Tiana Clewis: "I want to start a business."
Great, but should you?
Yes, I know with inflation going up, wages being stagnant and the concept of being your own boss, not working those stiff nine to five hours - it's super attractive to have and run your own business. Plus, it's a fabulous way to create wealth for your family when you're successful at it.
But if I can be real with you not everyone should start a business or at least maybe not the business that they have in mind. The truth is that if you start the wrong kind of business in the wrong circumstances with the wrong mindset, you're setting yourself up for failure. And who wants to spend days, months, even years grinding it day in and day out, trying to build a business only to have it all fall apart. At that point, you've now wasted time, energy, and money and those are things that you can't get back.
So how do you know if you should go ahead and start that business?
Well, let me answer that question by giving you the reverse. Here are five warning signs that you probably shouldn't start that business.
Hey Dreamers and welcome back to my channel, where we break down all things money, so it can stop being an obstacle and start being what it is: a tool to help you build the life that you truly find worth living.
Before we start walking through these five scenarios of when you probably shouldn't start that business, I want to first introduce myself to the newbies in the crowd. My name is Tiana B. Clewis and I'm a Financial Lifestyle Coach, which means I've dedicated my life to helping women entrepreneurs, dump debt, save money, and hit all the financial goals on the hit list without sacrificing everything that makes life fun. Believe me when I say that you can't launch a business and have fun every day at the same time, it's all about how you do it. And it's something that my clients and I do each and every day.
If you want to join me on this journey, let me know by liking this video and subscribing to my channel. Then make sure you hit the bell so you're notified every time I drop brand new money strategies and business tips each and every Wednesday.
Now let's get to those five warning signs that you shouldn't start that business.
Okay. So here's the first one, and this is probably the most obvious, but people still overlook it anyway. The first one is that you are not passionate about the product or service that you're about to offer.
Look, let me tell you from personal experience, that is a recipe for complete and utter failure.
Now, are there people who are able to build successful businesses with products and services they're not passionate about? Yes, it's possible. However, more oft... more often than not, you're going to end up in one of two scenarios. Either you were going to give completely lackluster effort because you're not excited to do it anyway, or you're going to have trouble getting clients and customers excited enough to buy the thing, because you're not excited about it in the first place.
Again, I know this from personal experience. I remember back during my Mary Kay days. What was I thinking? Okay. That was a terrible idea. But I shared in the last time we were together that I started it out of desperation because I really needed to just make more money.
Who cared about the fact that I wasn't passionate about healthcare... I... I mean, I mean, I care about healthcare. I wasn't passionate about skincare. I wasn't passionate about makeup. Even some of the body stuff they had. Like, I liked some of their products, but I just wasn't like, "Oh my gosh, Mary Kay." It was not me and for me to go and start that business, it was a terrible, terrible idea and it ended up ultimately being a failure.
And it wasn't a failure because the products were bad. It was just that I wasn't passionate about them. And so like, having those Mary Kay parties was such a drag to me. I hated those things.
So yeah, your girl was having problems, but here's the, the flip side though.
I'm doing much better with my coaching business, because I can talk about finances, I can talk about business strategies all day. I love having those aha moments on coaching calls. Like I can see your eyes light up. I love that stuff. I love seeing people's finances turn around. For me that is exciting, uh, it pumps my blood and that's the reason why I do so much better in this business and have lasted so much longer in this business than I ever could have and ever did do with Mary Kay.
The truth is, if you are not passionate about the product or service that you're offering in your business, you're probably not going to do very well. You're going to hate your business. You're going to struggle with your business. You might even have resent your business, and that's the last thing you want when you're trying to be successful at it.
The second warning sign is one that I actually see a lot. In fact, it's probably the most common warning sign that I see. It's that you have no actual vision for the future of that business.
If you're one of those people who you're just starting a business, because you need a way to make extra money, more often than not, you're just like, "I'm just going to make a couple of dollars here and there," but there's no big end goal. There's no big idea of what you want to do.
You see many people who are successful in business have an idea of what they ultimately plan on doing what the business. Maybe they're trying to build the business as a legacy for their children. That's something that my husband and I are working on with his businesses.
Maybe it's something that you want to build it up really big, really strong and powerful, and then be bought out by a bigger company. That is a very legitimate and lucrative business strategy.
Maybe it's something that honestly, you always want to keep it small. You want it to continue to be this like intimate thing that you do and ultimately it's just a way to fund your retirement because you know, it's something you're still going to enjoy doing, even when you're retired. So, "Hey, I take all the money. I put it in my 401k. I put it in the soft market and then I continue doing it even when I retire." That's still some sort of vision.
If you have no idea what you want your business to look like, the purpose behind the idea, just the vision of what you want to accomplish with the business, it's going to be very difficult to be successful in the business. And there's a few reasons for that.
So one of the reasons is that you're going to find yourself going on a bunch of tangents. If you don't have a clear vision for the future, what it's going to do, you don't know when to say yes or when to say no to an opportunity, to a new type of business model, to a new product or service or to a type of client. You just have no clue, because again, there's no vision. So you just end up going to any which direction and oftentimes when companies just kind of go any which direction they don't make very much progress because all of their effort is not focused into one singular goal or one ultimate goal.
So that's a major reason of why not having a vision for your business can be highly problematic.
Another thing is that you also end up not knowing when to leave the business. So let's say that this is actually just a temporary thing that you're doing. You are honestly building this business because you want to be able to get out of debt and buy a house. Well, you work the business, you work the business, you get it going and you know, you're "Eh" about it. Like, you know what I mean? Like you're not super duper passionate because ultimately in the longterm, you never really wanted to run your own business, but it was a great way to help you hit your goals a lot faster.
Well, if you don't recognize that that's the whole reason why you started that business and why you're running the business, it might not clicks for you until years later that once you got rid of that debt, and once you bought that house, Sis, it was okay to let go of the business. You accomplished what you wanted to accomplish. So it can make it really difficult to know when to leave a business when you have no vision for it.
The last thing, the last problem that comes from this is that if you get to a point where you start bringing people onto the team, it's really hard for your team to gel and become cohesive when the team doesn't even have a unified vision that they're working towards.
That's one of the most important things that any good, functional working team has. They have to have a shared vision for the future. They have to have a shared goal. Otherwise you end up with people doing different things that might even be contradictory to each other because they have their own individual vision about what the business should be doing and where it should be going.
So if you don't have a vision for the business, you're going to create problems for yourself. You're going to go on random tangents... You're not going to know when to say yes or no. You are going to end up where you don't even know when to leave the business. And if you eventually bring on people onto your business to work on your team, they're going to start doing their own thing because you have not provided them a clear vision on what to do.
The third scenario you have to think about is, no one actually likes your idea, even strangers. When you tell people about the new business, you want to start, people look at you and they have no interest in it.
When you are talking to people about your business, people should be excited or at least curious. If you're not getting any sort of excitement, if you're not getting any sort of curiosity, that's probably not going to be an effective business idea. After all, if you can't get people around you who you're not even asking to buy the product to be curious, interested, or excited, how do you expect to get people excited enough to actually buy the thing? Seriously?
I actually ended up coming up with is because of watching Shark Tank. There's been too many times when you see people come to the investors with these crazy ideas. They don't have anyone else who's been able to invest money in the idea. It's just them and they're actually struggling to even get it started. Or maybe it's just a concept.
Well, if you can't get it going on your own because no one's interested in it, of course these billionaire investors, aren't really going to toss their money into it, because of, they're not even excited about it. If I can't get you excited about something, I can't get you to buy it and I can't get you to invest in it.
Now, there are some scenarios where a business will create something that people aren't super excited about, but they will do what's called creating a need. Apple is infamous for that. They're able to create a need for certain types of products.
Such as whenever they change the inputs, the power inputs for their devices, they've now created a need for these different types of dongles, because you might have three different devices that all have different inputs, but you need to connect them in different ways. So I actually have an entire bag full of different dongles because we are Apple people. But I don't appreciate the fact that Apple keeps changing their dag on power inputs. It is what it is.
So they're creating a need, but again, typically creating a need is reserved for those bigger companies. The ones that have the ability to really influence the behavior of the consumer to either create the scenario where they just need to have the things, like for me to get all of my devices to work together, or because they're able to do something big and bold enough that it makes you think. "Huh, maybe I do need that."
So typically that's something that's reserved for bigger companies. Now here's a big caveat though. This is something really important. I'm talking about no one is interested or likes the idea. I'm not talking about scenarios where people are interested and like the idea, but say that it can't be done.
That is a whole nother ball game. Okay? I take that as a challenge.
So don't sit here and not do a business just because people say, "Oh, it can't be done." Well, the fact that I am currently recording this on an iPhone and you can't tell - that shows that a lot of things are possible. The fact that I have a microphone in front of me, I have a tablet in front of me as well... that is actually with Bluetooth hooked up to my computer screen - this tablet is actually functioning like a third computer screen right now. Everything I need to do recording the audio, having my script in front of me, these things used to be impossible, but now they're possible.
So don't let someone say, "Oh, that's a great idea, but you can't do it." "Oh, it's a great idea, but it's not possible." "Oh, it was a great idea, but it can't be done."
That's a challenge. I'm always a fan of accepting a challenge.
Warning sign number four. Yeah, this one you might side-eye me on, but just roll with me. There's a method to my madness. So warning sign number four is that you can't afford for the business to fail.
Yes. I know. I know there are so many people who say," Oh, if you don't have a backup plan, if you don't have a plan B, it just gives you an incentive to push harder, do better grind harder. You're... It... that how you're going to succeed. "
Yeah, that doesn't work for everyone.
Can I be real? Not everyone thrives under pressure.
Now me, I thrive I'm under pressure. I am recording this under pressure. I literally have a meeting in 13 minutes. Okay? So some of us thrive under pressure. We're able to make things happen under pressure.
But if you're not one of those people, being in a position where you can't fail is actually going to send you into a panic. It's going to make you desperate and desperate is a terrible word in business.
When you are desperate in business, it comes across in how you sell. Consumers can smell the desperation. And because you're desperate, you end up putting yourself in some really awkward positions.
You might offer products and services that you never would have offered, if you weren't desperate. You might take on raggedy clients that you never would have worked with, if you weren't desperate. You might actually...make a couple of shady deals that you wouldn't have made because you're desperate. You might actually step beyond your expertise and go do something that you don't even know how to do, because you're desperate for the money.
Desperation makes people stupid with money and in business.
So I'm sorry, but if you're not one of those people who thrives under pressure, do not put yourself in a position where you are completely desperate. Find a way to have some sort of backup plan, some sort of support net, some sort of support system, because then you can stay in what my husband and I call the F U Position.
I know. You don't hear me curse a lot on here. That's why I just used the initials.
But we actually got this from a movie that we were watching. Can't remember what it was about. Something he was watching, I just like looked at it for a second and I see a guy talking about the F U Position, but it makes sense.
When you are in the F U position, you can say, no, you can say no to products and services. You can say no to clients. You can say no to questionable deals. You can say no to stepping outside of your expertise. You can say no to just simply doing something in your business that you don't want to do.
Why compromise the integrity of the business that you're trying to build by having to compromise? Don't do that when you don't have to.
So if you are in a position where you can not afford for the business to fail, I'm going to need you to find you a backup plan, some sort of financial support system first, and then come do your business.
Now for warning sign number five: you can't handle criticism.
Look, the best business owners are going to get some sort of criticism. It's inevitable. You can't please everybody. You're not even supposed to. That's the reason why everyone tells you to niche down and to have a clear vision for your target audience.
Okay... one of the reasons there's marketing purposes behind that.
But one of the major reasons is because you can't serve everyone. You can't make everybody happy. So you being criticized is in evitable.
But if you have a thin skin and you can't handle that criticism, if you have this like outrageous ego or this raging temper, and you can't handle the criticism, I promise you, you're going to screw up your business. It's guaranteed. I have watched great businesses fall because people couldn't handle criticism. Don't be one of those people.
Okay... so I'm gonna tell you now. The first time I got criticized was literally within the first couple of months of me launching my business. You see the name of my coaching business has always been Selah Financial Coaching. You may have heard me mention it before.
Well, okay, here's the thing Selah actually comes out of the Bible. In fact, if you ever hear people, mispronounces say Say-lah it's because they never actually... it's because they never actually looked up the way it's supposed to be pronounced. Let me just put it that way.
So, someone was actually very offended by the name of my business and it came down to a misunderstanding of the biblical interpretation of the word Selah. You see, no one truly knows what Selah means in the Bible. However, the most common belief and understanding is that it is designed to tell you to stop and take a moment to reflect, which was really important to me.
Okay... aside from the fact that God had like the neon sign thing going on in my head saying, this is the name of your business - there was... it's also really important to me that people understand that when it comes to your money, when it comes to your business, there's a lot of time that you have to spend stopping and reflecting on what you're about to do or what you've already done.
So the name of the business was important to me, but literally within the first couple of months of me starting the business, I got cussed out on the phone because she thought that the name of my business meant I was judging her.
No! That... there's no interpretation of the word that means this, but someone was offended by the name of my business. I got cussed out for it, but I handled it well. Okay?
And maybe you're not going to get cussed out. Maybe it's just going to be a bad survey response. Maybe it's going to be a bad review. Maybe it's not even that it's bad, they just set something that you didn't like, but it may be valid criticism. In that scenario it wasn't, but I have had some valid criticism. Like I didn't spend enough time focusing on this particular topic in my coaching. So I realized it and I fixed it.
So here's three main things that are going to happen if you can't handle criticism. Either one, you're going to fold. Just completely fold and give up on the business, or you're going to let the business slowly die because you're so scared of the criticism that you're messing things up left and right, doing randomness and it's not being effective.
The second thing is that your ego is going to get in the way and when your ego gets in the way you can't actually see the good quality feedback that you're getting from that criticism. Yeah, even if they delivered it harshly, a lot of times you can actually find some golden nuggets inside of the criticism - unless they're just completely crazy, which is possible, but not the most common scenario.
The third thing is that you're going to start blowing up at your customers and your clients, and they're not going to want to come back. I've seen it. It's not pretty. Don't be that person.
If you cannot handle criticism, you should not start the business. At least not right now. Get to a place where you can start to handle it. Learn how to check your ego. Learn how to check your temper. Learn how to develop a tougher skin.
Can I tell you how to develop a tougher skin? Not necessarily. I was born with one, but my family, we talk noise all day and we make fun of each other. So you can't survive my family without a tough skin.
So can I teach you how to get one? No, but you're on... you're on YouTube, you're on a podcast site now. You can find one, that'll let you know. Alright?
But that's what you definitely need to be sure of. If you can't handle criticism right now, you've got to get to a place where you can handle criticism before you start your business.
So I noticed that I had five warning signs but I actually have a bonus one. This one is specifically for my married people out there. Now is not the time to start your business if your spouse cannot stand the idea of you running a business.
I know you're probably like, "Hm, whatever. He's not going to tell me I can't start this business."
Hold... ho..ho... Hold on. Okay? Calm it down. There's a method to my madness.
So here's the problem that we run into. When your spouse does not want you to run your own business you are now officially in a lose-lose situation... unless you do the work to understand what's going on.
So, if you can't figure out what's going on, you can't understand why your spouse doesn't want you to start this business, then you can't actually do anything to try to address the situation, to improve it, to ease their fears, all those sorts of things. Because it could be possible that they are being controlling and manipulative and trying to keep you trapped, but more than likely, there's a legit reason behind it.
It could be that they want to spend more time with you. And if you start this business, you're not going to have time for them anymore. Let's say that maybe they already work long hours and then you add running a business, which is guaranteed to be long hours. Well, when are you guys ever going to get to see each other? That might be a concern.
Or maybe they are worried that things are so bad in your marriage, that they're worried that you're just using this business as a way to escape the marriage instead of being able to resolve things. You never know the type of fears that are running through the mind of your spouse, especially if you guys have questionable communication practices.
But if you go ahead and just start the business without figuring out what the heck is really going on, you might find yourself in a position where now you've started this business, but you and your spouse are fighting more and more and more because they resent the fact that you didn't listen to them, that you started this business anyway, with no regard for how they feel about it. You're resenting the fact that they're not supporting you on something that honestly is really, really tough. They're not there for you. You feel like they're trying to control you and that might not be the case.
So what you really need to do is you need to do the work to figure out what's going on inside of your marriage. What's happening in your spouse's mind. And what are you doing to contribute to whatever fear is in their mind?
Because yes, most fears don't just come out of a blue. There's something that has triggered that fear. And it might be something from way back in the day that you're not even thinking of anymore, or it might be something so small that you did that it triggered something else that was already laying inside of them.
You never know and it's key that you do the work to heal, to improve, to strengthen your marriage before you take on an endeavor, that really is going to be extremely tough to have succeed, even with support, much less without the support of your spouse and without a chaotic marriage to boot.
Boom there you have it, my five... okay... six warning signs that you probably shouldn't be starting that business, or at least not right now. You let me know, which one was your favorite? I think for me, my favorite was actually the one about not being able to handle criticism. I've seen that blow up so many businesses that it really bothers me.
So I think that one was my favorite, but let me know in the comments, which one was your favorite?
At this point, I can imagine that there are some of you out there that are like, "Hey Tiana, I don't have any of the warning signs, but I do still have some questions. What do I do? Should I start this business?"
Don't worry. I have you covered. Let's just get on a Rapid Strategy Consult for 30 minutes so that we can talk through your concerns and figure out what you should do next.
Should you start that business? Maybe you just need to shift how you're going to give it a start. Maybe we just need to clarify what your vision is so we know exactly what to do. That's what I'm here for.
And the best part about it is that the Rapid Strategy Consult is free.
All you have to do is head to my website at tianabclewis.com/bookonline. Scroll down to Rapid Strategy Consult and go ahead and schedule your session. I'm super excited to connect with you because I love it when I get to help a new entrepreneur, get their business started.
Now that you know, the warning signs for whether or not you should start the business and how to get connected in case you need more help, I also want to get connected on social media. You can find me on Twitter and Instagram with the handle TianaBClewis, or you can head over to Facebook and find me under SelahFinancialCoaching.
Before you head out, let me know that you found this video helpful by liking the video and subscribing to my channel. Don't forget you have to hit the bell, so you're notified every time I drop new business tips and money strategies, every single Wednesday that are designed to help you hit every single financial goal that you have on your financial hit list.
Finally, if you're looking for more information, that's going to help you build your business with profit in mind and without pulling your hair out... at least not pulling it out as much... I have two videos right here that you totally need to be checking out.
Now with that you get to watching those videos and I will talk to you next Wednesday.
Made it through the list of warning signs without having to shelve your business idea? Awesome! Still need help getting it going with profit at the top of mind? Let’s chat one-on-one in your free Rapid Strategy Consult:
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