clarify, it’s not. Not at the beginning anyways).
For me, it was a combination of all the above, with some playing heavier into the equation than others. The fairies and butterflies was not a factor- I know better.
These are all very common reasons that many of us give for wanting to start our own businesses, but so few of us actually act on them. The question is why?
I boil it down to one word – fear.
Fear has an incredible power to stop people from pursuing their dreams. Sometimes the fear seems valid, other times it’s not, but in any case, it’s a bad reason not to move forward.
You may fear that you don’t have the right skills- well get the skills. If this is what you want, invest the time to build your skills. Get a job in a related field, go get your MBA, read books, talk to and make friends with people with the relevant skills. Build build build.
You may fear that you don’t have enough money- well, start saving.
You may fear that you don’t have time- there’s no such thing. Make time.
You may fear that your loved ones may not support you. That may be true. You’re obviously not going to ditch them. See and understand their perspective and try one more time to let them see yours. If they still won’t support it, more than likely for good reason, you may have to put that particular idea to rest for the sake of your loved ones who are so much more important.
You may fear that your idea sucks. Maybe it does. Well, find a way to test it out. If it is proven it sucks, then think of another idea or if you are soooooo completely convinced that even though the idea sucks, it meets a severe need, go ahead and do it, but be prepared for the consequences.
My fear list was long. I feared not being able to pull it off. I feared not being able to market Proverbs By Efua correctly, I feared people not caring about fashion or about helping the helpless. I feared that I might be going crazy. However, my biggest fear was the fear of failure. One smart person once said, “He who never failed, never built anything”. Failure is a possibility, but I wouldn’t know unless I tried. Some of my fears are justified, but how can I bring myself to make a difference if I just stay home and sit in fear? Enough of this fear nonsense, “I’m doing it! I’m starting my own business!” This was my first baby step (it felt more like a plunge) towards starting Proverbs By Efua.
Granted, entrepreneurship is not for everyone, but let’s say you think it’s for you. So you want to start your own business, but… What’s your but? Maybe it’s not starting your own business, it’s performing a task, it’s joining in on an activity, it’s fully embracing another chapter in your life, it’s something. What is stopping you? What are your fears? How can you overcome them?
Please feel free to leave comments.
Stay tuned next Wednesday for Insight 2: Reality Check