A lot of people feel a lot of apprehension starting something new. Leaving your comfort zone is not easy. Quitting your job that provides stable income and starting a new business venture –  doing what you love that gives you the freedom of time but an erratic flow of income, can be daunting. It doesn’t help that we are surrounded by naysayers, non-supporters and people who just don’t understand. Don’t be surprised if some of them are your family members.

Most importantly one must know and understand their motivation or desire for starting a business. Is it to make a fortune? Building a legacy? Building a sustainable business? Or working on your own terms? Once you have the “why” sorted out, you will need to move to the “how”.

I have set out 3 very simple “how” steps for those thinking about starting a venture but not quite sure where to start.

A mentor is a must.

Mentors have a wealth of experience you can learn from to prevent making the same mistakes they made as beginners. With small businesses mushrooming rapidly, and the ever-evolving social media marketing platform, it’s all about working smart so you can get to your goals in the shortest of time. What better way than to learn the lessons your mentors are graciously willing to share! So, shake off the corporate ego, be humble and be ready to lear.

Being amongst the right company – “Your network is your net worth” – Tim Sanders.

Investment in the form of money isn’t sufficient and will not see your business through. We need to build a strong network comprising successful entrepreneurs and people who are like minded. It is your social capital and not your financial capital that will form the backbone of your business portfolio. The people you attract will be the ones that will be motivating you, keeping your values in check, continuing to fuel your passion, having your back during tough times and helping you aim higher.  Selecting groups on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are some of the easiest ways to surround yourself with like- minded people.

Never stop learning

Without you there’s no business, so invest in yourself, beef up your skills.  Investment doesn’t mean spending an insane amount of money. You can learn by reading books, articles, enrolling in an online program, watching documentaries, listening to podcasts.  Sometimes delivering free talks, reaching out to community learning programmes forces you to re-assess your expertise and explore new ways or ideas of explaining the subject matter, to maintain creativity and perhaps stimulate innovation.

I will end this article by sharing a quote from Leonardo Da Vinci:

“I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.”