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3 Small Proven Tactics To Overcome Big Startup Fears

3 Small Proven Tactics To Overcome Big Startup Fears

Starting a business is one of the most liberating, life-changing things you can do.

You’ve made your decision. You want to start working for yourself and you’re ready for the income caps to be off your finances. There’s just one problem — that gap between seeing your vision and getting to it almost feels impossible.

Where do you start?

Should you start?

Can you really do it?

Before you know it, that excitement you once held for your project is now just a distant thought. Tonight’s dinner has now taken priority. But why does this keep happening? You get to a certain thought or particular part of the process and then stop until next time.

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Without you realizing it, your fearful thoughts are causing you to react and retract away from your true desires. These fears have become the cage from which you’re unable to escape. So how can you side-sweep these fears and really move towards the dream you want?

Here are three small tactics to help you overcome your big startup fears.

Accept That You Are Not A Psychic

When I finally hacked the lock off my cage of fear and started living according to my desires is when I finally understood what fear really is. Fear is the worry of something that doesn’t even exist. You are worried about something that hasn’t happened. Why are you torturing yourself over events, situations, or circumstance that haven’t even occurred?

That’s crazy, right?

Let it go. Your fears are there to protect you and keep you safe. But when they are controlling you instead of you controlling them, it’s a recipe for disaster. This prevents you from achieving what you want in life.

If you are making sensible and rational decisions, then you have no reason to be fearful of the things that don’t exist (and may never exist). To think about your startup fears is to attract them to you, so accept that bad events may happen in your business, it’s called “learning.”

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Reset Your Program

Your mind currently runs on its own program. At the moment, whatever situation you are in in your life means that your mindset has attracted you to that situation.

Your startup fears are part of a mindset program that you have set for yourself, and it plays back to you constantly. When you become conscious of the program you’ve unconsciously set for yourself, you can then reprogram it.

Right now, your mindset is either focussed on successful or unsuccessful thoughts. Each program is set based on things like your experiences in your childhood, environment, personal life and relationships, etc.

Begin reprogramming yourself by becoming aware of your thought patterns so that you can sense and feel your own negative presence. When you are experiencing negative thoughts, your body language will change — your face changes and your aura changes.

To beware aware of these changes in yourself means that you can consciously alter them. Commit to not allowing negative thoughts, words, or actions to enter your experience. Commit to seeing yourself and others in a good light. Luckily, we are all born differently, with various traits and personalities. Our perspectives are different, our skills vary, and our opinions can change. Appreciate this and only respond to it from a positive aspect. Like a mirror with a positive reflection, it will reflect positivity back to you.

Next, contact your subconscious mind by sitting down in a quiet place where you won’t be bothered. Using a pen and paper, write down all of your worries, anxieties, or anything important that is on your to-do list right now. Dedicate this time for you and your subconscious mind. Listen and feel what it has to say.

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Why is it not working with you towards your goals? What are its fears? Why is it really pushing against you? What is it protecting you from?

Start off your list with broad reasons, then start digging deeper to get specific answers. For example, your subconscious “broad” fears might include the fear of success. To get specific answers, think about what it is that you fear about success:

  • Is it growing apart from your partner?
  • Is it letting people down?
  • Is it having more people rely on you?
  • Is it the thought of extra responsibility?
  • Is it the fear of being tied down to your desk?
  • Is it the thought of having more work?

Allow your subconscious to have its say. After all, it’s just trying to prevent harm and disappointment. Hear without judgement or anger, only genuine curiosity.

If you can tap into the specific reasons why your fears exist, this is the priceless information you need to turn things around and change the program. Once you’ve reached the core of your worries and fears, it’s time to release them. Speak to your subconscious in a way that is comfortable to you. This could mean speaking out loud, writing a letting, or just thinking the words. Work it out so you can work together and not against each other.

Make a promise to yourself to honour what is truly important to you and what you truly want in your life.

You are taking control and reprogramming not just the subconscious mind, but your whole life too.

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Planning Makes Perfect

When you have a plan, you increase the potential of the outcome that you actually want.

If your startup is a one-person show, when you look at everything that needs to be done from the starting point to the end point, the journey can make you feel overwhelmed. All the hurdles, potential downfalls, and new knowledge can make you fear starting a business. But when you have every step planned out in front of you, the journey doesn’t seem so scary.

By planning, the huge leap becomes small steps, and if you can continuously plan the next small step, then before you know it you’re slowly growing your business.

The key to startup planning is being productive and not just busy. The way to do this is to create a huge to-do list. Write down everything that needs to be done in your business. Leave nothing out and write freely, from the biggest to the smallest tasks. Then, section off each task into groups. The first group is for the tasks that contribute to your startup growth only. The other groups are based on the tasks that need to be completed but are not urgent.

What’s most important is that you know what tasks need to be done in order to grow your business. This includes things like product creation, submitting guest posts, or testing your service out before it goes on sale.

Conclusion

Ultimately, it is a scary time to start a business. If you are fearful, your options are to stay caged by fear or to accept, embrace it, and keep pushing forward.

Like I said before, fear is the worry of events and situations that haven’t even happened yet. You can keep yourself locked up or break free and make the visions in your head a reality.

Featured photo credit: VIKTOR HANACEK via picjumbo.com

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Published on March 20, 2019

How to Write a Powerful Mission Statement for Your Business

How to Write a Powerful Mission Statement for Your Business

Have you ever felt lost in the minutia of your job?

As a business owner, I can relate to getting bogged down in the day to day operations of my business. Things like inventory, payroll, scheduling, purchasing and employee management take up the bulk of my day.

While these things are important and need to get done, focusing too much on the details can make you lose sight of the big picture. This is why having a good mission statement comes in handy.

What is a Mission Statement?

Put simply, a mission statement is an internal document that provides a clear purpose for the organization. It provides a common reference point for everyone in the organization to start from.

In other words, after reading your company’s mission statement, managers and employees should be able to answer the question “What are company’s main objectives?” For example, Southwest Airlines mission statement reads:[1]

“Southwest Airlines is dedication to the highest quality of Customer Service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and Company Spirit. We are committed to provide our Employees a stable work environment with equal opportunity for learning and personal growth.”

In this single statement, Southwest conveys the company’s goals of providing the highest level of customer service as well as providing a good working environment for their employees.

Mission Statement VS. Vision Statement

While the mission and vision statements are related, there are subtle but distinct differences the you should be aware of.

First of all, a mission statement is designed primarily as an internal company document. It provides clarity and direction for managers and employees.

While there’s nothing wrong with sharing your company’s mission statement with the outside world, its intended audience is within the company.

While a mission statement provides a general framework for the organization, the vision statement is usually a more inspirational statement designed to motivate employees and inspire customers. Going back to Southwest Airlines, their vision statement reads:[2]

“To become the world’s most loved, most flown, and most profitable airline.”

This statement inspires good feeling from the customer while motivating the employees to achieve that vision.

What Does a Good Mission Statement Look Like?

When coming up with a mission statement, it’s important to take your time and do it right. Too often, people (especially entrepreneurs) just write down the first thing that comes to mind and they end up with worthless or (worse yet) a generic mission statement that is utterly useless.

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Remember, a mission statement should provide a common framework for everyone in your organization.

When writing a mission statement, you should always try to incorporate the following;

  • What we do?
  • How we do it?
  • Whom do we do it for?
  • What value are we bringing?

Now, you can see how tempting it is to just come up with something generic that ticks off those four boxes. Something like “We provide the best widgets available online for the consumer.”

After all, that did check off all the boxes:

What we do? Provide widgets.

How we do it? Online.

Who do we do it for? The consumer.

What value we bring? The best widgets.

The problem with this mission statement is that it could apply to any number of companies producing the same widget. There is nothing to distinguish your company or its widgets from any of your competitors widgets.

Compare that mission statement to this one:

“We provide the highest quality widgets directly to the consumer at an affordable price backed up with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If our clients aren’t 100% satisfied, we’ll make it right.”

What’s the difference?

Both mission statements answer all the same questions of what, how, whom and value. But in the second statement, they are differentiating their company from all other competitors by answering the question “what makes us unique”.

Another way to read that is, “Why you should buy from us.” In this example, it’s because our widgets are of the highest quality and we stand behind them 100%.

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You might have noticed the statement didn’t say that we sell widgets at the lowest possible price. That’s because we are emphasizing quality and satisfaction over price.

A different company’s mission statement may emphasize selling widgets at the lowest possible price with little to no mention of a guarantee.

Hallmarks of a Good Mission Statement

1. Keep It Brief

Your mission statement should be no longer than three sentences. This is not your company’s magnum opus.

You should be able to distill the what, how, who and why questions into a succinct message.

2. Have a Purpose

A company’s missions statement should include the reason it even exists.

Make clear exactly what the company does with statements like “We strive to provide our customers with …….”

3. Include a “How”

Take this as an opportunity to differentiate your company from its competitors.

How do you provide a product or service that’s different or better than how your competitor provides it?

4. Talk About the Value You Bring to the Table

This is where you can really set yourself apart from the competition. This is the “why” customers should buy from you.

Do you offer the lowest prices? Fastest delivery? Exceptional customer service? Whatever it is that sets you apart and gives your particular products, services or company an advantage talk about it in the mission statement.

5. Make Sure It’s Plausible

It’s okay to shoot for the stars just to settle for the moon, but not in a mission statement.

Being overly ambitious will only set you and your employees up for failure, hurt morale and make you lose credibility. You will also scare away potential investors if they think that you are not being realistic in your mission statement.

6. Make It Unique and Distinctive

Imagine if someone who knew nothing about your business walked in and saw how it was operating, then they read your mission statement. Would they be able to recognize that mission statement was attached to that business? If not re-work it.

7. Think Long Term

A mission statement should be narrow enough so that it provides a common framework for the existing business, but open enough to allow for longer term goals. It should be able to grow as the business grows.

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8. Get Feedback

This is very important, especially from managers and employees.

Getting their input can clarify how they currently see the company and their role within the organization. It’s also a good way to get people “on-board,” as studies show that people are more likely to go along with an idea if they feel included in the decision making process beforehand.

9. Review Often and Revise as Necessary

You should review the missions statement often for two reasons.

First, as a reminder of what the essence of the company is. It’s easy to forget when you are in the day to day grind of the business.

And two, to make sure that the mission statement is still relevant. Things change, and not everything can be anticipated at the time a mission statement was written.

For example, if a mission statement was written before the advent of the internet, a company that use to sell things door to door now probably has a website that people order from. You should always update the mission statement to reflect these changes.

The Value of Mission Statements: Why Go Through All of These in the First Place?

It may seem like a lot of work just for a few sentences that describe a company, but the value of a well written mission statement should not be discounted.

First of all, if you are an entrepreneur, crystallizing the what, how, whom and value questions will keep you focused on the core business and its values.

If you are a manager or other employee, knowing the company’s basic tenants will help inform your interactions with both customers and colleagues alike.

Strategic Planning

A relevant mission statement acts as a framework for strategic planning. It provides guidance and parameters for making strategic decisions for the future of the company.

Measuring Performance

By having the company’s mission in a concrete form, it also allows for an objective measurement of how well the organization is meeting its stated goals at any one time.

Management can identify strengths and weaknesses in the organization based on the criteria set forth in the mission statement and make decisions accordingly.

Solidifying the Company’s Goals and Values for Employees

Part of a well run organization is nurturing happy and productive employees.

As humans, we all have an innate need for both purpose and to be part of something larger than ourselves. Providing employees with a clearly defined mission statement helps to define their role in the larger organization. Thus, fulfilling both of these needs.

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Now I’m not saying that a mission statement can overcome low pay and poor working conditions, but with everything else being equal, it can contribute to a happier and more productive workforce.

To Hold Management Accountable

By creating a mission statement, a company is publicly stating its highest values and goals for the world to see. By doing so, you are inviting both the public and your employees to to scrutinize how well the company lives up to its ideals.

So if you state that you only provide the highest quality products, and then offer something less, it’s fair for both the public and the employees to question, and even call for a change in management.

If management doesn’t take the mission statement seriously, no one else will either; and the legitimate authority that management rely’s on will be diminished.

To Serve as an Example

This is the opposite side of the coin from the previous statement. If the highest levels of management are seen taking the mission statement seriously and actively managing within the framework of the statement, that attitude filters down throughout the organization.

After all, a good employee knows what’s important to their boss and will take the steps necessary to curry favor with them.

Finally, use the company’s mission statement as a way to define roles within the company. You can do this by giving each division in the company a copy of the mission statement and challenge the head of each division to create a mission statement for their respective departments.

Their individual mission statements should focus on how each department fits in and ultimately contributes to the success of the company’s overall mission statement. This serves as both a clarifying and a team building exercise for all parts of the organization.

Final Thoughts

Developing a mission statement is too often just an after-thought, especially for entrepreneurs. We tend to prioritize things that we perceive will give us the biggest “bang for our buck.”

Somehow, taking the time and effort to sit down and think seriously about the what, whom, how and value of our business seems like a waste of time. After all, we got in the business to make money and become successful, isn’t that all we need to know?

That mindset will probably get you started okay, but if you find yourself having any success at all, you’ll find that there really is such a thing as growing pains.

By putting in the time and effort to create a mission statement, you are laying the groundwork that will give you a path to follow in your growth. And isn’t building long term success what we are really after?

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Featured photo credit: Fab Lentz via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Southwest Airlines: About Page
[2] Fit Small Business: 10 Vision Statement Examples To Spark Your Imagination

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