In today’s episode, I’m going to help you answer the question ‘Are you even ready to start your business?’

Whether you’ve just been thinking about it, are maybe on the fence, are dabbling with a few things here and there, or are trying to get your ducks in a row to get started, this is going to be an extra valuable lesson just for you.

Here for the links referenced in the show notes? 

Fast-Track Your Start-Up free training:

Nail Your Niche free training:

Let’s dive in!

To be honest, there is a lot of information, opinion and frankly, a lot of misinformation out there about what you actually need in order to start a business.

I’ve heard all sorts of things – like needing specific qualifications, needing to have six months’ worth of savings in the bank, needing to build up an audience of at least a few thousand people first, needing to have a website, needing to work with a business coach, and all sorts of things that you need to do, be, or have in order to be ready to start an online business.

But the truth is that there are eleventy billion different paths to having a business and getting your business off the ground. Many of those things I just mentioned that you’re “supposed” to have in order to start a business, I did not have myself.

Yes, I had university level qualifications in business, but I didn’t even know that much about Facebook.

I did not have six months of savings in the bank.

I had zero audience.

I didn’t have a website.

And whilst I did work with a one on one coach for a one day VIP intensive, at the end of that intensive I still didn’t know what to do in my business, nor did I have a step by step set of instructions to tell how to go out and get clients.

I want us to take away these restrictions and rules about what you need in order to “be ready” to have a business and get that business off the ground. I want to dive into what it is that you do need, and what that would look like for a bunch of different pathways.

We are all unique, and all of our business ideas are very unique. Therefore, we have different requirements about what it’s going to take to start a business.

As a very basic example, it takes a lot less cash to start a service-based business than to start a product-based business in most cases, because in a product-based business, you need to have some form of stock unless you’re doing drop-shipping. So even when the traditional model of that business requires a bunch of money to start up, there are so many cool ways that you can overcome that cash shortage when you’re first starting out.

I’ve got four things that I think tell you that you are ready to at least get started with an online business. Sure, you might not make your first million dollars with only these four things, but you are certainly able to start bringing in clients and making money.

1. You’re ready to have a business and get it started

If you’ve got some idea of what it is that you want to do, you don’t need to be 100% clear.  When I first started my business, I knew I wanted to do some form of service-based business and some form of coaching.

I thought I was going to be doing career coaching for women in the corporate world. But after working with just three people, I realised I left the corporate world for a reason – I did not want to be doing that anymore. I totally pivoted!

You don’t have to have a concrete idea and 100% clarity about what it is that you’re doing. All you need is to have some idea of what it is that you want to do, the type of business model that you might be interested in exploring, and then just get out there and get started.

If I had waited until I had an audience, a website, and a bunch of money before I started actually working with paying clients, I would have been so deeply invested into that process that it would have been much harder for me to pivot.

I am so grateful I just jumped in and got started. I realised this wasn’t the type of work I wanted to be doing, and because I wasn’t knee-deep in things I’d already created for it, it was so easy for me to pivot and start working in a different space.

So you don’t need to have everything mapped out. You don’t need to have absolute clarity on exactly what you’re going to be selling, how you’re going to be selling it, or exactly what your niche is. You just need to have some kind of idea.

2. You need to be willing to make mistakes

A lot of people think that to be ready to start a business, you need to know exactly what you need to do. They believe that you need to have the perfect marketing plan, and the best of the business coaches.

But honestly, even with all of those things, you’re still going to make mistakes. I know a lot of people who had all their ducks in a row, the best marketing training, the best strategy ideas, but because they were so focused on getting it perfect and not making any mistakes along the way, they weren’t able to get their business off the ground.

By being consistently focused on not making mistakes, and not doing anything wrong, they never actually took any risks, and they never really explored what’s possible or got that big leap forward.

Instead of needing to have the perfect plan mapped out in front of you, all you need is to be willing to make mistakes and give things a go. Try something!

Be willing to make those mistakes quite publicly as well. That is something that was a big mindset shift for me when I first started my business.  I was so focused on just jumping into the world and having a business and not letting people see me try and start a business, I just wanted to go from zero to business.

It meant that when I was showing up online, I wasn’t showing up 100% authentically. It meant that I didn’t do things until I felt like I had it 100% figured out. Because of that, I did have a bit of a delay in getting things out there when I first started my business.

It was a few months into my business journey that I realised I needed to just get out there and be willing to make some public mistakes, and publicly have people see me try things and maybe not get as much success as I wanted to.

I had to do that to learn from those things and pivot as I moved forward. So a willingness to make mistakes and potentially make them publicly is definitely more valuable than having the perfect step by step plan mapped out in front of you.

3. You can commit at least a few hours a week and do it consistently

It’s totally possible to start a business with 10 hours, then no time for a few weeks, and then a couple of hours and then no time. Different business models are more aligned to be able to do that.

Preferably, if you can at least commit four hours a week, every week, that is going to be much, much more effective than 20 hours this week, and no hours for the following three weeks, and then 30 hours a week after that, and then nothing for three months.

Look at what can you commit as a minimum, but consistently, and make a commitment to allocating that time to growing your business.

I jumped straight into my business and started full time from day one. I was very fortunate and lucky to be able to do that.  But I know that, especially for online businesses, many people just getting started are doing it on the side of a day job, or when they’re looking after their kids at home, or they have other commitments. I think it is totally possible for most people to commit a solid five hours a week or four hours a week, every week for the next three months.

If you protect those hours, really nurture and put boundaries around those hours, and consistently show up in that time, you’re going to be far more successful than trying to convince yourself to do 10 or 20 hours a week while also working 40 hours a week.

Trying to do five hours every night after dinner seven days a week, and then not actually follow through with it – that is the opposite of what works.  Rather than trying to convince yourself that you can definitely work till 2 am every night for the next three months, instead just commit a small amount of hours, but be very consistent with those hours and protect them fiercely.

4. You have a plan on “where to” next, even if it’s just short term

When you try to plan too far ahead, it can backfire.  If you’re thinking, “I’ll do this for the first three months, and then this for the next six months, and then a year later I’m going to launch this course,” then honestly, you’re planning for a future that has a 1% chance of actually being your reality.

You just don’t know how your business journey is going to unfold.

A lot of people in startup ask me if I can help them develop their first year’s business plan. And I will say to them, “let’s set goals for your first year of business, but let’s only do detailed planning for the first three months.”  Because honestly, what happens in those first three months is going to dictate where to go for the next three months and then beyond.

There isn’t a lot of predictability in startup.

We have more predictability the longer we’re in business and the more consistently we are in business.  Over time, we can begin to predict what is going to be happening, and what the results of that are going to be, and what our budget can be for those things.

But when you’re first starting out, there’s so much unknown. Rather than trying to map out all of the plans for the entire first year, (some people want five-year plans during startup!), instead set some clear goals for yourself for those periods of time.

Don’t feel like you need to have every move planned out in detail. Just focus on what your next steps are in the short term.

For example, when I’m working with people in startup, the first stage is getting really clear on what you bring to the table and what you want out of your business. Setting those early goals.

Then it’s about defining a very specific niche.  For so many people I work with, when we get into niching, they tell me they wish they’d had someone help them with this on Day 1 of their business.  If you haven’t got your niche sorted for starting your business, that’s your next step.

So if you’ve got some idea of what you’re doing, you’re willing to make some mistakes, you can commit a few hours a week, and have gotten your niche sorted, you may be ready!

Maybe you are ready right now to start playing with that niche, get clear on what it might be, and start connecting to people who are in that space.

If this has fired you up, and you’re thinking, “what am I waiting for, I just need to get out there and start this business,” then I have a super-duper treat for you.

I have a free training called Fast-Track Your Start-Up.

Not only does it help you with the niching part, but also those first important steps in your business.  There’s no fluff!  Only the stuff you need to do to start making sales and bring money in, because once you’re bringing money in, you are in business.

And once you decide you are in business, you are in business. Don’t let anyone else label your business a hobby. Don’t let anyone else minimise your business by calling it a “side hustle,” or “trading time for money,” or any of those labels people use to diminish what you are achieving.

You are the CEO of a business when you decide that you are, so if you would like to jump on the fast track to growing your business and get those sales in the door as quickly and easily as possible, head on over to the show notes at /207 and grab your Fast-Track Your Start-Up training.

You can jump in and get started – the training takes just over an hour to complete. You can even watch it on double time if you want to complete it more quickly.  In no time you’ll have a very clear map of what your first steps are to getting money in the door, which is what tells you you’ve got a viable business!

Thank you so much for joining me for this episode of the Heart-Centred Business podcast. As always, I’d love for us to continue the conversation so come on over to the Heart-Centred Soul Driven Entrepreneurs Facebook community, and use the #podcastaha. Let me know that you’ve been listening to episode number 207. And I’d love to know if you’ve got any questions, lightbulb moments or “aha’s” as a result of listening to this podcast episode.

Until next time, I cannot WAIT to see you SHINE.

Tash Corbin Business Mentor and Strategist