You know the old saying: “It is always quiet before the storm”? Well that’s how life can be, unfortunately.
One day we are happily living life, carefree, enjoying our Starbucks Caffè Mocha, without a problem in the world. Inspiration is near, we discover our purpose, a clearer vision for life comes into plain view and then, the next day, dark clouds roll in and life gets confusing and disquieting.
Throughout life we are taught to find meaning and purpose. For entrepreneurs this means following our own path, but what we are often not told are the setbacks and tribulations that accompany purpose.
Life is teacher. We are always getting graded. Yet, without a doubt, life is not designed to fail you but to test you.
Here’s a candid look at three of the biggest setbacks that stop most people from following their purpose in life and how we can overcome them. Through this article you’ll learn how setbacks are really designed for your ultimate set up.
1. Lack of funds
Lets just start with the obvious. The biggest reason that holds most people back from following their dreams and living their purpose is money. So, we use that as an excuse to not move forward. A lack of funds, to be perfectly honest, it is a great excuse but it should not set us back.
Once you have a vision for your life, money will be the last thing you’ll have to worry about. Let me explain why.
With crowdfunding platforms like Go Fund Me, Kickstarter and Indiegogo you can rally financial support from across the globe. These sites are created for people to invest in projects and people who have a vision and a plan of action to bring their ideas into the world.
It not enough to just have a vision; you must also have a plan of action that looks promising for investors.
Let’s look at government contracts and grants, too. Grants are granted to people who have a specific vision. If you have an idea for a government program you want to fund, you’ll have to communicate your vision and detail a plan of action. People invest in people. What good are funds without a solid vision that informs you how to direct and use them?
So, do not let the idea of not having enough money to start a business stop you. Instead, focus your efforts on fully developing your business idea and clarifying your vision. You will soon find that people will actually be attracted to your vision and resources will soon follow!
2. No experience
This perceived setback never gets old. You graduate from high school, get accepted into college and graduate. You apply for your dream job and they kindly send you an email stating they are looking for someone who has more experience.
Or you have a great business idea, and you’re sure it will be the next big thing. So, you start to research what it will take to startup. You are told by others, and maybe even yourself, you don’t have enough startup experience to become an entrepreneur.
Don’t let a lack of experience be the sole reason you give up on your plans. Many entrepreneurs who went on to create million dollar companies did not have “enough experience” let alone a college degree.
One way to gain practical experience is to intern, shadow someone in the industry, seek mentorship or turn to e-learning courses. This will give you a chance to gain in-depth knowledge and hands-on experience. For example, ed tech is taking off. Platforms like Skillshare offer learning community for creators. Anyone can take an online class, watch video lessons, create projects, and even teach a class themselves.
3. Little social proof
With social media playing such a major part in our daily lives, having a strong social media presence is important. Yet, you don’t have to have nine million Twitter followers to launch a successful business.
Too many entrepreneurs get discouraged when starting a business or launching a product because they think customers won’t take them seriously with a fledgling social media presence.
Instead, grow organically by creating a simple social content plan, like this one from Buffer. Every chance you get to connect offline and online with a customer, let them know where they can find you on social media.
Numbers are important when it comes to social media, but engagement is more important. So focus on creating a following that boosts engagement. Social Media Examiner suggests, “three things big brands do very well that small businesses can emulate: Find where their customers talk and “go deep.” Create content that people want to talk about. [And] use social media to listen to customers.”
There are plenty of social media accounts with millions of followers and no real engagement (which is pointless). The right social media conversations can let you know how your product or service is solving a problem, what you are doing right and more importantly what you are doing wrong.
So instead of worrying about how many “Likes” your Facebook brand page has, focus on building a relationship and creating value for those who follow you today. Do not let small numbers discourage you from doing business.
Do not let a lack of funds, experience or social validation hold you back from pursuing your dreams. Instead put your time and energy in creating a vision for your business and figuring out the direction you want to go. Make the decision to be successful today.
This article has been edited and condensed.
Tony Logan is the VP of Liftbridge Publishing, a publishing company that help people tell their story while offering workshops and networking events. Connect with @tonylogan on Twitter.
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