I can always tell when new entrepreneurs are starting to crack under the pressure of decisions. They say things like:
“I know everyone tells me I have to choose a specific niche, but I really don’t want to limit myself to only working with one type of person!”
“What if I spend all this time and energy getting this business off the ground and I find out (no one will buy from me) (I don’t like it) (I have no time) (fill in the concern).”
“The URL for the business name I wanted is not available! How can I be successful without a catchy business name?”
The root of the stress is usually the belief that making a decision about your business is an all-or-nothing proposition.
- You either make it in one niche or you fail miserably.
- You either choose the right business to start or you will have to slink back into your cubicle in a soul-sucking job.
- You either hit a home run with your business (or product) name or sell nothing.
My advice to stressed out entrepreneurs in this situation is simple: If it doesn’t work, change it.
You never know what will work until you try it. I have worked at length on programs that I thought were guaranteed to fill up immediately and they sold nothing.
And I have spent very little time planning programs that were wildly successful without much effort at all.
No decision you make as an entrepreneur locks you in a set business direction. The experience is iterative with constant learning and adjustments.
Knowing this, you can ease back a lot of unnecessary pressure on yourself.
And you can borrow a few lines I tell myself when I have a failure or flop:
“Well that certainly was a great learning experience!”
“Whoops, looks like I was wrong. Oh well!”
“Good thing I screwed this up now, before I (wasted a lot of money) (got in front of a bigger audience) (was live with Matt Lauer on the Today Show).”
Don’t forget that being an entrepreneur is an adventure. Taking a wrong turn without your guidebook often leads to unexpected and tantalizing adventures.
And for the bloggers among you, your screw-ups can lead to confessional blog posts, like 4 lessons on learning from your mistakes.
No one thing you do will predict all of your success.