1. Say yes to your yearning. You don’t have to know at this moment what you will do or how you will do it. Simply acknowledge the inner voice that’s been nudging you to venture into the world of entrepreneurship. Write “Yes! I accept my yearning!” on a big piece of paper, and post it on your wall, just to remind yourself that you are moving forward. It took me two years to write down those five words, but once I did, I began to see the possibility of being my own boss.
2. Start a journal. Use it daily to write down your ideas, goals, feelings and whatever is going on in your life. Keeping a journal helps you get to know yourself better, and you’ll see your progress when you look back. My journal was especially helpful to me when I was scared and could read about times when I felt confident.
3. Write down your goals. Studies have revealed that people who write down their goals are five times more likely to achieve them. When would you like to start a business? Leave your job? How much money would you like to have saved? Set goals, and work toward achieving them.
4. Visualize your success. Create a vision of what you desire as an entrepreneur, and write it down. In my business counseling experience, the clients who created visions were most likely to experience them. Ask questions like “What kind of office space do I want to work in?” and “What kind of clients do I want to serve?”
5. Create and read affirmations. Affirmations are “I am” statements about what you want to happen, written in the present tense as if they are already happening. “I am a successful entrepreneur” is a good one to start with. Create a list of 10 to 20 affirmations on index cards. Hang them where you’ll see them and read them daily. Affirmations helped me believe in myself, and launch and grow my business.
6. Evaluate your beliefs. Grab a sheet of paper and write your beliefs about yourself, money, your business and the future on the left. See if these beliefs reflect what you want to believe. If not, write your new beliefs on the right, and add them to your affirmations. One client of mine discovered that his beliefs about money were actually his parents’ beliefs, so he created new beliefs that were more closely aligned with his goals.
7. Do what you love. I love helping people whether I’m in the business or just volunteering it feels so good to help others achieve their goals or just make someone’s life a little bit easier.
8. Do something different every day. Shake up your routine, and get used to change. One of my clients thought this would be an easy exercise, and she later told me it took her three days just to get up on the other side of the bed. Her little changes helped release her fears and prepare her for starting a business.
9. Act “as if.” Start acting as if you are your own boss. Feel what it’s like to make your own schedule and generate your own revenue. Once my clients started doing this, they realized it built their confidence.
10. Go out and scare yourself. Are you afraid of doing something, saying something or going somewhere? Do it afraid! Being afraid and doing it anyway builds courage and confidence. One of my clients made up the maxim “Do it afraid!” to help her take action and challenge herself to do things that scare her.