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Starting a business is hard work…
…and sometimes downright difficult.
There’s no question about it.
But in my experience, it’s not as hard as most people seem to think.
Starting a successful business isn’t really a big mystery.
If you’re willing to put the work in and embrace the personal development that comes along with it, you can succeed.
So, how hard is it to start a business?
And what does it really take?
Let’s find out…
…if you’re ready for the startup lifestyle.
Get on the path to success
As it turns out, there are standard pathways to success for entrepreneurs just as there are in traditional career paths.
For example, I’ve outlined what I think are key steps to starting a business, and each of those steps can be broken down into smaller steps.
Don’t know how to do something?
Nine times out of ten, you’ll find someone out there who can walk you through your knowledge gap step-by-step.
In this Internet age of entrepreneurship, people place a great deal of value on transparency and honesty.
I’ve written about the mistakes I’ve made so that you don’t have to repeat them, and you can learn a lot from big wigs like Pat Flynn who have built their brand around that sort of unflinching honesty.
If you use the information you have to build a business and find people you can learn from, you can quit your job and make it happen.
People are doing it all the time and new people are always moving up the success ladder.
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking it’s for other people and not for you.
Adjust your expectations … and your metrics for success
So, what does it take to run a successful business?
Of course, as with anything worth doing, there’s going to be work involved.
And, to start off, it may actually be more work than perhaps you were used to when you were “going to work” for someone else.
It will push you out of your comfort zone, guaranteed.
But the whole thing with a business is that you put in some work at the beginning and over time it pays off and you can work less.
People who are selling you a system that will build you a six-figure business of passive income in just X weeks, are actually selling you a lot of hot air.
It is, however, possible to get to a place where you are happy with the amount of money you’re making relative to the amount of work you’re doing, as long as you remember to adjust your expectations accordingly.
A friend of mine started a business and was able to replace her full-time salary in her first year – working an average of about 25 hours per week.
It wasn’t anywhere close to six figures, but she was thrilled with that success.
What is your metric for success?
What’s most important to you?
Is it most important to you to earn that elusive six figures, spend more time with your family, work less, enjoy the work you do?
There’s no one right answer, but knowing your answer can help you adjust your expectations and your metrics of how difficult or easy it will be to start your own business.
They weren’t born that way. (Sorry, Lady Gaga)
And when you are studying all these entrepreneurs online, you should know that whatever they’ve accomplished, it’s a pathway that’s open to you, too.
They weren’t born knowing what to do: they had to learn it too.
Derek Halpern of Social Triggers seemed to come out of nowhere and become a huge success overnight.
In reality, he ran (successful) celebrity gossip blogs for years before moving into the digital strategy space.
And this holds true for most of the “overnight” success stories out there.
My point is that you shouldn’t hold anyone up on a pedestal, or knock yourself down if you don’t feel like you measure up.
Study your business heroes instead of comparing yourself to them, and you’ll be well on your way to following them.
If you’re willing to do the work, you can have the success you see others having.
It’s hard to believe in the beginning but once you get started you’ll be able to see the possibilities are only limited by your imagination.
Now I’d love to hear from you
Have you been held back by the idea that starting a business was too much work?
Are you worried about how much work it will take to build a successful business if you’re doing it as a side job?
Let me know in the comments below, and let’s see if we can’t turn some of that negative thinking around.
This was number 6 in the 6 part blog series – How To Start A Side Business
Here’s the complete series:
1. why starting a side business may be the secret to your success.
2. 5 qualities you must cultivate to be a successful entrepreneur.
3. the single most important skill you need to run a side business.
4. why YOU are the weakest link in your business (and what to do about it).
5. the tools I use to run my online business.
6. starting your own business: not as hard as you think!