In my career as a marketer, I've worked alongside dozens and dozens of business owners; as an entrepreneurial writer, I've interviewed at least a couple hundred. And just like any other time you work with human beings, you start seeing the same patterns and questions come up over and over again.
I've met so many talented people, who would make tremendous entrepreneurs; yet they're stuck in a job that doesn't pay all that well and doesn't feed their soul (which is the greatest travesty). This scenario usually happens because the individual is facing a profound mental roadblock: the fear that you have to know everything in order to start a business.
Case in point. I was at a beautiful wedding last year - one of the most creative, well-planned events I have ever been to. At the reception, I was commenting on the whole thing, when I was introduced to the groom's sister, who had doubled as the wedding planner. I exclaimed how lucky the couple was to have a professional wedding planner in the family. "Oh no, I'm not a professional," she said. "I've always wanted to be one, but I could never start my own business."
As a pressed a little more, I saw the pride and passion she had in her events. She mentioned how much she hated her real job, but was afraid to start a wedding business because she wasn't good at making invitations, didn't know how to market, didn't know how much to charge...the list goes on.
Such a talented person putting unnecessary roadblocks in her own way. Think of what she could do if she let someone else do the things she wasn't good at and focused her extreme talent on creating these incredible events. She could probably build up a pipeline of referrals in no time. Fingers crossed she'll realize that someday.
I thought about that lady this week when I asked a group of entrepreneurs with multi-million dollar businesses what their biggest tip for starting a successful business was. Low and behold, their answers had a common theme.
"Focus most of your energy on your strengths and passions, while finding other great individuals and resources that excel at your weakest points," advised Donny Gamble, Founder of IdeaHacks.
His sentiment was confirmed by David Wolf, CEO of Mulberry Park Silks, who even went a little further: "Don't focus on everything equally or focus more on the things you aren't good at. Focus on what you getting traction with and keep focusing on it. Find partners, services, or hire someone if you can afford it. Spend 80 percent of your time on the things your are great at."
I had to learn that lesson myself when I started my own business too. I knew I needed someone who was good at the things I wasn't good at - but I couldn't afford to pay them. So instead, I found people I could trade services with. This way, we were all helping each other grow, without breaking the bank. If you really want to start your own business and design your own life - you will run across problems. The great thing is, if you tap into your creativity, you can probably solve them all.
Bottom line, folks - don't get stuck doing a job you don't want to do, simply because you're scared of what you don't know. Get help and / or learn in real time! Life is too short to not pursue work you're passionate about.