It's official. Summer is over, a season has ended. And what makes that reality sink in even more is that the kids start school tomorrow - I know, it's late -but it has been a blast having them around longer than usual. The kids are starting at a new school, in a new town - heck, even a new time zone. When I think about that change, and the awkwardness they'll feel tomorrow, I remember that feeling. Being the new kid. Everyone trying to find out what you're like, what group you fit into. It's the same when you launch your business. That fear of failure kicks in as you host your first event in your home, sit in the reception area on the first sales call, post your first blog or tweet, tell a potential client your hourly rate, or take that first real estate call.
But remember, surviving those awkward moments makes you stronger and ready to tackle the world! Here are the lessons learned from being the new kid at school:
Lesson 1. Much like a child's first day at a new school, figuring out where everything is located is key. Once you find the cafeteria, though, you still have to figure out who to sit with. Getting your bearings takes time, and as a new business owner, don't beat youself up if you're not feeling comfortable right away. Everybody finds the right lunch table eventually!
Lesson 2: If you don't ask, you'll never fit in/get in. Here's the thing - you need to be sure you don't keep your business a secret. Shy kids, like quiet non-networking business owners, don't get asked to play at recess, or get the orders, as quickly as outgoing folks do. It's a fact. If you're not putting yourself out there, no one will know you're in business. And that's not how you make money.
Lesson 3: There are bullies. Especially when you're new, you're a target. If you're entering a crowded entrepreneurial field, expect to face snark attacks from competitors who don't believe in abundance. It's a fact of life. Dust yourself off, and keep moving forward.
Lesson 4: Do one thing every day that scares you. For some kids, that means just getting up and going to school. For others, it's trying out for the play or a sport. If you are just starting out, push yourself to do one thing every day that scares you. You'll amaze yourself with all you can accomplish.
Lesson 5: You only have one first day. In business terms, you only have one chance to make a good first impression. It's true. People sum you up quickly, and you need to be sure you have bring the Real You to your business everyday, at every encounter. There is a potential client at every turn, so just make sure you don't turn her away!
This fall, tackle your business like you're the new kid at school. See how many new customers you can make. Oh, and don't forget to do your homework!