September 2011 The Psychology of a Startup
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The Psychology of a Startup

By Steve Strauss. ARCHIVE:

No one ever said taking the entrepreneurial leap was easy. Fun, exciting, inspiring and maybe even a little nauseating? Yes. But easy? No way. Starting your own business is a big change and is worthy of a double-take. Especially if you have never done it before, starting a business is a significant emotional change, so do not underestimate the psychological factors when starting a business. It’s simultaneously scary and exciting.

So aside from excitement and trepidation then, you will likely encounter exhilaration, exhaustion, confusion, and even moments of enlightenment. Entrepreneurship is the proverbial roller coaster of emotions, especially in the beginning. Here then are a few tips to deal with some of the mixed emotions you may encounter along the way:

1. Look before you leap. Now, it may be that you need to start a business because you lost your job and have no other options at this moment. Many people started that way, and in fact that can be a big motivator. But if that is not the case, just remember that you can start part-time before quitting and jumping in 100%. Starting slow helps to see if your plan is working and if you like it.  

2. Get some advice and help. Help is available. The Small Business Administration, friends, websites like this one at Greatland, SCORE, your local Chamber of Commerce, and business associates can help you a lot along the way.

3. Prepare for the roller coaster: Understanding that starting a business means taking a risk may not make things easier for you, but it should help to know what to expect. There will be highs and lows, successes and failures. There will be a steep learning curve. Knowing that you are getting on a roller coaster makes it a little easier.

4. Don’t go it alone. Many new entrepreneurs start out as solopreneurs. That is often a big change and huge adjustment to life in the old office. But you need not be out there by yourself in this day and age. Online resources like LinkedIn and Facebook have groups you can join. Your local chamber and groups like LeTip allow you to get out and mingle. 5. Remember that you may have more assets than you realize. For example, you might have money in the bank, friends in the industry, a supportive family, a good attitude, a great idea, an awesome partner, chutzpah, or a good education. Those are all assets that not everyone else may have. Use what you’ve got.