Starting My Online Business: My Fears & Resources
What if it doesn’t work? What if I spend a lot of time, money and resources and nothing comes out of it? What if this business will cost me my relationship and family?
And what if it is not “The Idea”?
Is it worth all the effort? Will I make it? Do I have what it takes?
What if no one likes it and no one really needs my message?
What if they don’t see the value in it? After all, we’re talking about a perspective on life and a change of mentality here…
Who am I to teach this? What the hell do I know? Yeah, sure, I have achieved some success in my life and have inspired a bunch of friends and family members, but is that enough?
Do I really need to do this or is it better to just enjoy my awesome life, my awesome future husband, create an awesome family and just be happy? Why do I need to complicate myself with all this “business” stuff?
Am I a true entrepreneur or just an “entrepreneur-wannabe” like a lot of them are?
As soon as I start thinking about what needs to be done for this project and what I have to go through… I don’t want to do anything.
Why am I certain that it will be difficult? I have realistic expectations. I understand that it will be necessary to work long and hard hours. I understand that it will take guts, courage and perseverance to push through. I realize that there will be times this will be very, very challenging. But also times when this will be very very rewarding.
Am I ready for this? Do I really need this? Why?
Aha. “WHY,” is the question here. But I shall cover the “WHY” and my long-term plus my short-term goal in the next post ;-) #sneakysneaky
Even thinking about all the processes to be built and setup, platforms to be chosen and learned, strategy to be thought out, people to be hired and all the other details, gives me a huge headache and a massive overwhelm.
Even to start it all, I will need the following action steps to be done:
- A clear strategy, vision & message
- Defining avatar & researching competition
- Develop kick-ass branding: an awesome logo & a brand style guide
- Develop a killer content strategy
- Create & launch a website (on Squarespace.com)
- Find & hire an illustrator
- Plan & manage social media (my least favorite)
- Plan & organize marketing strategy
- Setup lead magnets & marketing funnel
And this is only the beginning. Next step would be planning & developing the actual product/service, sales funnel, advertising, generating revenue, paying people, scaling etc…. Jeeeeeez
The only thing that gives me a bit of confidence is that Estring (my fiancee) is by my side with expert business advice & experience.
Almost two weeks ago I started an online business course for women in Russian “Life. Business. Success.” This has been so far the most exciting, and challenging course I’ve ever done. Moreover, this has been one of the best courses I’ve seen on the info-product market (and I’ve been working in this market for four and a half years.) I was pleasantly surprised by the level of dedication, community, details and results that a lot of programs on the Western market aspire to give. But, more on that in another post. (Don’t you love these cute “open loops”?)
I started this course with a business/project idea that I have written about in my “Business Ideas — Day 1 of 99 Days of Wander” post (see if you can guess what it is #openloopagain). I’m choosing the strategy of keeping everyone in suspense on the exact idea until I am ready to reveal it.
In Week 1 of this incredible course, I had to describe the idea in detail, state my financial goals, imagine myself and the business in a year from now and set 3 short-term goals (with a financial goal attached) that I shall achieve in the two and a half months of the duration of the course (coincidentally, this is when the 99 Days of Wander finishes as well.)
I’ve also been asked to write my fears and doubts about starting this business and the resources I already have available for starting it.
My fears are in the beginning of this post. My incredibly insightful “anti-fear” resources are below.
Note 1: since the program is in Russian, I write all my answers in Russian first and then I translate into English. This takes double the time but I feel there is some special magic to this process.
Note 2: For those who don’t know, I have produced my own podcast “Maninside Show” in which I was interviewing men about women and relationships for two years. In July, 2016 I have officially closed the podcast for reasons described here in this article.
Here are the resources I already have:
- I have time to fully dedicate myself to this project, a luxury I didn’t have before and not a lot of entrepreneurs have in the beginning. (I have managed to gather savings that realistically will last me about five to six months, with lots of effort, even nine months. Estring, the fiancee, is supporting me in this business adventure as an advisor, investor, partner.)
- I have experience in developing an online project of my own where I faced challenges and difficulties and learned valuable lessons. Now I know what I would do differently.
Here are the wins that I’ve hit during the two years of show production:
I have successfully launched and produced the ManInside Show podcast that hit #1 in iTunes’ New & Noteworthy Podcast category in the first 9 weeks
Learned about setting up a podcast, RSS feeds, microphones and equipment, tagging and exporting, audio & video editing, design and web development
Released 43 interviews that I have personally researched, scheduled, edited and published (last fiveepisodes I’ve actually gotten help from a good friend who was working with me), including the one with John Gray, author of Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus and other 17 books about relationships
Worked with 2 interns, 3 virtual assistants, various mentors and supporters
Learned about email and social media marketing, traffic, SEO and all the other boring stuff that honestly, I didn’t care much about…
- Experience in online marketing. I’ve spent four and a half years of online marketing experience in companies that sell info-products in the personal growth space: www.mindvalley.com, www.mindmovies.com and various freelance clients. I listen to a lot of business and online marketing podcasts and am a part of a couple of entrepreneur paid groups. I’ve worked in pretty much all areas of an online business: from customer support to email marketing & sales, product launches, webinars, advertising, SEO & content management.
- MOST IMPORTANT: Confidence in myself and in my own power. I’m older and much wiser now, I’ve gained more business and life experience. Now I know that I am able, willing and that I have it in me.
I’ve proved to myself that I have something unique inside of me that desperately wants to get out, wants to express itself and make the world a better place. It wants to make a contribution, inspire, demonstrate and challenge the status quo. It wants to show a better, fuller life.
Now I think about business more consciously, strategically navigating through decisions and plans.
Now I have someone who is constantly reminding me:
“Is this a business or a hobby?”
And I know if “it is a business” I need to treat it as such. A business exists to make a profit while solving a problem and making a contribution to the world. A hobby… well, it’s just a hobby. That’s what Maninside Show was for me. Quite possibly a lot of entrepreneurs do not succeed in their adventures because they take it too close to heart and thus, they make decisions from the heart more than they make it from their minds. A healthy balance is essential.
Now I am grateful to have a partner (but it could have been a friend, an advisor, a mentorship group or a father) that always reminds me about the primary purpose of a business.
Now I do not have financial fears that I won’t survive and won’t achieve anything in life. These are my Easter-European childhood fears. I have nothing to prove to my father anymore ;-)
Now I know that I could earn money anytime anywhere, it is a matter of what I choose to focus on while earning the money. The idea of working for myself and creating wealth is truly exciting. Now I know and have experience in realizing my dreams into reality, it is only a matter of what dreams I want to focus on next.
I guess I can call this stage as “maturity” or “adulthood.” Have I fully understood, explored and navigated this stage? Probably not. There is a loooong way to go.
But when facing my fears and doubts, I turn around to face my already available assets and I understand that I’ve come a long way.
I understand that I am never the person I was yesterday or even a minute ago. That I constantly move forward. That I learn from my mistakes and I will be okay. No matter what happens, I will be okay. I don’t need to prove anything to anyone and whatever I decide to do I do it for myself. If the world benefits from it, that will be incredible and my soul shall be satisfied on so many different levels.
The “Fearless” Wanderova
What are the fears you’re facing at the moment and when you turn around, what are the assets you already have to turn around again and face these fears?