One of the first and hardest steps in entrepreneurship is believing that it’s a viable means of earning and income. With years of encoding through school and at home, most of us assume that creating a business or charging someone for our skills or services is either impossible or way out of our comforts zone and so it’s up to us to convince the lizard brain that it is capable of conquering the change.
“Face it, if you go on a diet and lose weight the first week, you will stay on that diet.” – Dan & Chip Heath
It’s so vital that entrepreneurs earn that first pound, dollar or whatever currency because this motivates us to believe that our goals are achievable. Lean business methodologies are excellent because they teach the entrepreneur not to focus too much energy on the product but instead find willing customers ready to pay for your vision. Not only does this motivate you to create your product or service but it also silences the pessimistic lizard, the killer of taking action.
When selecting your small wins it’s important that they have two traits:
1 – They’re meaningful.
2 – They’re within immediate reach.
When I decided to take the leap and see if I could earn a living from home by selling my skills and services, I started out by writing down why I wanted to do so e.g. better work life balance, more free time to learn, the pleasure of helping small businesses to grow. I then had to figure out what goals were within my immediate reach and would silence my fears of going broke. Could I get just one client to pay me a weekly reoccurring rate?
“Small successes can be extremely powerful in helping people believe in themselves.” – Dan & Chip Heath
When I did get my first client, whom I found through my immediate network, I then asked for referrals and managed to get two others clients. Although I wasn’t earning a killing and still haven’t matched my old pay cheque just yet, I have a hell of a lot more free time and I’m now confident that my skills and services can be hugely valuable to others, this makes me more comfortable about pitching to others and seeing entrepreneurship as a viable path.
“Small targets lead to small victories, and small victories can often trigger a positive spiral of behaviour.” – Dan & Chip Heath
If you’re looking to start your own business or sell your services, don’t rely on willpower alone, set small, visible goals and create success triggers that convince the lizard that you’re making progress. It’s great to have a big vision but motivation that sustains comes from small regular wins.