1 Overcoming self-doubt
It is perfectly normal to have doubts about starting out on your own, especially if you are giving up a steady income working for someone else who takes the decisions and the risks for the uncertainty of working for yourself. These doubts often become magnified by being on your own. One thing to remember is that many other people have done this successfully.
Activity 1 is designed to help you gain perspective that may help you to move forward with more confidence. It may even uncover challenges or opportunities that you have been unable to see as you have become too close to your business idea.
Activity 1 Overcoming barriers
- Fill in Table 1, using the guidance below.
- List all the problems or obstacles you see that are preventing you from moving forward in the first column.
- In the middle column, look at each challenge in turn from the left-hand column and write down all the possible alternative solutions you can think of to overcome them.
- The third column is for use in Step 3 so you do not need to focus on it at this stage.
- Show your list to another person. Explain the challenges and your solutions to them. There are three possible outcomes:
- By explaining the barrier, you might begin the process of solving it.
- The other person may actually be able to solve it.
- Any suggestions they make may spark some new idea or thinking.
- Now return to the first column. From your deliberations, do any of these challenges now seem more like an asset or opportunity you could exploit? If so, capture this in the third column.
Working on your own, perhaps even in your own home, can feel quite isolating, and even more so if you have been used to working as part of a larger team. One way to sustain yourself is to build a network of people and involve them in some way with your idea – as sounding boards, advisers, prospective users or customers, mentors or partners. To do this, you will need to build your network of contacts. Earlier in the course you were introduced to the concept of co-working spaces, accelerators and incubators. These provide one way of reducing your isolation and increasing your working network amongst others in a similar position.
Now listen to our entrepreneurs discuss the ups and downs they have experienced and how they have overcome any feelings of doubt in their ability to succeed.
Having listened to our entrepreneurs, do you share any of their doubts? What strategies might you pick for yourself to help overcome the challenges that threaten to derail you?
Next you will look at how bringing people onboard with your business venture can be an important part of sustaining it.