The First Step

Starting a business seems like a mammoth leap of faith. Running a company, being a business owner, entrepreneur, or CEO… those terms all seem so far away from who I am as a normal, everyday woman, Mum and wife. And yet, here I am – a week away from launching my business after almost 3 years of work to get to this point.

It’s so easy to think about how huge it is to start a business, how many steps it involves, how much capital is needed, how many hours of work will be necessary, and how it could all go horribly wrong, but perhaps those thoughts are what stop us from ever starting the business to begin with. I, however, didn’t focus on any of that, even though it was there in the back of my mind.

I thought about the need that wasn’t being filled, the product I so desperately needed that would fill that gap, and how great it could be, and ignored all the other ‘negative’ stuff. If I hadn’t, I don’t think I’d be here – about to launch.

Yes, I am an eternal optimist, even as the waterfall from the heavy rain comes through my back yard and the flood water laps at my back door, I don’t think of the flood, and all the negative scenarios, and I guess I am the same way with my business. I don’t spend much time dwelling on the negative ‘what ifs’.

Instead, I focus on visualizing the dream and doing the work to bring it to fruition. This blind optimism has definitely been helpful over the last 3 years, but surely not all business owners are optimists. So, what is the differentiator between me/other business owners, and the people who dream of starting a business, but never take the leap of faith?

I think I’ve figured it out. The only difference between me and the next person who isn’t starting the business they dream about, is that I took the first step, and then I persevered. It’s that simple.

After that first step, the business idea became even more exciting and impossible to ignore. Not starting the business was no longer an option. In the shadow of doubt, I kept my head up high, reminded myself of the dream, and continued working towards it. Each day, I’d try to take at least one more step. Some days were easy, and the steps happened effortlessly, some days I took zero steps. But all in all, I just kept going and never looked too far ahead at how much there was left to do, instead of staying focused on the one step I was taking at that moment.

So, my friends, if you’re consumed with the thought of a business that you’d like to start but the doubts keep creeping in, the only thing stopping you from starting is actually just doing it. Just taking that first step can be the difference between reaching the goal, fulfilling the dream, doing the work you love, and the unfortunate possibility of spending your life wondering ‘what if’.

Where you were born, who your parents are, whether you were surrounded by entrepreneurs as you grew up or not, none of that really matters. You just have to want it enough and then take that first step. And once you do, well, there are no limits!

Article written by Zo Blatch-Klapas, founder of OK&CO.