How To Find Time To Start Your Business

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By Carl Pullein. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

2021-06-10-WW Podcast

This week, how to turn your ideas and dreams into reality.

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Episode 186 \ Script

Hello and welcome to episode 186 of the Working With Podcast. A podcast to answer all your questions about productivity, time management, self-development and goal planning. My name is Carl Pullein and I am your host for this show.

How do you turn dreams into reality? It’s an easy question answer, but a difficult one to execute. Today, I’ll share some ideas you can try to start moving towards those dreams and higher goals you’ve had lying around for a long time.

There’s a lot I can share with you on this one as it’s something I’ve been wrestling with for many years. How do some people live their dreams and others don’t? Is there a secret or a strategy we can all follow?

So, without any further ado, let me hand you over to the Mystery Podcast Voice for this week’s question:

This week’s question comes from Iqbal. Iqbal asks, hi Carl, I’ve followed your work for a long time and I know you sometimes talk about goal setting. I’ve had a dream since I was a teenager to start my own business. I have a tonne of ideas, but I just don’t have any time to work on them because of my job. Are there any tips and tricks you can share that will help me to do something with these ideas?

Hi Iqbal, thank you for your question.

When I read your question, I was reminded of a quote I heard many years ago: “Most people trade their dreams for a salary” There are variations to this quote along the lines of “how much did they pay you to give up on your dreams?”

You see, if you really want to start your business, you have to start your business. Thinking, planning, coming up with ideas etc, are all well and good, but they are not starting a business. Starting a business is creating a website, buying premises, selling a product or service and quitting your salaried job.

Now, these days, quitting your salaried job is not always necessary at first. A lot of businesses can be started online and if, for example, you make leather phone cases, you can do that in the evening and sell them through Etsy or Amazon.

I started my productivity business while I was still a full-time teacher.

The first thing you are going to have to do is make sacrifices. Before I started my productivity business, I used to enjoy watching TV shows in the evening, and at the weekend I’d go out for a few beers with my friends and colleagues. When I decided to start my productivity business, I had to stop watching TV and going out at weekends. I reasoned I needed at least twenty hours each week to work on that business. As I was already working around forty hours doing my full-time teaching job, the only way I could find the time to start my own business was to stop watching TV and going out at weekends.

I suppose the question is, how much are you willing to give up to start your business, Iqbal?

You will never start any kind of business if you are not going to give it enough hours each week. Businesses do not magically appear from an idea. They need development and time. So step one is to decide how much time you will need to build your business and see what you can sacrifice in order to find that time.

Look at things like how much time you spend on social media—that’s a huge time suck—how much TV do you watch each day? There’s another one and of course, you will need to clear your weekends.

I remember when I started doing my online courses, I would look ahead in my calendar for public holidays and block them out so I could spend all day recording my courses. At weekends, I would spend writing and outlining new courses. If I remember correctly the only vacation I had in 2017 was a trip to visit my parents at Christmas at the end of the year. It was 350 days of work, work, work.

Businesses do not build themselves. You have to do the work.

Next up is clarity. You must know exactly what it is you want to build. Like you said in your question Iqbal, you have a lot of ideas. Well, you need to pick one of those ideas. You will not be able to build multiple businesses if you can’t even find the time to build one. Pick one of your ideas and run with that.

No business stands still. When Hyundai, the car company, started, the founder sold rice in the streets around Seoul, and Samsung began as a sugar company. Apple began life as a computer company, yet today their biggest market is mobile phones, music and apps. Whatever business you start today will be different in ten years time. So, pick one idea, develop it and build that business.

Ideas are great, but they can stop you if you have too many. By all means, keep your ideas in your notes app—I have loads of ideas in Evernote for future businesses, but right now I focus on the one I am in.

Next up is courage.

The one thing that separates people who have started their own business and the ones who dream about starting a business is courage. The courage to step outside their comfort zone and the courage to screw up and be embarrassed, laughed at and be ridiculed by family and friends.

That’s the biggest barrier I have come across when coaching or helping people find the time to start their own business. It’s never that they don’t have time—we all have time—it’s that “I don’t have time” is a convenient excuse that hides the real reason they won’t start and that is they are afraid to fail.

I’ve got news for you… You will fail. That’s a given. Look at any company and you will see far more failures than successes. Again look at Apple, how many time did they screw up cloud services. From the original .Mac accounts to MobileMe. They really were bad. And Google with Google Plus and Google Mailbox—which was meant to be the future of email. Then we have Microsoft with the Zune. I could go on but you get the point. Failure is an inevitable part of starting your own business.

The best advice I ever received was: “get comfortable with failure”. I did and I no longer fear screwing up. I see failure as a lesson because while an original concept might fail, there is always something in that failure that did work and I can apply it to the next product or service. You never really fail, you learn something and you move on.

You only fail when you give up. So, don’t give up.

If you ever hear yourself saying: “I don’t have time” or “I’m not ready yet”. Stop and ask yourself why? Never accept those excuses. You do have time and there will never be the right moment. You could start by buying your website domain today and outlining the product or service you are going to sell. From there, you will see what needs to happen next.

And that’s really the next thing. Build momentum. Momentum is only built when you start doing something other than planning and thinking. As I mentioned, buy the domain name so you can make a start on creating your website. Contact potential suppliers, or draw up the outline for your online course or digital service. Then do the very first step. You will find the first step is a lot easier than you imagine.

Let’s take the phone cases idea—order the leather, thread and needles and make a prototype of your first case. That will give you far more information than sitting behind a computer screen looking at what other people are doing and making. It will tell you how much leather you need for a case, how much time it will take to make and whether or not your case works with your phone.

If you are an artist, create your Instagram account, get your art out there in front of people. If nobody knows about what you do, you have nothing. You need people to support you. To share your work and tell the world what you do. The same goes for consultancy. It’s great that you want to share your experience with other people, but if nobody knows about you, your skills and your experience how will you ever get clients?

You need to be building your social media presence now. Not when you have a finished product or service. Start writing blogs, share your illustrations, photography, designs or whatever it is you will sell as a business.

Getting your message out into the world is not a single blog post announcing your product either. It’s consistent content day after day. This is why you need to sacrifice your evenings and weekends.

And so, now you have that information, I have a simple question. How much do you want to start your own business? Are you willing to make sacrifices—giving up your evenings and weekends for at least the next five years? If so, then you know where to start.

If not, that’s fine. Take the salary and work so someone else can achieve their dreams because that’s the way I see it. If you are not willing to make sacrifices, then take the Monday to Friday 9 till 5 job. It’s safe, it’ll pay you some money—put food on your table and a roof over your head, and although the concept of a job for life may have disappeared, you are much less likely to lose everything and will maintain some stability in your life.

And that brings me to probably the most important part. You must have a strong desire to start your own business. In his book, Think And Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill, in the introduction, tells the reader that contained in the book are two secrets. Most people miss those secrets, but I can tell you that one of the secrets is desire. It’s not enough to “want” to start a business, you must have a burning desire to do it.

It’s not easy. Unlike working for someone elsewhere you may have a finance department, HR, marketing team and admin support. When you start your own business you have to do everything at first. You are sales, marketing, HR, admin and customer service. If your desire is not strong enough you will quit. It’s hard. If you think working eight to nine hours a day five days a week is hard, then don’t start your own business. You will be working sixteen to eighteen hours a day seven days a week for many years. It’s only when your business grows to a level where you can employ people to do the finance, admin, HR and marketing for you that you will be able to take some time off and perhaps reduce your hours a little.

But, it’s not all doom and gloom. Starting your own business and seeing it grow from nothing to something is possibly one of the best experiences you will ever have. If you can endure the long hours, the disappointments, and the embarrassment when things go wrong, you will make a great business person.

Dreams become reality when you are prepared to do whatever it takes to make those dreams happen. It’s hard—very hard—but I can promise you, you will never ever regret doing it. You will learn so much not just about business but about yourself. You will very quickly learn what your priorities are and become incredibly focused. You will no longer feel you spend your day doing boring mundane work, you’ll be doing inspiring work you love doing.

The funny thing is, I used to hate doing my admin when I worked for a company. Now, I love doing it. I designed the forms, the spreadsheets and decide what I track. Everything I do today is making dreams come true for my family and myself and I hope, I inspire many others to step outside their comfort zones and do the things they’ve always dreamed of. You can do it, Iqbal, you just have to start.

Thank you for your question, and thank you too you for listening. It just remains for me now to wish you all a very very productive week.

210 episodes