After failing at entrepreneurship early in my career, I became an aspiring entrepreneur for several years until I built up the courage to start again and give it a go. I learned to use my seven startup failures and one successful business as inspiration, rather than a demotivating excuse.
It certainly wasn’t easy, but after six years of grinding it out, I finally found a way to create another online business. This online business charges for ebooks, online courses, digital content, coaching services, and consulting to a handful of internet businesses.
Not feeling good enough is something I became an expert in before getting started with my latest online business. After attending Startup Grind Meetups and listening to the Foundr Podcast, I realized that this feeling is incredibly common. Feeling like you’re not good enough is part of the business journey. It’s completely normal and should be embraced in an effort to overcome the feeling.
Think of business as nothing more than an interest.
The words “passion” and “purpose” easily confuse aspiring entrepreneurs. They seem grandiose and unachievable. You can wait for your entire life for some magical moment or transformation.
The word “interest” is simpler to understand and apply.
You may not have a passion or a purpose, but I’m willing to bet you have an interest. What is it? Knowing your interest is key because business is nothing more than an interest. If you have an interest in something, it can be a business. You can use that interest as the first step to start a simple business.
Entrepreneurship is nothing more than charging money for something.
This is the most important point of the article. If you are charging money for anything, you are an entrepreneur.
If you got paid to coach the basketball team, then you’re an entrepreneur. If you got paid to tutor a college student, then you’re an entrepreneur. If you got paid $20 to cut someone’s hair after work, you’re an entrepreneur.
Let’s go even further: If you have a regular 9 to 5 job, then you’re an entrepreneur who already has one client. And the best part is you can sell your skills to more than one client. People let non-compete agreements stop them from doing part-time entrepreneurship, but with the right advice, you can have multiple customers you bill your time or outcomes too.
You are good enough to be an entrepreneur if you have at least one deposit hitting your bank account already.
The setup costs are a lot less than you might think.
VC money can make us think we need to have millions of dollars to get started. Here’s what I started with:
- A free WordPress website
- An old version of Microsoft Word
- A PayPal account to receive payments online
- A home internet connection
- An old desk
The internet was the only thing I really paid for, and – let’s be honest – I was always going to have the internet. So, essentially this entire business setup was free and cost nothing.
The start of a business idea is an experiment, and you can do it for free.
The best startups were created during recessions. The economic environment can stop many aspiring entrepreneurs from giving it a go. It can seem smart to sit and wait for the crisis to pass. But here’s the thing: A recession is a code word for “SALE.”
Ads are cheaper to buy in a recession; traffic is cheaper to acquire during a recession; freelancers will put their prices down during a recession; subscription companies might offer lower monthly plans during a recession.
If you can, you want to start a business during a recession when there is less competition and everything is cheaper. Startups like Uber, Square, and Airbnb all came out of the 2008 recession, proving how many opportunities can exist.
Everything changes during a recession for aspiring entrepreneurs, and now is the time to pounce.
You can de-risk your entrepreneur journey with a four-day workweek.
If you have dreams of being an entrepreneur and want to de-risk your journey, an easy solution is to work a four-day workweek. The current economic client makes it easier because companies are looking to save money and offering to be paid for one less day a week can help. You can then use your extra workday, the weekend, and after-hours to start your little business.
As you learn more about business and find ways to monetize, you can then slowly wind back your days even more until you go all-in on your business. Or you could have a normal career and a side business for diversity.
You will build mental strength even if your business idea fails.
Whatever business you start might not work out, and that’s completely fine. It’s not because you’re not good enough. The psychological reframe you can use to avoid feeling like a failure is to see your business failures as a way to build mental strength.
Your mind gets stronger through entrepreneurship because you have to back yourself, your ideas, your beliefs, put money where your mouth is, and take a few calculated risks that might not pay off.
It’s hard to feel like you’re not good enough when you focus on the incredible mental strength you’re building in the process.
You can dip your toes in with content first.
Content creation is a great way to test your entrepreneurial skills. All businesses need content, and most of us are creating content and sharing it on social media already in our personal lives. You can take your social media habit and consciously use it for business purposes.
The way I started was by writing a couple of blog posts a week. After some time, I began earning a few dollars from that content and posting it in different places. Then, I charged people, who wanted to do the same as me, for blocks of coaching and an accountability partner.
If you can find a way to charge for content – ads, payment from publications, Medium, coaching, freelancing – you can test your ability to charge money for your skills, and that could lead you into your own business.
You can run mini-tests with Facebook ads and a mailing list.
Another easy way to test a business idea as an aspiring entrepreneur is to set up a mailing list and direct people to it through content and social media. If the call to action on your content and social media posts is strong, then the number of daily email subscribers will trend upwards.
I had an idea for an ebook I wanted to sell and ran a few test Facebook ads to see which title would help a wider audience find my how-to strategies.
I hear aspiring entrepreneurs say all the time that they don’t feel like they’re good enough. Well, I’m here to disagree with that myth. I’m here to tell you that you can be an entrepreneur because it’s as simple as charging money for a skill you’ve acquired. If you need the skill to sell, there are plenty of online courses you can do to acquire billable skills.
Don’t wait for your entire life to start your entrepreneurship journey and end up having regrets because you didn’t try. You are good enough.