| September 2021 |


Thought process under way without huge pressure

How to get the thought process under way without huge pressure

WRITTEN BY: Michelle White

I had worked in companies my entire career and never had to think about all the cogs in the wheel that make up the components of running the back end of a business.

When I thought of starting my own business, I was crystal clear on my WHY and so confident about my ability to deliver my service however the WHAT AND HOW to get it off the ground was scary, blurry and I had no compass, guideline or checklist to make sure I covered all aspects.

I felt the information, ideas and tips out there assumed knowledge and overwhelmed with detail.
I had no real understanding of the steps along the way. I read so many pieces of information but felt nothing nailed what I needed, and it all seemed so cumbersome and too hard… maybe I was not ready to commit and definitely didn’t want to take on a business coach or an expert who would outline my spreadsheets, financial forecasting, my staffing plan and scaling process when I hadn’t quite made a decision yet. Hang on a minute…. I need to think…

I had not stayed in touch and up to date with emerging / popular social media platforms and had no idea about design and brand marketing, launching a business and getting myself and my service out there either. In retrospect, I spent wayyyy too much money on making it all look pretty.

I was encouraged (maybe felt pressure) by everyone around me and swept up in the – ‘you can do it moment’ – I committed before I could blink.

I really threw myself in the deep end and literally sat behind my desk on day onesaying: “ok, go!!”
So biggest lessons learnt – discover, plan, learn & commit – THEN jump in and get going! A fine balance between feeling in control of your decision, being mentally prepared and having a clear plan vs overthinking and allowing analysis paralysis to prevent you from going out there and taking some risks.

Second time around, here is how Laura and I mentally and calmly approached our business plan for Empowered Decision.

Start with the WHY

This must be a passionate, compelling and clear WHY – the meaning, the intention and the goals of what you want to achieve. Your WHY will drive everything you do and is the engine of your business. When things get tough, or decisions need to be made – this is what yourefer back to. This is a link to Simon Sinek TED talk (which is on the Top 10 best TED talks ever list) – highly recommended 18 minutes of gold, which is a good summary of his book Start with Why.

Give yourself time and space to think.

People close to you have great intentions and want the best for you. Their opinions are valuable and placing all the feedback, ideas and comments into a melting pot could help you obtain perspective. Caution is needed though to not respond to what they want for you but to focus on what you need and want for you. What do you want to get out of it? What would be the ultimate goal and how long are you giving it time to get there? Will this light your fire?

“You’ve got this!”


Why is starting your own business even on your radar?

What has led you to think of this as an option? Do you see this as an opportunity to develop incredible skills, be challenged, grow and feel purposeful or is it a knee jerk reaction as you have exhausted alternatives? Often when you are exhausted, overwhelmed and tired – I am tired of working for a boss, I am not interested in being told what to do … I can do this by myself… the default is to go at it on your own. How much is your current situation driving you towards this and how much is a passion/ interest/ drive and desire pulling you towards it?

Research!! Research!! Research!!

Launching your own venture is a huge commitment from a cost and time perspective, even if you are thinking small scale, want to do something to stay busy and have a purpose or something that you want to do and just have fun with. The emotional investment is big and because you own this –walking away from it and letting it be at the end of a day is challenging. It can become all-consuming as you could find yourself constantly thinking about it, looking for ideas, writing down brain sparks etc – that is what passion does and it is enjoyable if you are ready to take it on. Consider aspects such as the viability of your idea, the practical application, competition, risks, threats, start-up time to financial return, what can go wrong, financial investment and investment of your time, etc.


I was taught many years ago a decision is the exclusion of alternatives. I like that, as I feel I have choice and comparisons make my decision more measured. If this is one alternative, and you have a few other ideas and options, consider the big picture of each opportunity by objectively drafting a pros and cons list of each option.

Avoid huge pressure where you can

Ideally have a period of overlap – I felt enormous pressure as I stopped my career then started a business. From existing income to zero is quite an uncomfortable feeling and the pressure to earn and earn quickly could be stressful. Again if you are prepared for this and can buffer it – it is ideal.
The reality is that a start-up with probably take between 12– 24 months to become profitable.

Get everyone onside and have a sounding board.

Now more than ever you need the support and encouragement from your nearest and dearest. Make them excited about your decision and ask for gentle yet honest feedback. See if you have a sounding board in a friend or someone who is also running a small business you can talk to, celebrate with and run ideas past. Actively create a network as a platform to share positive experiences and learnings with like minded people.

Probably one of the best pieces of advice given to me was to “stay in your lane and do what makes you happy” – a great goal to have.You’ve got this!