By Tosh R. Comer
Various emotions and thoughts cross your mind when engaging in the idea of owning your own business. Many entrepreneurs get a sense of excitement while also feeling overwhelmed. You relish in the idea that you can be your own boss, which writes and cashes your own checks. However, shortly after all the initial excitement has passed, you begin to wonder, will my product or service work, will it sell, or will I be able to take care of myself? With so many questions that you establish a great response for, doubts and uncertainty often formulate an antithesis in the shadows of your mind. Preparing and reframing your mindset about yourself and your business will determine how you operate and make your business successful.
I once heard Bishop T. D. Jakes say in his sermon entitled “A Changed Mind,” you can never change your reality without first changing your mind. This statement has stuck with me ever since. It sounds so simple, but when you think about it, it is powerful. How often have you had preconceived notions about someone or something until you interacted with it or them, and all a sudden, your perception is no longer the same from before your encounter? For instance, getting on a roller-coaster is frightening (especially the Fury 325 at Carowinds) but once you get on and scream to the top of your lungs when it stops most people want to ride it again. It wasn’t that the ride got less scary it’s just your mindset changed. What you believe will determine how you respond. If you’re constantly thinking, I cannot do this or I know “it” will fail, it is more likely that you will not be successful. It’s not because you did not have a good idea, or you weren’t capable, but you could not see past your doubt to see the success that could have been.
When starting a business, you must understand that there will be natural deterrents that may arise, whether it be a lack of capital, office or storage space, or even market potential if you are trying to create a demand. Nevertheless, how you view these obstacles makes all the difference. Having limited capital may require you to utilize every possible resource you may have. Do not be afraid or too prideful to ask for help. Not having enough office or storage space will make you strengthen your organizational skills. Creating a demand for your product or service will cause you to be more creative than you ever been. It’s all how you perceive a challenge to be. Even with the unknowns do not allow fear to cripple you, instead let it be a motivator. We have an innate ability to fight or flight in any given situation. Choose to fight! Refuse to give up because of your past mistakes. In fact, reframe those mistakes as learning opportunities and never doubt your ability to break bad habits.
I would also like to stress the importance of having confidence in yourself. Think of it this way, if you had to buy a product or service from Eeyore or Tigger (characters from Christopher Robbin’s Winnie the Pooh) who would you patronize? Eeyore, the humdrum individual who was not sure of himself and finds every opportunity to tell you how miserable his life is or Tigger the jovial, outgoing, charismatic who loves to laugh and have fun even when working? I would go for a Tigger every time. How you view yourself is how others will view you. Be your own motivator and surround yourself with cheerleaders. Having a good support system is very integral in the pursuit of turning your dream into a reality.
Finally, as the adage goes, birds of a feather flock together. Surround yourself with successful entrepreneurs. Glean from their past business mistakes and triumphs. Read entrepreneurial magazines and books, network by joining professional groups or clubs, and engage and talk with potential customers about the product or service you are trying to offer. Most importantly, be unyielding in your pursuit of changing your mindset when it comes to yourself and your business. What you believe is how you will succeed. Believe the best, speak life into your business, and shut down the voice of your insecurities. After all of that take the leap of faith and fly.
Tosh R. Comer is a proud graduate of North Carolina Central University, presently working at Fayetteville State University, and actively building EPICS Small Business Consulting. She is also currently enrolled in the Masters of Entrepreneurship Degree Program at Western Carolina University. Webmasters and other article publishers are hereby granted article reproduction permission as long as this article in its entirety, author’s information, and any links remain intact. Copyright 2017 by Tosh R. Comer. You can reach her via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or her website www.epicssbc.com.