Can you start an online-business doing what you enjoy?
You don’t know much about business and you’re not quite sure how this online thing works. You may not even have a ton of free time.
But you do want to be financial independent and you’re hoping to have more control over the way you work.
Having the flexibility to work from home would mean you can stay close to the kids and your aging parents.
And you really want to launch out and explore alternative ways of “working”.
So can you?
Mentoring Women in Business
In a recent speaking engagement where I shared on “Building Brand Authority and a Strong Online Presence” about 150 business women attended a workshop organized by the Yayasan Pendidikan Vokasional Wanita Malaysia (that’s the Foundation for Women’s Education and Vocational Training Malaysia), a non profit organisation that empowers women in Malaysia.
Some in the audience started their own micro businesses from home, yes home business. And all started from scratch; they worked through the process with their personal mentors.
A newer group has just joined the “Mentoring for Women in Business” program while others are already 2 or 3 years into the program.
As I was speaking from the stage, I see a group of confident, happy and satisfied women.
They’ve launched out and tasted success; some have even expanded their business overseas.
This happened because they’ve all worked hard towards something that they believe in with the support provided by their sponsors and YPVWM.
With everyone coming from different background, the one thing that’s common across all is the growth mindset they have; they are ready to embark on a journey of learning.
Yes, they’ve worked in spite of self-doubts and real-life challenges because they know that success is process, it’s something you can develop into.
Have you been pulled back by common mindset challenges challenges that have prevented you from starting your own business?
Success is a process.
The 3 Common Challenges I hear are:
1. I don’t have the time
Nothing new here. But, everyone has the same 24 hours in a day. And all with “stuff going on at work and at home”.
Yet some manage to do what needs to be done.
How is that possible? The magical business mindset is none other than that of making time for what you deem as important.
It’s call prioritizing.
- Being busy does not follow that you are productive. No brownie points for being “busy”
- Being productive does not necessarily equate to making progress towards your goal. We are good at skipping around works that really matter. And we pride ourselves with being productive with things that don’t bring as much return, right? Been there, done that …
- But knowing what you really really want and working hard towards it consistently (even if it’s taking 20 minutes a day) is making progress towards your goal
- Using technology, stream lining processes and automation can help you save a lot of time
It takes great discipline and focus to not waste those idle minutes throughout the day.
And that business mindset is what separates those who are able to make something out of limited resources from those who can’t.
2. I don’t have the finance
Starting any project will need some kind of finance; some seed funds. Someone who’s serious about starting a business will need to either start saving for the endeavor or have alternative source of funds.
The good news is that starting an online business and working from home will cost much less than if you were to run an offline brick and mortal business. And you can often get quicker results too.
And if you offer digital service or products, there’s no warehousing or shipment to worry about. You can:
- Start your business bootstrapping without taking any loans. Trust me, I am not the only who’s able to do this
- Offer digital service and products. This business model is more gentle on your bank account. Or you can also use digital media to promote your offline business and to sell physical products
- Do most of the work yourself or barter if you are short on cash. It’ll take a longer time but it is still doable
[This photo was taken at a recent workshop for “Mentoring Women in Business”
a workshop that YPVWM organized in conjunction with their partners,
the Cheri Blair Foundation for Women and Qualcomm Technology among others].
3. I don’t know how to start an online business
So you learn.
No magical wand here. A business mindset is one that will face the challenges and find a way to overcome it.
There are lots of free information online:
- But you’ll need to search for the right kind of information and try things out as they don’t always work the first time
- And you’ll need to be careful to only use information that’s accurate and updated
- Discernment is required to sieve out the credible information from the crappy ones
- And the good news is, you can learn almost anything you want online, right where you are (from your desktop or smartphone), when you want
You can either use your money or your time to build a business.
If you don’t have a lot of cash then you’ll need to use your time to learn. You experiment with it, make some mistakes and learn the ropes.
But the downside is that you would be taking a longer route and consequently use a longer time. This can turn out to cost you even more money and to lose out on opportunities.
On the other hand, if you can afford the finance but are very tight for time then you can outsource parts of your work so you get the work done faster and better.
Others have spent the time and money to learn the craft, they’ve made the mistakes so you don’t have to do the same. So to shorten your own journey to success you can tap into their expertise and experience.
My suggestion for you is to spend time on the really important things like thinking through why you want to start the business, exploring possibilities, working out strategies and building your brand authority and reputation.
These are things that must be done by you and cannot be delegated or outsourced. But graphic design and other things can be outsourced.
So is it possible to start your own business? Absolutely!
These 150 women from all over Malaysia and countless others are living testimonies. They set their minds and found ways to make it work. They’ve worked towards their goals every week with their mentors guiding and encouraging them.
Success did not come easy but it is attainable with the right business mindset and implementation. Business mindset is one of the 3 pillars for starting any business.
There’s no better time to start your own business than now. With the right business mindset and action plan you can start and build your own online business.
The ball is in your court now.
If you’re interested to find how you can start your own online business, we’ll be launching the building essentials course here. If you leave your details here, you’ll be notified when the course is launched in early Oct.
If you prefer the blog post in presentation mode, you can view the slides here.
Feel free to like, share or embed the deck of slides. And if you have any questions, just leave them in the comment section below.