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Am I ready to have my own business?

January 14, 2010

I posted earlier this week about exploring the idea of being a VA. After my conversation with my mom, and the developments with my day job, I’m going for it, and very excited about it. It’s amazingly nice to simply have DIRECTION again. I mean, wow.

As I was perusing around the AssistU webpage, one of the links on the FAQ page caught my eye. It lead to an article about Wishing vs. Willing, by the founder and President of AssistU, Stacy Brice. Although I am not, at this time, able to enroll in the training program for VAs, I found much of this article very interesting and insightful, especially since I’m considering starting my own VA business without the safety net that the AssistU Virtual Training Program has to offer.

Stacy writes:

“Starting your own business isn’t easy. It can be made easier, with great skills and additional training, but there’s no quick, or simple way to a successful business — those that would tell you otherwise simply aren’t being truthful.

“One of the biggest things I’ve found that impact someone’s ability to move forward quickly with a new business is that he/she understands the distinction between wishing and willing.”

So she proposes the following questions, and states that they should be answered “with a definitive “yes” or “no.” “Maybe” and “Yes, but…” don’t count!”

1. Am I willing to risk what I have now to have even more?

YES.

2. Am I willing to work very hard?

Always.

3. Am I willing to be tenacious and not give up?

Yes.

4. Am I willing to make changes to my lifestyle?

Done and done.

5. Am I willing to follow my heart, worrying more about what I know is best for me, than worrying what others might think?

Yes. I don’t really care what others think, and although I sometimes wonder, it doesn’t stop me from doing the things I want to do.

6. Am I willing to step out of my present comfort zone?

Always.

7. Am I willing to follow a path where it’s clear that success depends entirely on my own actions?

It scares the crap out of me, but yes.

8. Am I willing to invest my time and vast energy into something that may not reap all the rewards I want for several years?

This one I have a harder time with, but yes.

9. Am I willing to be successful?

God, I hope so.

10. Am I willing to do things differently than maybe I’ve done them before?

Yes.

11. Am I willing to listen to the wisdom of those who are more successful than I?

Yes, absolutely.

12. Am I willing to keep going, even if I get scared, or things get a bit difficult?

Yes, although I know that it will be hard, sometimes, to do so.

13. Am I willing to do some hard thinking to find what it is that I really want for myself?

Yes. I’m going to have to, since right now I just don’t know.

14. Am I willing to say “no” to some people and opportunities I might usually have said “yes” to in order to have more time for the things that matter most to me?

This one will be especially hard for me, because I don’t like disappointing others, and it’s easier for me to put others before me, but I’ll… I was going to say “try,” but then that famous Yoda quote popped into my head, so instead I’ll say, “I’ll do it.” Yes.

15. Am I willing to be bolder, sooner?

Yes. As I interpret this, it means “Get off my ass and do stuff, despite my fears.”

16. Am I willing to do something that is my passion, but that my family may not, at first, understand?

Yeah. I’ve been doing THAT most of my life.

17. Am I willing to discover things I never knew I could do?

You bet!

18. Am I willing to find out the truth about myself and what I want most for my life?

Yes. Oh I want this so very badly.

19. Am I willing to market my business?

Yes.

20. Am I willing to make personal sacrifices, and sometimes make very difficult choices in order to have the life of my dreams?

Personal sacrifices is easy (probably too easy), but difficult choices will be harder. I have trouble with choices, and making up my mind, but I’ll commit to it. Yes.

“How many did you answer “yes” to? All of them, or the majority? Terrific! You’re in a great place to make the commitment to being willing to take action!”

How many definitive ‘yesses’ is that of the bunch? 16 of 20. I counted all of the non-definitive answers as “nos” because she said that “maybes” and “yeah, buts” didn’t count. Not too bad, all things considered. According to her rubric, I have a majority of yesses, so I am ready and willing to commit to having a business of my own.

Now, look at the ones you said “no” to. Saying “no” to them may simply mean that you’re really not so interested in starting your own business now, and that you’ll be far happier, actually, to be steadily employed by someone else.

But for those of you who had a bunch of “nos” yet *know* that you want to own your own business, what has to happen in your life for you to be able to say “yes” to most or all of them? Who would you have to be, and what kind of support would you need to get in order to make it across that gap?

#7 will be hard for me because I struggle with self-confidence and thinking I’m good enough to do the things I want to do. I would have to be more confident, or at least let my fears and concerns not stand in my way of doing the things I want to do. I, fortunately, have a great support group, including my husband, my mom and step-dad, my dad and his girlfriend, and my cousin who’s stumbling along through life just like me.

#8 will be hard because it’s hard for me to remain motivated when the rewards for something are not immediate. However, this has been true for most of my life, and I have developed tricks to keep me motivated even when the goal and its rewards are far away (having a plan that I can track, setting up smaller in-between goals that keep me going in the right direction but are much more immediately accessible, etc.)

#9 requires me to ask of myself, “am I afraid of success?” And I honestly don’t know the answer. I know that I want to be successful, but I don’t know if I’m somehow sabotaging my attempts at success subconsciously. It bears further inquiry and hence could not be counted as a definitive yes.

In order to find the answer to this question, I would have to do some serious soul-searching, which is what I’m embarked on right now. I don’t quite have a grasp on the answer to the question “Am I willing to be successful?” but I do know that I want to be willing to be successful, and I just have to figure out if there’s anything standing in my way of actually being willing to be successful.

For #13, while I answered “yes” to it, I thought I’d put it down here, because I know that I need to really sit down and think about what I want out of my life in term of business and career.

I’m not sure my answer to #14 counts as definitive, so while i’m committed to telling people no and not accepting opportunities that don’t further my goals, I know it’s going to be something I’ll struggle with, so I didn’t include it in the count.

The second part of #20, the part about making choices, is going to be really hard for me. My perfectionism often causes me to freeze up when I’m not sure which direction to head next, but I’m actively working on that.

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