|by Cathy Goodwin
Seven tips to ignore when starting a business
Cathy Goodwin, Ph.D. Author, Career Coach, Speaker
"When Career Freedom Means Business"
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- "Career freedom means starting a business. "
Clients often assume they can reach career freedom only by starting a business, yet many people feel truly free in a corporate setting. They swim easily in the corporate sea. Some even return after successful entrepreneurial ventures.
"Don't worry, be happy."
Some advisors tell you, "You'll be great," even if they secretly believe you're following a harebrained path that is doomed to fail. Do your own research and get second and third opinions.
While I support visualizing and attracting, I do not believe you can attract business from a non-existent target market. Better to attract prosperity and fulfillment. You might also try to attract knowledge and discernment so you can evaluate your various advisors.
You may also hear, "If you dream it you can do it." Not necessarily! Your dream may be your market's nightmare.
"If other people can have a successful business, you can too."
You may be smarter, more creative and more energetic than your friend James, but James may have that special entrepreneurial spark, a trust fund, or a network of millionaires. I've had colleagues who would get unsolicited business whenever they gave a talk to a group -- even to a college class. They offer a unique combination of expertise, confidence and charm. Unless you strongly resemble those "other people," they're irrelevant.
- "You will probably fail."
Your advisor may use fear to motivate you to work harder or sign up for his success course. Here's a legend: "Maestro," says the surgeon to the famous musician, "I played for you at a master class. You advised me to stop playing professionally. You said I would never be great. I want to thank you. I listened to your advice and became doctor." The maetro peers at the surgeon: "I do not remember you. I tell all my students that. The great ones ignore my advice and continue anyway."
"You can always go back to what you were doing before."
After months or years of entrepreneurial activity, you and your former career will be different. Your former associates will view you differently. Better to begin with a job that you can leave if you become successful. Stay in a position of power.
Related myth: "You were successful before -- and you will succeed again." Basketball players do not always thrive on football teams and baseball is a different game altogether. Enough said.
- "You will be fine; you just need more confidence."
If you lack self-confidence in several areas of your life, see a clinician. Otherwise your lack of confidence in your entrepreneurial skills is probably reality-based and should be viewed as a signal to find another advisor.
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