Do Any Apply to You?
We all have it. That nagging little voice inside our head that instills doubt, fear and compiles an excuse list longer than Santa’s naughty list of why we cannot do something. It’s our own worst enemy. It can lead to dismissing the idea that situations can change and that you have the power to change it. It’s the pathetic workings of that little voice that present reason after reason of why we can’t do something. And eventually we all regret making bad decisions based on those excuses, especially when those excuses kept us from chasing–and possibly achieving–our dreams.
So if you’ve always wanted to start a social commerce business, even just on the side while you keep your full-time job (which often times the best approach to take), see if any of the following are unnecessarily holding you back:
- “I’m too late.”
Just because you know someone who is in a social commerce business doesn’t mean you are too late to get in. So often I hear “I see it all over Facebook” or “my friend is in the business and she knows the same people as I do.” You know what my answer is? SO WHAT? There are over 7 billion people on the planet and you need a few to have a thriving business. Just remember Steve Jobs beat you to the graphical interface and mouse, but Xerox beat him. Dell wasn’t the first to cobble together his own computers. Zuckerberg wasn’t first in social media. The list goes on.
You’re only too late if you’re not willing to try. I have built my business not so much with my friends and family but with strangers with like minds. Since we live in a digital age where social media is at the forefront we can reach millions of people we could’ve never reached just 10 years ago. This opens the door to unlimited possibilities.
- “I’m too afraid.”
Think you’re special? You’re not. Every entrepreneur was scared, and is still scared. In fact I wake up excited and scared every day. My choice is to not feed my fears. That means you have a choice. You can let your fears hold you back, or you can use those fears to fuel you do whatever it takes to succeed.
Complacency is the enemy of achievement. Fortunately, the fear of not achieving your dreams can drive complacency away. You just have to decide you’re more afraid of not trying than of not succeeding.
- “I don’t know the right people.”
Between company websites and LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and all the other social media platforms you can reach almost anyone besides the Pope and maybe Mark Cuban. (I love and adore Mark Cuban so don’t think I haven’t tried).
In fact some people are surprisingly accessible; maybe that’s one of the secrets of their success.
Of course the people you reach out to may not respond. If they don’t, that’s probably your fault. Never forget that the more influential the person the more they’re besieged with requests. Have a good reason to connect, give before you expect to receive, and you might be surprised by who responds. Some of our most successful people in Rodan and Fields came from someone building up enough courage to just speak to someone about the business. Don’t assume…you know what that does.
- “I need to find funding first.”
Entrepreneurs are masters of the art and science of accomplishing more with less: less money, less people, less time, less everything. You can always find an excuse about not having the money or funding. Look at it this way, if you really want something you find a way to get it. I’ve seen some people get pretty creative when it comes to starting their own business. It’s because they really, really, I mean really wanted it. You must be willing to put some skin in the game and when I first started my business and didn’t have the money my mentor told me to “sell my bed.” She said if that was the only way to get in and do it now to sell your bed and sleep on the floor until you can get a new one. Sometimes opportunity comes with a time tag. The longer you put it off the longer it takes to obtain the freedom you desire. You can’t always control what you have, but you can control what you choose to do with what you do have.
- “I don’t have the time.”
You, like everyone, has the same amount of time. The only difference is what you do with your time. If you were trapped underground and only had 24 hours of an oxygen supply you wouldn’t check your Twitter feed or chat with friends or spend a little “me time” in front of the TV. You’d dig and dig and dig and pour all your energy into tunneling free.
Apply the same level of importance and urgency to what you want to accomplish and your schedule will instantly clear… because finding time is always a matter of how badly you want something.
- “I don’t have the right skills.”
No problem. Go get them. Apply yourself. Become engaged with resources a company offers. Read a book. Read ten books. Talk to friends. Get an accountability partner. Find someone who has done what you want to do and ask for the opportunity to learn.
Does that seem too hard? Like too big of a price to pay? Or simply not fair? Then accept you will never have the skills–and stop complaining. Skills and knowledge are earned, not given. Go earn them. No one is going to do it for you.
- “I can’t seem to come up with a great idea.”
Dreaming up something new is really, really hard. Thank goodness you don’t have to. Not all entrepreneurs have a new invention to bring to the marketplace. There are just as many trailblazers out there paving the way for their future with a company that already has a proven track record but needs you to evolve the brand. The solution to this problem is to open your mind. Forget the status quo and do something your future self will thank you for.
- “It just seems too risky.”
I would ask you to define risk? When I started my Rodan+Fields business I wasn’t asked to sell the farm if you will. I found a great company that offered low cost of entry with high profit potential. That was enough for me. I was profitable my first month and it has only grown substantially since then. So remember any risk you take today is a risk you can recover from especially if the risk is low. If you never try all you wind up with are regrets. When you’re old and grey and “done” you’ll look back on your life and think, “I wonder what might have happened if I had only…”
That might be the only risk you should never take.
- “I’m more of a big picture person.”
No you’re not. You’re just too lazy to do the grunt work. Or you think you’ve already paid your dues. Every successful entrepreneur rolls up his or her sleeves and outworks everyone else around. (That’s one of the reasons they’re so successful.) You don’t need some undefined innate quality to be great at execution. All you need is self-discipline. Being a “big picture” person is seeing the potential down the road, rolling up your sleeves and doing the work now to enjoy immense benefits later. That works for me. But don’t forget to enjoy the journey because reaching the summit is all about the journey to get there.
- “I really need to wait until everything’s perfect.”
“Everything” will never be perfect. Let me say that again. “Everything” will never be perfect.
At any given time you can always find an excuse to keep putting your dreams on hold. STOP IT! If you continue with that mindset years can roll by then one day you will wake up and regret not starting earlier. Make a plan, whittle it down to bite sized chunks. A little income producing activity a week adds up to a lot later. In fact you will be amazed.
- “It just seems too hard.”
Long journeys are hard.
Individual steps are easy.
You can’t accomplish any difficult goal overnight, but you can accomplish one step, however small, towards that goal. Think about the end of a journey and all that will be required along the way and you’ll never start.
Instead, just do one thing that will help get you there. Then build on it. That you can do.
- “It will be too embarrassing if I fail.”
Failing in public can be embarrassing. (You should have seen me when I first started speaking; talk about public failure. Ugh.)
If you fail, a few people will talk about you. But those are the same people who would never dare try something themselves. So don’t worry about them.
On the other hand, tons of people will respect you for taking a shot. They’ll recognize a kindred spirit. They’ll pick you up. They’ll encourage you. They know what it’s like to try and fail and try again. When I started my business, I didn’t receive the kind of support from who I thought were my real friends. But I was pleasantly surprised at the ones who came to the top and have supported and cheered me on every step of the way. Basically, I have been able to sift through and find the real ones I want to be around. I am not saying they all want to be in business with me or want my product, I am saying they are supportive. For that I am forever grateful. Surround yourself with like-minded people. Those who have vision. Those who embrace change. Those who see the glass as half full.
Why? They’re people living their lives on their terms.