When business mentor, Norma Forastiere launched her first business – a translation services company – she was a very busy, very shy mother who was suffering from a deep depression. At the time, she was not at all sure she had what it takes to be an entrepreneur.
Now, Forastiere, a successful coach, natural therapist and certified Joy of Business facilitator, is sharing her experience with self-doubt and uncertainty in order to inspire others to enter the world of business.
“There are many people who would love to build their own business but have not yet taken the steps to start. This is often because of limiting points of view about what it takes to be an entrepreneur”, Forastiere remarks. “I was one of those people and I understand all too well how challenging it can be to find the confidence and take the leap into business.”
“If you are holding yourself back from business, it’s important to realise that you may have come to believe some myths about entrepreneurialism”, she advises. According to Forastiere, these myths include:
You have to copy someone else’s model
“Instead of looking at ‘will this work for me?’, too many people buy into the point of view that the only way to be successful in business is to emulate what other entrepreneurs have chosen. However, I learned from experience that business success is actually about doing things your way. When I first entered into business, people around me all had their own opinion about what I needed to do to be successful… and none of it worked. Eventually, when I started making choices that felt right for me, growing my business became so much easier. It can be tempting to hold yourself back in business because you think you can’t do what others do. I say, trust yourself and build your business in the way that best suits you: your skills, talents and personality.”
You must wait until you’re certain
When you have a business idea, it can be common for others to tell you “It won’t work. You can’t do that”. Lots of people hear that, including me, and it can be very damaging to your self-belief. When I launched my first business, I had a very fragile confidence in my abilities – I wasn’t 100% sure I could create the success I wanted. However, I started to take little steps forward, every day, and my confidence grew with each achievement. When it comes to starting a business, don’t wait ‘til you’re absolutely comfortable and certain about things – and definitely don’t wait for complete agreement or enthusiasm from others. Just start moving!”
You have to have the right education
“It can be easy to believe that you can’t do something because you lack ‘official’ skills or knowledge; it may be that you believe your skills are outdated, or you can’t use the proper language or don’t have the relevant degree to enter a particular industry. I have always been a seeker and have studied a wide range of topics and skills. But, I always jumped from course to course, and never really earned what would be considered the ‘right’ qualification. However, what I have discovered is that life’s experiences, and natural skills can be more valuable than formal qualifications. All the things I have learned through my life, from meditation to sociology and language translation, have come in handy at some point in my business – often in very surprising ways. And the same is true for anyone. You don’t need a formal qualification to get started in business. All of the things you have learned in life can, and will, be a contribution to your venture – even things you may have completely discounted.”
It’s too late to start
“I was launching new businesses in my forties – just as other people my age were looking ahead to winding down, I was still winding up! Many people have a point of view that you have to start ‘playing safe’ with life after a particular age – they believe that taking risks is for young people. But, for me, age is just a number. Creating a business has nothing to do with how old you are. It’s just about you perceiving new possibilities and going for it.”
Regardless of what your potential business may be, or where you are now, Forastiere encourages you to ignore the myths society has taught you, trust in your vision and believe in your ability to create success. “If you can perceive a dream for yourself, why not go there?”, she says.