How Starting a Business is Like Learning to Ice Skate

I had a first this weekend.  I went ice skating for the very first time.  And I was scared!  And when I really got down to it, the thing I was most afraid of was falling.  So to minimize this, I did a couple of things to prepare:

  • I asked my best friend to teach me.  I wanted to make sure it was someone I trusted because I knew she wouldn’t let me fall and that she would hold my hand.

  • I wore layers.  Because hey if I was going to fall, at least there would be some padding to help me out.

  • I had a cocktail beforehand.  I know that I would worry and worry about falling which would probably increase my chance of falling, so a nice drink beforehand helped me relax before I took the plunge.

And guess what?  I didn’t fall.  I stayed upright the whole time and I skated!  Probably not very well but I did it.

Something that had scared me for years and here I was doing it.  Owning it.  And even if I would have fallen, you know what?  That would have been OK because even though I was scared, I did it anyway.  And it was awesome!

And I felt like I could do anything in that moment.

In a lot of ways, this experience for me reminds me of what it’s like for so many aspiring entrepreneurs.  They are scared of falling (or failing in this case). They are scared about what people will say.  They are scared of taking such a big risk.

I’m not gonna lie to  you and say that entrepreneurship is not a scary thing.  It is!  It is probably the riskiest and most rewarding thing you could ever do.  But there are ways to minimize the risk just like with ice skating:

  • Start it as a side hustle.  If you have a day job, and think that you might want to start your own business, start it on the side. This way you can take a baby step approach to entrepreneurship.  This is what I'm doing.  I work during the day and work on my business during lunch, during evenings and weekends.

  • Have an emergency fund.  If you’d rather go ALL in and start a business right away, make sure you figure out how much money you need to maintain your lifestyle and have 3-6 months of it and saved up in an emergency fund so that you can focus on the business without having to worry about whether you will get evicted this month.

  • Have a support system. Being a business owner can get lonely at times and you can get caught up in your head, stressing about things.  And you’ll probably think you’re the only one who goes through this.  Trust me, you’re not.  We all have those days when we feel like failures, don’t want to get out of bed, stress about finances.  Having a support system helps you realize you’re not alone and you’ll have a group of people you can trust to listen and provide advice.

So if you want to start a business or accomplish any first, start small.  Take baby steps.  Find someone you can trust to be there for you.  And even if it doesn’t work out, you’ll know you tried and you’ll be so proud of yourself for trying something new!

Your turn.

What firsts are you looking forward to experiencing in 2014?  What firsts have you had this year that you are super duper proud of?

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