Start Where You Are

Do you dream of owning your own business and controlling your destiny? Has this been an ongoing wish?

What has held you back?

For a lot of the folks I work with there is an ongoing internal battle between dreams, real life demands and perceptions that create fear.  Often the thing that holds people back the most is the sense that it is too hard, will be too much work or if they wait a little longer it will all be easier.

There is an old saying, “How do you eat an elephant?  One bite at a time.”

If your goal seems big and too challenging to start, take the steps you can now.  Here are some thoughts on active steps you could be taking towards pursuing your dream of business ownership.

First, put it on paper or build a dream board.

For a dream to start firming up you need to have a clear vision of your “Why?” and the outcomes you desire.

For some this is a business plan type of document, you may even call this your “Dream plan” where you outline everything you know and envision today and can update it as needed.  The specific business may not be the focus in the very early stages; it may be a broader life outline.

For others this step needs to be very visual; a dream board where you take a large cork board, put it up on a wall you see a lot and put pictures that represent why you want to pursue your dream as well as pictures that represent the outcomes you desire (family time, travel, experiences, etc).

Dreaming of owning a business is great, but for that dream to become a reality you will need something that motivates you to take the active steps required to bring your dream into reality.  These first two steps, while they can be updated, happen in a pretty defined period of time and it is possible to complete them and slowly forget the motivations you outlined.

After setting your vision via plan or dream board, start a journal.  This can be a very structured book like the one a company called Best Self offers or just a blank journal.  You will want to keep a daily record of your work day, how you feel about your job and where you see opportunities for you to grow.  Also journal your life experiences, what keeps you feeling fulfilled and excited about the future.  Make notes about what tasks you enjoy doing, and those you don’t.

The goal of your journal is not to act as a daily reinforcement of your dreams, but to add the real world motivators and steps towards your goals.

One of my mentors pointed out to me years ago that you tend to have similar experiences to the people you surround yourself with, or who find you because you are on a similar path to them.

Look at the people around you, they may be awesome folks but do you need to work in more people that are either on a similar path?  Do you need more people around you that understand your goals, are working on their own, know the steps you are taking or have already started their business?

I still do this, it still works!

Where do you find folks interested in starting their own business, or who already have? Chamber of commerce meetings, networking groups, local business socials, talk to the owners of the local businesses that you frequent and much more. They are all around you!

When is it too early to start talking to franchise industry people? It is never too early.

I talk to people all the time that dream of owning their own business. We discuss where they are in that thought process, steps forward and when we need to actually start investigating franchises.

If you are more than 6 months away from decision time, you may want to be careful how you engage franchise brands.  Starting an investigative process with a brand you really desire long before you could possibly make a decision may convey to them that you have a hard time making decisions in business.  There are ways to feed your knowledge base while making sure you maintain the correct impression of you with the franchise brand.  I, or any very seasoned franchise pro, can help you determine the best path for you to maximize your outcome.

And finally:

    • A myriad of financing options make taking these steps easier
    • You don’t have to leave your job to start a franchise
    • There are many very affordable ways to get into business
    • Professionals like me are here to help every step of the way
    • Dreams are achievable with the right partners, process and your drive to succeed

What is your success story?  Let’s go find it!

George Knauf is a highly sought after, trusted advisor to many companies; Public, Independent and Franchised, of all sizes and in many markets. His 20 plus years of experience in both start-up and mature business operations makes him uniquely qualified to advise individuals that have dreamed of going into business for themselves in order to gain more control, independence, time flexibility and to be able to earn in proportion to their real contribution. Contact the Franchising USA Expert George’s Hotline 703-424-2980.

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