Every once in a while, people give you advice that seems completely contradictory at the time. Unless they’re crazy (and even if they are a little crazy), what you often end up realizing is that their words of wisdom weren’t in total opposition but instead require a balancing act. Case in point: my advice here to throw away your business plan, along with my recent post about where to focus your new business efforts. In that post, I mentioned that having a solid business concept, plan and strategy were key to time management when getting your business off the ground. While I still believe this to be true, today I am saying throw it out!
Your Business Plan As a Barrier to Success
Before you start arguing that I may just be one of the crazy ones I talked about above, let me explain. All too often when independents are growing their business, 90 percent of their time is spent planning, which leaves only 10 percent for the doing. It’s easy to get stuck in the planning quick sand, perfecting your pitch, outlining your value proposition and making list after list. Well, it’s time to flip your work day on its head, trash your plan and hit the streets. As contractor consultants, we have to do, not just talk about doing, to make our mark and earn a living. Make the doing your new 90 percent, and leave the other 10 percent for all the little stuff.
Know when enough is enough
Research, preparation and development are all necessary parts of launching or growing your business, but you have to know when enough is enough. All the preparation in the world is only useful if you put it to work. The truth is, you probably won’t feel completely confident and ready to go until you flex your skills in the real world. It’s sort of like how people say you’re never really ready to have kids and yet when they arrive, the instincts kick in. Be confident in everything you’ve done to get to where you are and get out there and use what you know.
Stop building barriers
There is such a thing as sabotaging yourself, and as an independent contractor, you have endless opportunities to do this by putting unnecessary barriers up around you. To some, barriers may mean coming up with excuses to not complete a project or go for a job you really want, but they can really take on any form. Trust me when I say that there will be enough barriers in your business journey without creating them for yourself.
Put fear in its place
The biggest barrier of all is fear, and as humans, we are notorious for letting it keep us from achieving greatness. We are terrified of messing up so we research, plan and talk about our dreams but are racked by fear that we might not be able to pull off achieving our dream. Don’t let that be you! Also remember to keep your guard up as your business grows because fear has a way of worming its way back in. Be confident and remind yourself how far you’ve come and you’ll be able to knock down, leap over or go around any obstacle you come across.
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