I still remember my very first phone inquiry, from a potential client, like it was yesterday.
More so, I recall the terrifying feeling I had in the pit of my stomach when the phone first rang. I screened the call, of course, and after listening to the voicemail I compiled an exhaustive call-back script to prepare me for my first sales pitch.
When it was time for me to make the sales call, I think I dialed all the way to the 6th digit of the phone number about 36 times before finally going through with the call. After our 15 minute conversation, I had my first client.
I was nervous, excited, overwhelmed, and terrified. Am I really doing this?!
Starting a Business Free of Self-Sabotage
As the founder of a personal branding studio, the bulk of my clients are in the pre-launch or launch stage of their businesses.
If there’s one common thread I recognize most it’s the “launch roadblock” I witness time and time again: self-sabotage. The excitement of starting a business suddenly turns to fear. The fledgling entrepreneurs’ head starts to spin with all the reasons they shouldn’t proceed.
Who can blame them? How could one not feel overwhelmed and drag their feet when it’s time to expose themselves (and their idea) to the world? It’s a scary thing to feel vulnerable, especially when you’re taking a new risk. What if people don’t like it?
But when I sense a client is dragging their feet about launching their website, attending their first networking event, or finalizing marketing materials, it’s time to intervene.
Here are four tactics I personally use to effectively help entrepreneurs “get out of their own way” and avoid failure to launch:
1. Feed your ego.
When you’re starting a business now is the time when you’ll need the most encouragement. But here’s the catch: You have to ask for it and seek it out yourself.
This is when you turn to your closest friends and confidants… people who have done what you’re trying to do. Let them know how excited you are about your business, but that you’re also extremely nervous. Let positive people pump you up. Write down the reasons “why” starting a business is important to you, and why you’ll succeed – and savor it. Create a journal of praises that you can refer to often. Lastly, never forget why are you’re doing this in the first place.
2. Practice social accountability.
Say something out loud to someone who will hold you accountable.
I wouldn’t suggest this tactic in all situations, but I have personally had success by launching and promoting a venture that was not quite ready knowing that this method would put just the right amount of pressure on me to get it done.
Break down your accountability into specific tasks and let others know you are going to do them. Use the potential disappointment of not doing what you said you would do as motivation to keep your business on track.