6 reasons that stop you from being your own boss – and how to overcome them

6 reasons that stop you from being your own boss – and how to overcome them

How are you?  

We’ve been through (and are still going through) a bit of an ordeal. There has never been such an opportunity to really examine our lives and decide what is most important to us going forward.

Are you happy to return to life roughly as it was before, or have our recent experiences made you think about a change, especially in the way that you work?  

You may have been forced into a different work situation, lost your job, and would love to consider running your own thing.

6 reasons that stop you from being your own boss:

 1. Fear 

2. Lack of confidence 

3. Lack of financial security

4. Competition (someone else already does it, and likely better than I could)

5. Lack of business know-how

6. Change of personal identity (fear of success)

And here’s how you might overcome them:

Overcoming Fear

Someone cutting a piece of paper with I can't written on it, to make I can

Everyone feels fear when they decide on a life change, will you let fear define you, keep you small and safe, or are you willing to live with an element of fear while you step up and say yes?

Standing up and saying out loud – buy this thing from me is daunting and scary and feels too difficult.

You just have to take a leap of faith. 

Try something smaller at first. Think up something you feel a bit scared of doing or trying and do it. Notice what happens afterwards. How bad was it really? Do you now feel a sense of achievement? Even if it didn’t achieve what you hoped, you faced a fear and stepped up?  

Building Confidence

The only way we can ever build our confidence is to stretch our comfort zone. If what you are doing now is not serving you, then you need to change the routine, try something new or different and get a little uncomfortable.

A test I use is TV. I may have been super-busy for a period, really stretching and growing and I need a bit of downtime. I’ll allow a bit of trash TV, late afternoon quizzes, etc, and will switch on to watch around 4/5 pm. At first, it’s a bit of a treat, to chill and take my foot off the pedal. Then I notice I start to get bored and twitchy. 

That’s when I know it’s time to step up again and get creative or do something more productive or I will start to lose confidence.  If tackling this alone feels too hard, check out my building confidence programme

9 points in round blue circles to help you boost your confidence

Financial Security

Do you have financial security with your job? Is your job safe? 

Have you considered that you might be able to do both – keep your job and build a small business on the side?

Can you ask for reduced hours at work, a part-time contract so that you can have some financial security while you build your business? 

Sometimes we have to believe that anything is possible to free us enough to get creative and dare to explore our business ideas.  

Putting a huge financial strain on your new business is always going to affect how you perform. Try and get creative with your finances and think about possible ways to support your new venture (taking in a lodger, creating and space to let in your home via AirB&B, a part-time job on the side).

Competition

How many independent coffee shops do you have near you? 

They didn’t let the fear of competition stop them from getting started, they understood that there was a market for what they had to offer and jumped on the bandwagon. 

You choose to support the ones you like the best, your friend you meet in the coffee shop may have a different favourite to you, so you meet there sometimes too. People choose to buy from you because of the same reasons you choose to buy from others. There is something about what they have to offer that appeals to you, the ambiance, the vibe. 

Once you build a following, you build a reputation through offering the best possible customer experiences and you gain word-of-mouth recommendations. In other words, people buy YOU and there is no one else out there that does you.

Lack of Business Know-How

Say you’ve been in nursing or teaching all your life and you tell yourself that you don’t know the first thing about business, so you’ve dismissed running your own. 

Hello! Your life experiences are totally transferable. The juggling, management, caring, and creativity are all fabulous assets for a business. 

It’s the fear of what we don’t know that can make something feel insurmountable. This does not have to be true. It’s just a story we tell ourselves (and why you might invest in training to learn the bits you don’t know and fill in the gaps). 

Fear of Success

I did a poll not that long ago asking people if fear of failure or a fear of success would be the biggest factor for them. Fear of success came out as the more scary option. 

Do we find that surprising? Think about yourself and your role in your family/society. 

Everyone you know has put you in a pigeon-hole of some sort. It may be related to the work you do, your position in the family, etc. If you suddenly say you are going to do this or train to become that – those close to you can struggle. They may experience fear of losing you, you changing, not having time for them perhaps.  

You do this too. We have our version of ourselves and believe we need to stay that way to fit in with what we know, what others expect from us.

Are you willing and able to be successful? Do you deserve to turn your new business idea into something credible and enjoyable? 

What about the service or products you offer? Do your customers deserve to interact with a business that is going places and future-proof to look after their needs. 

Help Yourself

As you can see most of the fears/worries we will encounter require us to shift our mindset and dare to try what might be possible.  

We only have this one life, you decide.

Procrastination, overwhelm and fear will come along for the ride. I run a free Creating Magic Challenge where we can explore what might be possible. Pop over to Facebook and find out more.


These might help – what business is right for you, 5 business ideas to start tomorrow.

5 simple business ideas to start tomorrow

5 simple business ideas to start tomorrow

Want to start your own business, but still struggling with a good idea?  I’ve compiled 5 simple business ideas that you could get started on straight away.

Each of these ideas is something I’ve popped on a list to consider, or I’ve heard about being a success from others.

Here are my 5 simple business ideas to start tomorrow:

Gin Tours

Two balloon glases and one tall glass each with gin and tonic, ice, lemon and lime

In my local town, there are ghost walks and history tours. I thought a gin tour would be a fab little one to add to the mix. There are plenty of distillery visits on offer, but I didn’t notice any specific tours (although I’m sure some of you will have been on something of this type!).

Speak to some local hostelries and see who would be up for a visit from a group of gin enthusiasts.  (That would at least cover off the licensing laws).  

If you wish to investigate getting licensed yourself so you could serve up the gins in different locations, speak to your local authority and see what’s involved.

Learn the history of gin (mother’s ruin?), brush up on your gin facts and intersperse these throughout your tour.  

Discover what’s produced locally and showcase some local gins, and well as some of your favourites or some wacky new flavour combos.  

Wander around with your group, drinking the odd gin, and having some fun!  

You may need to stick to tonics if it takes off, as I wouldn’t recommend several gins a day as a healthy option, hic!

Treasure Hunts in your local town

These are already in existence, but you could add in your own twists.

A group of people in a huddle on the street each wearing a deerstalker hat

What are your favourite spots in town?

What historic landmarks can you incorporate?

Are there some fascinating history or legends to weave into the game?  

Why not make it child or family-friendly?

Sell packs online or deliver hunts in person.  

Have package options – a short one, a medium one, and a more challenging one. You can charge accordingly. You could add food or drink options and picnics into the mix to maximise your profits or collaborate with other local establishments in your town. People love a package.

Handy Pandy

A younger person's hand over an older person's hand in care/support

So many people need help and support for those odd jobs, running errands, picking up stuff, a bit of good company, and generally you being their handy pandy.

Print some leaflets, pop them through doors, ask friends to tell friends about your services. Do the best you can for each client and watch the word-of-mouth recommendations flow in.

I bet you will be too busy before too long.

You might need to learn quite quickly when to say no.

Book a market stall

Sell something you’ve made.

Piles of pottery small plates in different patterns

If it’s food-related, you will need to register with your local authority and get a number to trade legally. Don’t forget your basics like food hygiene, insurance, etc.

If it’s craft-related and sales are going well, why not consider setting up some workshops teaching others how to do what you do?

Or simply buy stuff and sell it online (Esty, Not on the High Street, eBay etc) or on your market stall.

It can just be a hobby, something you do for fun that earns a few pennies on the side.

It might just turn into something else.

 Run chocolate workshops

 I had to include this one as I have a business opportunity where you can do exactly what I do where you live. 

Two people making chocolates

I’ve created a huge manual of procedures (you don’t have to remember everything). There is a comprehensive training course that includes how to work with chocolate and all the business elements too. Finally, there is ongoing support and encouragement on hand while you navigate your launch and beyond.

It’s a business in a chocolate box – who wouldn’t want to work with chocolate?

If this has made you think I want to do one of the above, but you don’t quite trust yourself to make it happen, I can hold your hand, badger you, convince you when you wobble and generally be a good thorn in your side to get your idea off the ground. Check out my New Dawn programme and see it if might suit you.

5 reasons you need to say NO

5 reasons you need to say NO

You have started a business. 

Keen to not miss any opportunity, you are agreeing to all sorts of things.  

Here are 5 reasons you need to say NO to make your business a success:

Your time is valuable

Value yourself and your time.  

Lots of stopwatches in a pile in different pastels shades

You will never get a day back again and nothing is as priceless as your time.  

We often waste time and energy on something that doesn’t work out. Learn and move on. Don’t beat yourself up for time wasted but do take the lessons from what you don’t wish to repeat!

Set Boundaries

Set regular time in your diary for growing and developing your business and honour this as if it was the most important event EVER.  

Family and friends do not always appreciate how disciplined we need to be working for ourselves and may think you are available. It’s your job to educate them as to when you are free and when you cannot be disturbed (except in a real emergency).

Some people are just time vampires. Make sure you set boundaries with them and personally. Stick to them.  

Set start and end times for meetings, let the other person know how long they have with you.

Be a good time-keeper, so you are not on the back foot apologising for being late and allowing this to blur boundaries.

Stick to your principles

Why did you start your business?

If you went through my start-up training this is the first module we cover. Without knowing your why, it’s difficult to plot your path, keep to your long-term strategy.

It’s never just about the money. The money is a lovely bonus, but you didn’t start what you are doing just for money. 

There were other reasons involved.

Take a moment to remind yourself of what you want to achieve, and where you want to go.

Are you allowing someone or something to dictate the direction of your business?  Do you need to say no to someone or something, so you stay true to your path?

It’s your choice

You get to choose. 

One of the most wonderful things about running your own business is you get to do things the way you want to.

I work Monday to Saturday but in a flexible manner. Except in exceptional circumstances, I don’t work on a Sunday, as that is my family time. 

During the week, I take time out to do things like play tennis or meet with friends. It’s not full-time Monday to Saturday, it’s when I want to work, factoring in what works for my customers too of course (like a weekend option). Some years ago I stopped offering evening workshops as they made me too tired. I want balance in my life.

You choose when you say no.

Look after yourself

Most importantly, take some time for yourself.  

Flowers

If you need to re-charge it’s so important that you allow some time each week doing those things you love. Exercise, nature, good food and hydration, sleep, quiet time. Whatever it takes – make sure you say no to those things that stop you from looking after yourself.

It’s empowering to say NO. You may find it a little worrying or difficult initially. If you focus on what you want to achieve and stick to your guns, you will find the decision process becomes more obvious.

Until you need to say YES – but that’s a story for another blog!

10 surprising things you will learn about yourself from running your own business

10 surprising things you will learn about yourself from running your own business

Ever dared to dream about running your own business? 

All your focus is on how good you are at making/doing your thing. You will be feeling some fear, wondering if you are good enough to attract people to buy from you. Are you brave enough to take it further? 

Starting a business is much like becoming a parent for the first time. You will have had time to prepare and get ready to ‘birth’ your business idea, read books and listened to sound advice, and some not-so-sound advice too (how many people have told you starting a business is a bad idea? More on this below….). Start running your own business and you will be amazed at the things that are about to happen. 

Just like parenting, we have no clue what is about to unfold, we learn as we go. No child behaved as per the book, and no business journey will be just as you planned.

Here are 10 surprising things about running your own business. Things you’ll come to realise about yourself. Personal growth. The wonderful opportunities. The sheer magic that will open up to you…

YOU are BOSS material

Lady holding a large white mug that says 'Like a Boss'
 Step up and discover your true potential…

Say goodbye to the old you and unleash your vision and passion onto the world, your way. You will:

  • Set the tone and ‘personality of your business.
  • Make all the decisions.  
  • Take total responsibility for everything – good and bad.
  • Decide what you do, when and with whom

Once you become the boss there’s no going back!

YOU can live with FEAR

A bubble containing words of encouragement
 Everything you’ve ever desired is on the other side of fear…

Understand that however uncomfortable it feels, it’s a sign that you are doing things right.  

You are growing and stretching comfort zones and on the other side of fear is learning, growth, fulfilment and an incredible sense of achievement.

Recognise fear as your friend and you will fly.

YOU can change your STORY

 Forget one day, it’s day one…

You’ve been telling yourself so many stories about what you are able to do. Or, more likely, not able to do. As time goes on you realise that’s all they are – stories.  

What do you tell yourself you’re rubbish at?

Or not willing to do? 

Tell yourself a new story. 

Instead of saying “I’m rubbish at presenting”, or “I never do lives – I hate them.”

Say instead, “I’m going to follow some experts and improve my presenting skills.”  

Or “I challenge myself to do one live each week and see how I get on.”

Hey, you might even learn to love the thing you’ve avoided the most!

YOU can say NO

 Empower yourself to do what you truly want to…
Blackboard with the words time for change written on in white chalk

Running your own business, you get to stick to your principles. You decide who to work with. And you decide when it’s not worth the time and effort.

You find yourself agreeing to everything, scared to turn work down at the outset. Remember why you started, what you wish to achieve, how you intend to get there, exactly what don’t you want to do – and stick to it! 

It’s very powerful to say no when you are saying it with good reason. You are not missing an opportunity if it’s not what you want. Saying no means you are freeing time to do the stuff you love.

YOU can take a RISK

 If you win, you win, if you lose, you learn…

Can you spot potential? 

Will this opportunity lead you down a new path that you have not thought of before?  

Nothing ventured, nothing gained, and we learn so much from our mistakes.

Say ‘yes’ – without knowing exactly how you will achieve what you have been asked to do. You will find a way. Once you have committed to deliver, you will be amazed at how your brain goes into overdrive. You find who and what you need to make it happen. You make that thing you thought impossible – possible.

YOU can be PROUD

 Even if it’s a disaster darling, you are at least trying…
Woman in tutu jumping into the sky with a wand in her hand

You are about to be featured in the press. Invited to speak on a radio show. Appear on TV. Give a talk or presentation to a large group. Enter that competition and win awards. These are all things that have happened to me, so now it’s your turn.

I gained some fabulous PR by writing off to the local press. I engaged with journalists on social media and got featured in The Sun and The Independent. I have won several Entrepreneurial and Customer Service awards and been on numerous radio shows and TV. Go make yourself proud.

YOU have PURPOSE

 Sometimes s**t happens – you have something meaningful to get lost in…

This wonderful tapestry we call life, has a habit of throwing a curveball. Bereavement, separation, illness, hardships – we all face them at some point.  

Running your own business means you have something to focus on and dedicate yourself to when things are really difficult. It can be a wonderful and welcome distraction. 

It’s absorbing and interesting and all yours and you can put as much (or as little) into it as you wish. 

When life happens, you have something to distract you or engage you or something you can leave alone for a bit. 

Whatever it takes.  

YOU will GROW

 No more shrinking to fit things you’ve outgrown…
Picture of a small yellow bird on some purple flowers in nature

Running your own business is an education. You will expand your mind, grow and develop yourself as much as your business.  

You will find mentors, organisations, and groups that support and challenge you. You will learn new skills, move with technology (you have no choice), speak, write, and create new products/offerings for your business.

You will begin to support and mentor others too as they seek your counsel.  

There is no standing still, you are either shrinking or growing.

YOU will build your IDENTITY

 It emerges from within when you dare to show up…

What’s your purpose?

What now that the all-consuming responsibilities have changed?

Did you lose yourself and your confidence along the way?

Running your own business builds your identity. You become known as the ‘whatever you are doing’ lady or man. You achieve goals. You gain a sense of achievement. You are working in a way that you enjoy. You are authentic and true to your values. It builds your confidence and you discover yourself again.

YOU will have FUN

 Time flies…
Disco glitter ball

It’s not all about running the business. 

You work and play on your terms.  

A day off to do something you fancy. A long lunch and catch up with a friend. Holidays when it suits, longer trips, or lots of smaller trips instead – pop them in the diary and work around it.  

You don’t need permission from anyone but yourself.

You may have to work longer or ideally smarter to achieve/afford your time off but honour yourself and protect your fun/leisure time. 

If running your own business means conquering fears, exploring opportunities, growing as a person, and realising just some of your amazing potential – how could you not give it a go?

As mentioned earlier, so many will try and put you off starting at all….. 

They might believe it’s a risky strategy.  

They might believe it’s the wrong time.  

Or have you simply made them jealous because they’ve never dared to try?  

Doing this alone is never easy. We are prone to overthink, procrastinate, listen to the doubters and give up.  We are always better together, as long as we choose the right people to support and encourage us along the way. Visit my Facebook page for more inspiration!

I started my business journey with chocolate. Imagine if you worked with chocolate, how tasty might that be?