“Right, 2019 is the year I start my business, I’ll just make another 25 resolutions about other stuff and try and do all 26 of them.”
No, stop! If you dragged yourself into your corporate job every week last year like a child going to the dentist, you need to make 2019 the year you make a change.
You will only make that change if you make starting a business your number one priority.
I was a bit hesitant about using the words ‘New Year’s resolution’ as it conjures up images of hitting the gym for 4 weeks in January and then paying to feel guilty about not going for the rest of the year.
My list below is a little different from the usual New Year’s resolutions. It takes the central theme of starting a business and adds in resolutions or goals that are related to that.
Quite a few of them aren’t tasks but instead are decisions or mindsets to help you take the first steps in starting your business.
If you’ve spent the last year hating your job with a passion, starting a business might feel like the only answer.
Before you launch head first into anything, just stop and ask yourself whether it is really a business you want, or something else.
You have to be really clear about why you want to start a business. And, it needs to be strong enough to carry you through the many obstacles, days of self-doubt and frustration that will follow.
Not to say starting a business isn’t awesome, just be realistic that it ain’t all a bed of roses.
If you have a burning desire to solve a problem or help a certain group of people, that purpose will keep you motivated.
Action – write a clear statement on why you want to start a business. And it shouldn’t be ‘because my boss is a member of a satanic cult’.
Most of the time, the reason why we haven’t started our business is that we haven’t, well, started.
You don’t need to read ALL the books or know the ins and outs of tax structures and limited companies to get started.
You just need to take the first step. And that is always the scariest.
Once you’ve done it though, you’ll find you are taking the next step and the next. A few months down the line and you’ll be motoring.
Sure you probably still won’t know what the hell you’re doing but at least you are doing it!
Action – decide on the first step you are going to take. It really doesn’t matter which one it is, the important thing is that you are taking action.
For example, post in one Facebook group and offer your services for free.
I am definitely guilty of this one. I hate saying no to people so often end up taking way to much on.
Some really good advice I had was to list out absolutely everything I currently do. Then go through the list and delegate or eliminate anything that wasn’t related to my overall goal.
This helped me realise how much random stuff I was doing that was getting in the way of me working on the business and staying relaxed.
If you want to start a business, then be ruthless with what you give your time to.
Action – Write your own list of everything you are doing at the moment. Get rid of or reduce anything that doesn’t help you start your business.
Confidence is often a barrier to getting started with a business. Especially if you’ve burned out in your current job.
I personally lost confidence when working in a toxic company. I was totally exhausted and miserable. Being tired and stressed all the time doesn’t exactly make you feel great about yourself!
I also felt a bit lost as I reached my mid-thirties. I wasn’t sure which style of clothes suited me anymore. I didn’t want to dress too young but didn’t want to age myself unnecessarily.
All of these things meant that I lacked the self-confidence to believe that I could be successful in something else.
It’s taken a long time (and is still a work in progress) on getting my confidence back. What I would say is do anything you can to boost your self-esteem.
Action – Choose one of the above things (maybe not the zip line) and then go for it. Just keep chipping away at the self-doubt, it does get better!
When you want to start a business, it is so easy to get lost in the black hole of blog posts and social media.
You may think you are doing research, but what you might find (as I eventually realised) that most blog posts and books say the same thing.
Learning what someone else did isn’t necessarily going to be the right thing for you. You are probably better off just working it out for yourself.
Of course, if you need to learn something technical, like setting up a website, that is fine to research how to do it.
Better to get started though and you can just jump on Google whenever you encounter a hiccup.
Action – Delete the apps, put down the books, unsubscribe from blogs that aren’t helpful (not this one obvs ha!). Make the commitment to get started and you will figure it out along the way.
It is so easy to look at others (or what they post on Insta) and think about how very far behind them you are.
Thing is, almost no one chart their journey from confused, overwhelmed newbie to “successful” entrepreneur making squillions a month.
One of my favourite things that helps with this is the Wayback Machine. I’ve talked about this in other posts as it’s so awesome.
You put the web address in from your favourite company and you can see what their website looked like at the beginning.
Even the slickest entrepreneurs started with a pretty basic website!
Action – Use the Wayback Machine for a couple of people whose business you love. Then stop thinking about it.
Making a financial plan is the single most important thing you can do when you want to start a business (in my humble opinion).
If you know you have your money under control, that is one less huge stress while you start your business.
You really don’t want to have anything else bothering you as it will just be a distraction.
Personally, I saved a year’s worth of expenses before I quit my job. I am absolutely not saying you need to quit your job too, just make sure you have enough money saved that you can stop worrying about it.
Action – Make a spreadsheet, use a money app or anything that works for you in order to get control of your spending and save a healthy cash cushion.
What I wanted most when I was starting my business was to talk to other women in the same situation.
Most people don’t really understand what you want to do when you say you want to quit your job and start a business.
Or if they do, they don’t really understand your business idea as they aren’t your target customer.
Not all Facebook groups are created equal, some of them are just spammy sales funnels so try and few out first until you find one that is supportive.
Alternatively, you can find some meetup groups in your area, or start your own one. You could ask in a Facebook group if anyone lives near you and wants to meet up.
Action – Find a Facebook group and start getting know people
Okay, so this is me speaking from experience. Don’t try and go from corporate hell straight into your business if you are mentally and physically broken.
It will not work.
I tried to do this and then spent two months battling with myself about what I “should” be doing when all I wanted was to sleep, watch Netflix and recover.
If you are trying to start a business while in a very stressful corporate job, your first New Year’s resolution could be to find a way to reduce your hours.
Anything that will give you the headspace to get yourself back fighting fit and ready for a new challenge.
Action – Ask yourself truthfully whether you are really able to give your business the time and energy at this point in time.
If the answer is no, then make a plan to get over your burn out first so you can start your business on the right foot.
Okay, so now we need to make sure that 2019 is the year you finally get your life back.
The best way to achieve your New Year’s resolutions around starting your business is to make it realistic.
I find the easiest way to do this is to break the year down into quarters. Put in a couple of your goals or resolutions into each quarter.
Then break each goal or resolution into sub-goals or actions.
Then you can break Q1 into months and weeks and add in your sub-goals.
If it looks realistic and you think you can achieve it (while still having time for family and relaxation) then move onto breaking Q2, Q3 and Q4 into months.
I wouldn’t break Q2, Q3 or Q4 into weeks at this point as it will take ages and will probably end up changing anyway.
Action – Create your 2019 action plan and then put it somewhere you can see it!!!! If things end up moving around because of unexpected life events, that’s totally cool. Just move things about it and carry on.
Starting a business is a step into the unknown, but you don’t want to be sitting in your rocking chair in your 80s regretting that you never tried.
Make 2019 the year that you finally start. What’s the worst that could happen? No really, what is actually the worst?
Have a think about it. I bet you it isn’t anything you couldn’t recover from. And you would end up with invaluable learning experience anyway.
So go on, do it!
Hi, I am Laura. I set up the 'I Want My Life Back Project' after burning out in a corporate job. I quit in May 2017 and set about getting my life back. I now freelance 2 days a week, run this blog, manage my rental properties and am SO MUCH HAPPIER! All the content on this blog is to help you to get your life back too :-)