Someone asked me the other day: What’s the number one mistake people make when they start a new business?
I thought about it for a bit before replying.
It’s usually not passion. People don’t leave stable careers to do something they hate.
It’s usually not skill. People seem willing to train up or turn their hobby into a business. They’re usually good at what they’re planning to do.
It’s usually not value. People have usually figured out a way to do something that is of value to their target market or they’re following in the footsteps of other professionals who do the same thing with a proven market.
Where I see most people fail is starting their new business with no money or savings in the bank, or no side income to see them through the transition.
I’ve known so many people who are super excited, talented, and even moving in the right direction spiritually who open their business and expect it to be successful or profitable overnight. They assume that the moment they launch their site, there will be hordes of people lining up for the service or product they’re offering.
But that doesn’t happen. I don’t care how good you are at what you do, there are no overnight successes.
When you start your own business, expect it to take upwards of 2 years before it’s making you enough money to live on. Maybe it will take less time. Maybe it will take even longer. But you’ve got to expect it’s going to take that long for you to learn, fail, try again, fail, learn some more, and eventually find your flow.
If you don’t have money in the bank to live off of, you will be frantic, desperate, and you’ll make rookie mistakes. You’ll probably quit and assume you’re not capable of making it work.
I see this with my clients all the time. Coaches, writers, counselors, web designers, massage therapists, speakers, trainers, etc. They are absolutely jazzed about their business. They’ve even got their certifications or training lined up. They launch the business. They offer all kinds of stuff for free, just to get people in the door.
And all they get are crickets.
Then they get discouraged. Bills start piling up. They start to freak out. They borrow money from a relative or move in with family. Their energy starts to tumble, their vibration goes low, the weight on their shoulders is heavy.
The stress becomes overwhelming.
Before long, they quit and go back to the corporate world. Back into the shackles they always hated.
But this doesn’t have to happen.
Before you start your own business make sure you’ve got your basic bills taken care of for 2 years. That’s my conservative recommendation.
Imagine having two years to be able to build your business the way you want to build it, without having to worry about food, shelter, and your cell phone bill.
Imagine being able to go to work on your new business from a place of strength, certainty, stability, and abundance.
Less stress, fewer mistakes, less desperation, and your vibration stays high. You are powerful! You are creating value for others without being in a fear state yourself!
There are three ways to do this.
The first is to have a job that pays you a steady wage while you build up your business on the side. As soon as your new business makes you the same amount as your old job, you can quit.
The second way is to save money from your stable job until you have at least 2 years’ worth of your expenses in the bank, and the moment that happens, you can quit your job safely.
If you’re in a committed relationship and your partner can cover all your expenses, you can quit your job and start the new one.
But don’t start the new business until you’re sure you can sustain yourself for two years. I’ve worked with hundreds of clients who jumped without looking and found out there was no net. They had to learn to fly on the way down. Most of them hit the ground before their wings could deploy. It was messy.
There are a few people who really thrive under pressure though. If you’re one of these people, you are a rare breed. More power to you! If the only way to get you moving into the business of your dreams is to quit your job and essentially burn the bridge behind you, then do it.
But if that’s not you, strap on a parachute before you jump. You may never need to open it, but if you do, it will be there to save you.